10 Tips For Hanging Art in Your Home—and Our Picks For Creating Fearless Walls

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo and Paige Alexus / Published by Dwell
Hanging art on your walls doesn't have to be a stressful experience—instead, it should be a fun and inspiring creative challenge.

You bought it, you love it, you had it framed—and now you just need to figure out how and where to show it off. Planning the display of artwork throughout your home may seem like a daunting task—but it doesn't need to be. Whether you're trying to figure out where to place a large-scale framed painting that was just passed down to you or you're planning the layout of a salon-style gallery wall to show off your family's prized photos, these tips will get your through the hard parts and into the fun stuff. Though they may seem like simple pointers, they could become lifesavers during the process. 

Most importantly, remember that this is your chance to get creative—so don't be afraid to let your personality shine through the decisions you make. 

1. Take the chance to show off everything you love—and we mean anything

You don't have to stick to any specific rules or regulations when you're deciding what to hang on your wall. This should be your time to express yourself and your family. So, you can go as elaborate or simple as you want and can hang anything from one single painting to 25 family photos, art projects, or sculptural objects. Just because something isn't technically meant to be hung, doesn't mean that it can't make an inventive addition to an art wall. Just add a hook or some Command mounting strips and you're set.

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Shop Unexpected Wall Additions

Bergen Wall Décor
Bergen Wall Décor
This modern mixed-medium wall art piece combines vibrant pastels with metallic and mirrored wedges. The triangles also vary in thickness, taking the geometric design to another dimension. 
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Sanborn Canoe Co. Paddles
Sanborn Canoe Co. Paddles
Handmade with soul in the heart of the American midwest.  The Dalles Des Morts paddle takes it’s name from the French phrase for “death rapids,” used to described in particular a gruesome stretch of rapids along the Columbia River. Sanborn designed this paddle to be graceful both in and out of the water, making it perfect for lazy turns around the lake or gracing the wall of your cabin. Blade measures 5" x 26". Full length: 4'10" // 58". Approximate Weight: 2 lb.
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Long Horn Geometric Animal Head
from Bend Goods
Long Horn Geometric Animal Head from Bend Goods
Objet d'art, a hook with character, a trophy head. Whatever the purpose, Bend's Geometric Animal heads are bound to entertain. Bend has taken organic shapes and created digital versions that are constructed with bends and angles in mathematical, engineered forms. Each animal head brings a touch of the outdoors into your home. Long Horn is sweet and dear and sits perfectly in an entryway or modern kids' room. This is sure to be a gift-giving favorite.
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Erstwhile World Relief Map
Erstwhile World Relief Map
Intricate illustrations from another time. The Erstwhile World Relief Map is a reproduction of the original illustration published by Van Houtte in collaboration with Charles Le Maire. The artwork has been printed onto Airtex canvas, with its moody colors and accurate detail carefully preserved. Hand-mounted with aged timber batons and 100% hemp rope, each piece is supplied ready to hang.
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1767 Wood Designs
1767 Wood Designs
The guys behind 1767 Designs clearly spend a lot of time thinking of the stories encoded within the buildings dotted around their hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Founded by a team of local creatives, designers, and woodworkers, 1767 set out to rescue the history-rich materials of Music City’s demolished houses and give them new life in the form of handsome, rustic wall hangings tagged with the coordinates of their original locations. In their words, “Our pieces not only help save centuries-old wood from an undeserved and wasted fate, they each come with their own stories to tell.”
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2. Make sure your art fits your particular space

We all know that it's not always so simple to find a completely blank wall that's waiting to be outfitted, especially if you live in a small space. When you're surveying the land (so to speak), consider what spaces you're working with and how your art would fit into those areas—making sure to consider if you'll need that wall for something else in the near future. 

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3. Go for a gallery wall

Create a story to tell. The arrangement doesn't have to be centered and you don't have to follow any type of official grid. Be bold and use an odd number of works, mix photos with drawings and paintings, mix and match picture frames, and even toss your favorite clock or mirror in there. One technique is to place the largest piece of art in the center (or slightly off-center) and go from there. Another pro-tip is to lay your art out on the floor first to see how it will look arranged on your wall. You can also test your plans by arranging sheets of paper on the wall with painter's tape before you actually commit to the placement. 

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Shop For Your Gallery Wall

Geometric Wood Frames
Geometric Wood Frames
Picture perfect. If you’re like us, you love the idea of finding a home for your most beloved pictures and prints—but not the price tag of a custom framing job. Rejoice! These extruded geometric wood frames in walnut or red oak fit both bills, lending your favorite art a unique look (thanks to the faceted edges) without breaking the piggy bank.Some assembly required for larger sizes, using a Phillips head screwdriver.  Made in: Brooklyn, New York  Made of: Walnut or red oak, plexi-glass  Size: Choose from 3 sizes: 5" W x 7" H (which includes a back stand and hoop for wall hanging), 8.5" W x 11" H, or 18" W x 24" H. The larger two come with 2 brass screws, 2 hoops for wall hanging, and 1 piece of wire (36” L) for hanging.  Sourced from: American Design Club Photography by Rocky Luten
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Print Hanging Frame
Print Hanging Frame
2nd Shift Design Co.’s print hanging frames, made of white oak, are the answer to your irregularly-sized art prints’ prayers. Available in three lengths (10”, 12.5”, and 18”), the frame houses a variety of sizes, giving you the flexibility a traditional picture frame can’t. There's no tricky mounting or installation involved—the top wooden bracket has brass hanging hardware already attached, with a centered circular ring that slips easily over a nail, tack, or hook. The bottom bracket will hang loose, keeping your print from curling upwards. To secure your art in the frame, loosen the brass screws that hold the wooden brackets together, slip your print inside, and tighten them back up. Your gallery wall will be complete in no time! Photography by Bobbi Lin/Food52.
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Quilt Pattern Art Print
Quilt Pattern Art Print
Lovely lines. Each of these screen printed artworks represents a discontinued quilt design from this Minnesota-based label. The prints’ clean, geometric lines and soft color palette (think lovely muted neutrals and gray tones) instantly class up any room. Hang one up solo, or pair two prints together; we also love them framed and leaned up against a wall.  Made in: Minneapolis, Minnesota  Made of: Screen-printed on 100 lb quality cover paper  Size: 33.3" L x 25" W  Sourced from: Louise Gray Photography by Bobbi Lin.
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Botanical Print by Lucy Engelman
Botanical Print by Lucy Engelman
Cold Press Natural paper printed with ultrachrome HDR (high dynamic range) inks. Based upon an original archival ink pen on paper drawing by Michigan-based illustrator Lucy Engelman. 11 inches long x 14 inches wide. 
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Watch me Wall Clock
Watch me Wall Clock
“To me design is all about creating objects that are impossible not to notice, objects that are contagious and objects that stay in the heart forever,” explains designer Rasmus Gottliebsen. “Then I know I did a good job.” With his background in advertising, Gottliebsen has an intuitive feel for garnering attention, evidenced by his minimal yet striking Watch Me Wall Clock (2010). This eye-catching clock consists of eight vibrantly colored aluminum rectangles fanned out to form a circular shape, with contrasting black and white hands for good readability.
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Modern by Dwell Magazine Round Metal Shelf Mirror
Modern by Dwell Magazine Round Metal Shelf Mirror
Part of the new Modern by Dwell Magazine home collection for Target, the Round Metal Shelf Mirror seamlessly integrates a curved shelf at the base of the circular mirror, making it a dual-function home accent. The thin shelf is ideal for storing small, everyday items, such as keys or loose change. The wall mirror also features a built-in hanging peg, making it a breeze to install, and comes available in black or white. Photo: Courtesy of Target
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4. Hang art in a straight line or a grid

If you're the kind of person who needs to be organized and minimal, that's fine too! Go ahead and embrace symmetry, making sure to use a level so that the pieces are perfectly even. You can even use an app on your phone to make sure you're hanging them straight.

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5. Hang art at eye level 

Follow the gallery model and hang art at eye level. Think of your wall as if it's divided into four horizontal sections (from the floor to the ceiling). Hang your art in the third section (from the floor).  If you're hanging art above a sofa, the golden rule is to hang it one-hand's width above the sofa. There's some wiggle room here, but always be careful not to hang your art too high. 

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6. Turn your wall into your child's personal art gallery

Your walls can be a creative indicator of where you are in your life and will most likely change drastically over the years. If you have kids that love to draw, paint, or craft, designate a particular wall in your home that shows off their work. It will give them a sense of accomplishment that's priceless.

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George & Willy Daily Roller
George & Willy Daily Roller
Things happen when you write them down.Created in proportion with intimate spaces—your office, bedroom or kitchen—the small wall mounted paper roller focuses on personal productivity and organisation. Constructed from powder-coated aluminium. Comes with screws and one roll of brown kraft paper.
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7. Incorporate functional elements into your art wall

Your walls don't have to be just be a place for featuring traditional art. These days, there are plenty of modern wall products that have multifunctional uses as storage, hooks, or organizational tools—while looking great and working hard at the same time.

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Shop Functional Wall Art

Eames Hang-It-All from Herman Miller
Eames Hang-It-All from Herman Miller
Charles and Ray Eames brought a sense of play to all their work, including the Hang-It-All. It took the everyday coat rack to a new place that was inventive and fun. More than just a conversation piece, the Hang-It-All holds anything that slips over its 14 hooks.
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Cage Wall Shelf
Cage Wall Shelf
Light and functional storage unit from the Stockholm-based design studio, Form Us With Love. Designed to beautify or light up an empty or boring hallway. Use the top shelf for keys. Lift the lid and fill the cage with scarves, gloves and hats
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Dots Coat Hooks from Muuto
Dots Coat Hooks from Muuto
The Dots Coat Hooks show a new perspective on coat storage. Designed from high quality solid, The Dots are proud of their smooth, round edges that will treat clothes with great care. They can be used in multiple settings, making them versatile from the kitchen to the bedroom. Enjoy customizing The Dots Coat Hooks in fun arrangements on your walls!
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Glass Knob from Tom Dixon
Glass Knob from Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon's Glass Knob is made of extra thick pressed glass in the same manufacturing technique used to make products such as head lamps or glass insulators. Available in Blue, Lecko (purple) or Butter (yellow) in both small and large sizes, the Glass Knob is especially useful as a wall-mounted hook or decorative accent (not suitable for use as a door pull). Includes brass fitting.
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Afteroom Coat Hanger
from Menu A/S
Afteroom Coat Hanger from Menu A/S
Graphic in nature, the Afteroom Coat Hanger offers a convenient place to store coats, hats, or bags. Mounting to the wall, the simple lines and dots that comprise Afteroom create an intriguing graphic design whether it is in use or not. A great addition where space is at a premium and aesthetics are important, the Afteroom Coat Hanger's compact design provides plenty of storage hooks in a tight, sleek design.
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8. Consider using lighting as art

Interesting lighting provides another way to introduce an artful arrangement on your wall. Many companies are creating sconces and other types of lights that illuminate a space while also adding some interesting geometry and texture. Bocci's "14" sconces cover the wall of this bedroom, creating an ethereal, cozy effect.

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Shop Artful Wall Lighting

Muse Flower Wall/Ceiling Light by AXO Light
Muse Flower Wall/Ceiling Light by AXO Light
Floral fluorescence. Spring is in full bloom year round with the Axo Light Muse Flower Wall/Ceiling Light. A delicate pattern of prodigious petals are layered on top of one another, the light interacting with the shade to create nourishing, nuanced illumination. The shades - available in four sizes - are composed of an elastic material that fits snugly over a skeletal frame, and are removable and machine washable.
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Orbit Wall Light from Lzf Lamps
Orbit Wall Light from Lzf Lamps
Handmade wood veneer is interlaced to create the elegant intertwined silhouette of the Orbit Wall Light. The design conveys airiness while the wood veneer provides a sense of warmth. Place several down a hallway for knots of light or add one to each side of your bed reading at night.
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AJ Eklipta Wall Light from Louis Poulsen
AJ Eklipta Wall Light from Louis Poulsen
The AJ Eklipta Wall Light was originally designed for the Rødovre Town Hall in Denmark to illuminate indoor staircases and exterior walls. As a true functionalist master, Arne Jacobsen created the AJ Eklipta in a time period when Danish design had an exceptional quality to it. Today, this fixture is still used in various architectural environments worldwide.
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14 Wall Sconce from Bocci
14 Wall Sconce from Bocci
The 14 Series sconces are visually quite subtle in and of themselves — they do not dominate a room. Each individual sconce is a cast glass half sphere with a frosted cylindrical void which houses a 10 watt xenon or 1.8 watt LED lamp. The light interacts with the imperfections and bubbles of the cast glass to make a visually rich halo of light.
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9. Consider your background

While many people have white walls that can easily complement almost any piece of art, a painted or textured backdrop can either make an artwork pop or drown it. If your walls are painted or lined with wood, make sure the colors and tones work well together, as they can make or break your display. In this example below, a Richard Barnes photo pops against a gray Venetian plaster wall.

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10. You don't have to hang everything

Keep in mind that you don't always have to put holes in your walls for every piece of art. Framed art can be arranged elegantly on a shelf, a counter, or even on the floor for a crisp modern look and a less formal display. 

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Shop Picture Rails

Picture Rail
from Gus* Modern
Picture Rail from Gus* Modern
A modern way to display artwork, photographs and collectibles, the Picture Rail from Gus* Modern is a clever way to maximize your wall space in style. Constructed of extruded aluminum, the Picture Rail is anodized to produce a durable finish that increases corrosion resistance and surface hardness. The Picture Rail is available in two lengths and can be used to provide additional shelving for books and keys, or installed by the front door to catch your mail.
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Brass Picture Rail
Brass Picture Rail
Yield has the ability to see a product through from the earliest stages of design to prototyping to the final product. The Brass Picture Rail is a versatile display for photos and cards of all shapes and sizes, and is built with a solid brass construction and brushed finish.
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