These Are the 8 Spots in Your Home Where You Never Thought to Hang Art

published Jan 8, 2023
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Credit: Carina Romano

When you think of styling art in your home, it’s easy to get stuck in the conventional gallery wall mindset. Don’t get me wrong: A gallery wall never goes out of style, and when done right, they truly reflect the personality their owners. Other configurations and places to style wall art around your home exist though, and even better, some of them don’t even require walls (!) and are extremely renter-friendly. Let’s take a look at some inspiration for out-of-the-box art hanging, because if there’s something that almost every home could use, it’s probably more art!

Credit: Minette Hand

In the center of a window frame

Take a good look at the windows in your home. Some of them might have a great view — a garden, a terrace, a skyline — but other might not really be showcasing anything special. The latter scenario is when styling art in a window can really be fun and rewarding, as shown in this Charleston bungalow above. The key is to not obstruct a window that has a great view or brings in a lot of natural light.

Credit: Melanie Rieders

Below a window

A general rule for hanging wall art is to place pieces at eye-level, which is about 57 inches from the floor. Like any other design “rule,” you can bend those parameters a bit for decorative impact, especially when your walls have windows that are unconventional in shape and size. Take advantage of forgotten real estate below a window, just as this Parisian apartment dweller did. The eye will be drawn to this unexpected area once they’ve found a fun piece of art residing there.

Credit: Janet Kwan

Above a doorway

Hanging art above a doorway creates a neat perspective trick that can make your room appear a little bit taller. Here, a colorful print gets its own museum spotlight, thanks to the rays that come in through a skylight. Even if you don’t have the kind of architecture this Toronto renter has, art above a doorway can still make an impact by drawing the eye upward.

Around the whole doorway

To help delineate spaces in a more open concept home, try hanging art around the perimeter of a doorway. If your home has a few doorless passages, you can emphasize the transition from one room into an other by hanging interesting pieces that will make guests stop, look, and linger as they move through space, as is the case in this Louisiana home. Keep the art similar in size — not necessarily shape — to make this look intentional.

Credit: Liz Kamarul

On top of other art

An alternative approach to the gallery wall, layered art — or overlapping pieces and hanging some art effectively on top of other art — looks and feels cozy and creative. To nail this look, use smaller frames over larger ones, as this New Orleans dweller did, so you can still see most of the works that you’re hanging smaller pieces over.

On a Mirror

As a kid, I remember going over to my grandmother’s house for family dinners and sitting at a dining room table staring back at myself awkwardly as I chewed the Sunday roast. She had a floor-to-ceiling mirrored dining room, a design choice that was popular in the ’70s. You can still find them in homes today, but before you rip them out (or if you’re renting and you can’t), try hanging art over a mirrored wall. You’ll reap the benefits of the mirror’s room-expanding effect, and you still get to admire a beautiful piece of art. That’s what I’d call a win-win.

Credit: Carina Romano

On closet doors

Any closet door could benefit from some styling, right? That’s why I love the idea of treating a closet like it’s an extension of a wall, as this Philadelphia renter did here with photos and a mini shelf. Just make sure your art is securely fastened so it doesn’t jostle with opening and closing.

Credit: Carina Romano

On a refrigerator

Meet the distinguished older cousin of the “magnets on the fridge” phenomenon: framed art on the fridge, first spotted in this Philadelphia rental. Accessorizing a kitchen can be tough, but one single piece of art, or a small triptych of three small little prints in this unexpected spot makes a kitchen’s decor feel intentional but not overpowering. Choose art that pulls together your kitchen colors, and mount it using strong peel-and-stick magnets.