Clever (& Really Stylish) Ways to Display Art Around Your Home

updated Apr 22, 2020
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(Image credit: Megan Pflug Designs)

So you have a piece of art that you’re really excited about, and you want to display it in a way that will make it stand out. Of course, you could just frame it and hang it on the wall—or you could try one of these unique, unexpected ways to display your art.

(Image credit: Megan Pflug Designs)

From Megan Pflug Designs, here’s a clever way to draw attention to a larger piece, without spending a fortune on framing: paint a border around it. In this project, the border (which is actually black ribbon tacked to the wall) helps to define the space and adds architectural interest, as well as draws your eye toward the art above the bed.

(Image credit: AD España)

In this photo from AD España, a small picture ledge that’s just a bit wider than the canvas gives a painting an extra sense of importance. In this case, the picture ledge doubles as a nightstand, too.

(Image credit: Archi-Tectonics)

From Archi-Tectonics, via CAAN Design, here’s another idea involving picture ledges. A large group of pictures that are all the same size, mounted together, can look a bit formal (and cost a fortune in framing). An alternative is to display the art on rows of picture ledges, for an unexpected, modern look.

(Image credit: Boho Weddings)

Group smaller frames inside a larger frame, as seen on Boho Weddings, to give a sense of unity to a collection of smaller pieces.

(Image credit: Carla Lane Interiors)

A picture hanging on the front of a bookcase adds a touch of the unexpected. In this example from Carla Lane Interiors, painting the back of the bookcase black helps the art to really stand out. I also like how the symmetrical composition makes the art the star of the show, almost as if the whole bookcase is a really large frame. Obviously, if you’re going to do this, the things you put on the shelf behind the picture frame should be things you don’t need to access very often.

(Image credit: Mette Wotkjær for Bolig)

If you have a smaller piece that you want to stand out, try leaning it against a larger, more abstract piece, as in this photo from Bolig.

At her Los Angeles home, Victoria Smith, the creator of popular design blog SFGirlbyBay, created a casual display for posters with hanging wire and binder clips. The folds on the posters become a kind of design element, drawing your attention to the prints.

(Image credit: Elements of Style)

From Elements of Style comes this clever arrangement, which makes the art-leaning-on-the-floor thing look more deliberate and less like you just forgot to hang up your art. Here, the wall mounted shelves above cleverly frame the position of the piece, so that it becomes part of a composition.

(Image credit: Cup of Jo)

Use a larger piece (like this oversized landscape photo print, spotted on Cup of Jo) as a background for smaller items. (Affixing the larger piece to the wall with washi tape means there’s no frame to get in the way.)