How to Display Art in Your Home Like a Pro

You might not think there’s much to getting artwork framed and hanging it on the wall, but if you want your home to feature a cohesive collection that looks like it was curated by a museum professional or an interior decorator, there’s a little more to it. Unfortunately, the average homeowner probably isn’t prepared for this type of whole-home project. And if you don’t feel that you’re particularly artistic or creative, you might be understandably hesitant to embark on planning displays in your home. On the other hand, you don’t want to live with bare walls, especially if you already have several pieces you love and want to display. Luckily, even a novice can create a beautiful and coordinated collection of art by following a few simple guidelines. Here are some tips to get you started.

The first thing to consider is the artwork you have on hand, and if you’re like most people, it is probably a fairly eclectic collection of pieces. While you don’t necessarily have to group displays by artist, movement, or region, for example (although these are definite possibilities from an organizational standpoint), you might want to consider grouping pieces that have similar subject matter and/or similar coloration. These days it’s no faux pas to pair something abstract with a classical piece, just for example, but the way to make this juxtaposition of artistic styles work is to at least ensure a cohesive or complimentary color palette.

If you’re still a little iffy about how to make seemingly disparate pieces work together within a given space, a good option is to focus on the aspect of the display you have the most control over: the framing. You can make even the most eclectic collection of art seem like it all belongs together by coordinating your framing efforts. You might be convinced that classical pieces require ornate frames while modern art calls for the clean lines and simple construction attributed to black frames and white mats, just for example. But consider what you could accomplish with a variety of second-hand frames and a can of spray paint to make them all the same color. It sounds too easy to be truly effective, but you might be surprised by how well this simple trick works when it comes to creating a display of works that look like they were carefully planned.

Of course, this is where it helps to put a little thought into the pieces you pair on, say, a single wall space. When you consider pairing pieces by artist, movement, or color family, your displays will automatically appear more cohesive. So a little planning and forethought is definitely in order. But you can always “cheat” by simply selecting matching frames. And don’t forget, you can even find templates online to hang pieces in particular arrangements.

You can also branch out if you feel fairly confident about your ability to display artwork in your home. You can hang pieces any number of ways, sometimes without frames at all. And an easy pedestal thrown into the mix can allow you to display both 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional pieces (like sculptures or bronzes) away from the wall, increasing the visual appeal of your displays. There’s no single correct way to display art, so make sure to have fun with the process. But with a few simply guidelines to follow you can definitely create a cohesive display that even a pro would be proud of.

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