5 Ways You’re Arranging Your Wall Art Wrong

published Jun 17, 2019
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Credit: Alexander Doherty Interior Design

Wall art can make a big impact in a space. That’s why it helps to know what arrangements really allow your artwork to shine—and which displays to avoid altogether. So we asked a few art aficionados for advice on how not to hang up wall art at home, and here’s what they had to say.  

Credit: Massucco Warner Miller

You’re Ignoring Scale

“Arranging art properly is all about scale. Art is so personal that there’s so much flexibility in terms of color and the overall look, but if it’s not sized properly to the piece, it just doesn’t look right. One rule of thumb is to think through the overall scale of the wall and the piece anchoring the art below, and scale from there.” —Melissa Warner Rothblum, Co-Founder and Principal Designer at Massucco Warner Miller

Credit: Julia Lynn courtesy of The Artist Collective

You’re Afraid to Mix Styles

“I love a gallery wall that displays a mix of art styles. Hanging abstract and representational pieces together gives a gallery wall a modern flair, but groupings of a specific genre of works can be fun, too. Mixing unframed works, paintings in different frames, and paper pieces framed with glass makes a wall feel collected and curated.” —Allison Williamson, Founder and Director of The Artist Collective

Credit: Alexander Doherty Interior Design

You’re Not Hanging Up Enough Art

“Many people think you can put one painting in the middle of a wall and call it a day. But in small rooms, hanging several large canvases can have the opposite effect—it can make a space feel airy, open, and light.” —Interior Designer Alexander Doherty

Credit: Teil Duncan Art

You’re Too Matchy-Matchy

“The idea that all of the art in a room has to match with each other and all the furniture is too restricting. Choose pieces within the same color scheme or with similar frames to create some cohesion without looking overly matchy.” —Artist Teil Duncan of Teil Duncan Art

Credit: Lucy Cuneo

You’re Thinking Too Straight

“When grouping art together, don’t hang everything in a super straight line because it often winds up looking too contrived. Shift a few pieces up, so that the tops of the frames are staggered, to create a more fluid (and aesthetically appealing) display.” — Lucy Cuneo, Photographer and Stylist