How to Arrange Art on a Wall: 11 Art Styling Ideas

March 04, 2023 11 min read

how to arrange art on a wall

Art is one of the best ways to breathe life and color into a room, but it can be hard to know how to arrange it. Whether you’re a seasoned art collector decorating a large gallery wall or just starting out with a few pieces to tie a space together, there are many creative ways to style artwork. Here are eleven art styling ideas that will make your walls look beautiful and professional. 

  1. Create a focal point with a large piece of art  
  2. Hang artwork in a pair
  3. Hang artwork in a trio 
  4. Lean art on a fireplace mantle 
  5. Use art to style a bookcase 
  6. Hang artwork over furniture 
  7. Place art inside built-ins 
  8. Hang art in a grid
  9. Create an organic gallery wall
  10. Create a symmetrical gallery wall
  11. Create a collection of miniature art
how to hang art on wall

Create the look with this art print by Aimee Schreiber

Before we dive into eye-catching art arrangements, here are a few general rules for hanging artwork on a wall:

  • Hang the center of artwork at average eye-level, which is 57 inches (145 cm) from the floor. For groups of paintings, treat the group as a single unit and hang the center of the group at eye level. 
  • Hang art 6 inches above furniture. If you're hanging artwork above a piece of furniture like a bed, sofa, table, or mantle, hang the art 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) above the piece.  
  • Check the weight. Make sure your wall and hardware can support the weight of your artwork.  
  • Light! Well-placed accent lamps and overhead lights make artwork shine. 
  • Paint! A thoughtfully chosen wall color can heighten the impact of any artwork. Many art galleries and museums have dark wall colors to make the art stand out. Dark walls recede into the shadows and make the artwork seem to glow, but a light wall can be an equally impactful canvas for art.
Now that you know the basics, let's explore 11 gorgeous ways to arrange artwork on your walls.

1. Create a focal point with a large piece of art 

Focal point art

Create the look with this  landscape painting by Danny Schreiber

You can design an entire room around a favorite large painting or art print. Not only does a big statement piece give your home a unique style, butstudies show that art has a positive impact on mental andphysical health. Incorporating a large piece of art can instantly draw your eye in, establish a mood, and create a stylish and eye-catching focal point in your home. Whether you want to bring drama and flair to a dining room or an eclectic, sophisticated touch to a living room, an oversized piece of art is a great way to make a bold statement and make your space feel inviting and inspiring. 

Large pieces of art can add drama to any wall, but here are a few popular places for large-scale artwork:

  • Over a sofa 
  • over a mantle 
  • Over a bed
  • In a large hallway
  • In a dining room
focal point art over bed

Create the look with this  moth painting by Aimee Schreiber

2. Hang wall art in pairs 

Hanging artwork in pairs is a great way to create a balanced, symmetrical look that adds an extra layer of sophistication to any living space. Whether you're looking for a statement-making pair to place above a couch or a simple, tasteful addition to the dining room, hanging artwork in pairs can create a collected, balanced vibe. 

pair wall art over sofa

Create the look with these  art prints by Danny Schreiber

Make a big impact with two equally-sized pieces of art hung in matching frames. Many artists create a collection of similar works, so buying two favorites from the same series is a great way to create a look that is cohesive. You could also try pairing work by different artists that have different styles but similar colors. You can hang art vertically for tall, narrow wall spaces or horizontally to fill a wider wall space. 

If you have two pieces of art you love together but they’re different sizes, never fear! An asymmetrical duo can look just as lovely as a matching pair. Think of it like an echo where either style, subject, or color is echoed in the smaller piece. 

3. Hang artwork in a trio

Three is a magic number in interior design. Our eyes naturally love groups of threes because we see and think in patterns, and three is the lowest pattern-making number. Whether it’s a symmetrical triptych arrangement or a mix of different shapes and sizes, displaying artwork in a collection of threes is an eye-catching way to show off your favorite pieces.

Here are three ways to hang a trio of artwork:

  1. Try hanging three equally-sized pieces in a horizontal row to fill a wide space over a sofa, in a long hallway, or over a dining room buffet. 
  2. For tall, narrow walls, you can try stacking three pieces of art vertically. Just be sure to treat any grouping of artwork as a unit and hang the center at eye level. 
  3. You can mix and match sizes for a collected look, maybe anchoring a collection of three with one larger vertical artwork and 2 smaller horizontal pieces stacked next to it.
set of three wall art

Create the look with these art prints by Aimee Schreiber

4. Lean art over a fireplace

Whether you have a large or small piece of art, a fireplace mantle is the perfect place to lean it. As the heart of any room, the fireplace will draw attention to whatever artwork is placed above it. You can keep things minimal by leaning a single painting on the mantle or create an eclectic, layered look by placing a few small pieces of artwork in front of a larger painting or mirror. 

To create context around the art, try adding statement objects you love to the scene. Think about using candles, seasonal plants, or other sculptural objects to create an inviting atmosphere that reflects your unique personality.

art over fireplace mantle

Create the look with these art prints by Danny and Aimee Schreiber: 

Landscape print |  Charcoal portrait print |  Monarch butterfly print

5. Use art to style a bookcase

Adding art to your bookcases is a great way to transform them from functional furniture to a unique and eye-catching statement piece. Whether you’re looking to introduce a pop of color, subtle texture, or an interesting visual story, you can easily customize your bookcase with art pieces that reflect your style. 

Start by choosing a few art pieces that best suit the size and shape of your bookcase, and lean your favorites on shelves near eye level. Group your books in both horizontal stacks and standard vertical groups. I love to arrange books by color, but you can organize by genre, size, or author. You can even try turning the spines in for a uniform look. Don’t forget that book covers can have some of the loveliest art around, so leave one or two facing out with the cover visible. 

Then, layer in items like small sculptures, plants, and candles. Candles and small framed photos look perfect perched on top of a small stack of books. The final touch? Make sure to include something unexpected like an antique mirror or a unique piece of pottery to really make your bookcase stand out! With a little bit of thought and creativity, you can turn your bookcase into a masterpiece.

decorate bookshelf with art

Create the look with these art prints by Danny and Aimee Schreiber

Luna moth print |  Charcoal cougar print |  Bird of paradise print

6. Hang artwork above furniture 

how high above furniture to hang art

Create the look with this moth art print by Aimee Schreiber

Furniture provides a great opportunity to create artful scenes throughout your home. When it comes to hanging artwork above furniture, it's important to consider the scale of the artwork and the size of the furniture. If the artwork is too large or small, it can impact the aesthetic or even the practicality of the overall room design. Additionally, it's important to make sure to hang the artwork at the right level. Placing it too high could create an uncomfortable angle for viewers and if it's too low, it could be blocked by furniture. With a little thought and consideration, you can successfully hang artwork over furniture to create a visually stunning and balanced room design. Just remember 2 general rules of hanging artwork above furniture:

  1. Hang artwork 6-8 inches above the furniture (the exception is leaning the art directly on the furniture surface)
  2. Fill ⅔ to ¾ of the wall space above the piece of furniture. For an extra oversized look, fill 95% of the horizontal space above the furniture. 
art over furniture

Create the look with this landscape  art print by Danny Schreiber

Artwork can add a crowning touch to any piece of furniture, but here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Hang art over an accent chair
  • Hang art over a sofa 
  • Hang art over a buffet
  • Hang art over a bench
  • Hang art over an entry table
  • Hang art over a short cabinet
  • Hang art over a bathroom vanity
  • Hang art over a toilet
  • Hang art over a side table
  • Hang art over an upright piano 
  • Hang art over a bed
  • Hang art over a side-table

7. Place Art Inside Built-Ins

Adding art to a built-in is a great way to spruce up a room while creating an interactive environment that guides the eye throughout the shelving. Whether you’re looking to add a whimsical vibe with a pop of color or create a sophisticated atmosphere with black and white charcoal drawings, art is a great addition to any built-in. Explore the options and find pieces that complement the style of the room and shape of the nook. Note the height, width, and depth of the space before selecting a piece and don’t forget to consider the lighting of the room—a piece of art that doesn’t have enough light won’t be seen to its full effect! 

art built-ins

Create the look with this  art print by Danny Schreiber

Built-in shelving can be a great place to display both small sculptures and original paintings. Art is the perfect thing to elevate a built-in, whether it's an oddly placed corner nook or a dramatic home library.

8. Hang art in a grid

Creating a grid of artwork is a great way to showcase a collection of pieces without overwhelming yourself or the space. A tape measure, level, and pencil for marking the wall are good things to have on hand before you get started. 

set of 4 wall art grid

Create the look with these  charcoal art prints by Danny Schreiber

Start by deciding on the size of artwork you want to display. Think of how much wall space you have available and how many equally-sized pieces will fit comfortably. Keep it simple and symmetrical by using matching frames and mats for a set of art prints or photos. 

Use a grid configuration that suits the wall space you have. A 3x3 grid (9 pieces total) will fill a square shaped wall nicely, while a 2x4 grid (8 pieces total) can be stacked vertically or horizontally for more narrow spaces. 

Once you've decided, arrange the artwork in the grid pattern you desire, leaving enough space between each piece to allow them to stand out. Lay it all out on the floor to decide how much space you want between them. Make sure the artwork is hung at even distances from one another as well as from the floor and ceiling. The resulting grid of artwork will create a unique and striking wall in any room.

grid art wall living room

Create the look with these  insect art prints by Aimee Schreiber

9. Create an organic gallery wall

Creating an organic gallery wall is all about finding a balance between structure and chaos. Start with a few pieces to get your vision off the ground, then add others as you acquire them, experimenting with different shapes and colors. Let your eye be your guide, allowing yourself to be inspired by the colors and shapes that naturally present themselves. Try to stay away from typical symmetry or an overly uniform aesthetic, and instead look for randomness and movement. Take your time, and trust your eye. With a little time and effort, you'll have an eye-catching gallery wall that you can proudly display in your home.

Choose the largest art piece for the center and place the other pieces around it. I like to lay out the entire wall on the floor, then eyeball the hanging part, but if you’re a “measure twice, hammer once” kind of person, feel free to trace the shapes of your art on newspaper so you can tape them up and move them around until you’re satisfied.

organic gallery wall

Create the look with these paintings by Danny and Aimee Schreiber:

Moth poppy print |  Charcoal owl print |  Landscape painting |  Cactus print |  Charcoal portrait drawing | Mushroom print |  Robin print

Use a mix of shapes, sizes, and mediums. It will look cohesive if you have a few similar colors echoed throughout. Mix charcoal drawings with paintings and prints to introduce interest without adding additional color. My favorite way to nicely fill those odd gaps that happen is to add some natural elements like a feather, or dried flowers or leaves. You can use discrete push pins, wall putty, or even colorful washi tape to attach these accents to your wall. Other objects that might make their way into your gallery wall could be decorative plates, hats, clothing items, costume jewelry, holiday ornaments, and mirrors.

10. Create a symmetrical gallery wall

Add an instant dose of balance and dimension to any room with a symmetrical gallery wall. Whether you're looking for a modern, minimal look or a unique, eclectic vibe, a geometric gallery wall is the perfect way to create an eye-catching display of your favorite art pieces, prints, and photographs. From bold colors to intricate designs, explore the endless possibilities and create your own personalized symmetrical gallery wall. 

symmetrical gallery wall art

Create the look with art by Danny and Aimee Schreiber

Horse painting |  Bird art prints |  Landscape paintings 

This layout combines large and small frames to create a symmetrical balance. You can hang a larger frame in the center and surround it with smaller frames on each side. Alternatively, you can hang two larger frames side by side and surround them with smaller frames. 

Take the guesswork out of a gallery wall with these balanced layouts:

symmetrical gallery wall layouts

The example layouts above are starting points with some standard art sizes in inches, but the space you may need between pieces may vary depending on the size of frame and mat you use. Just like with the grid arrangement, use a tape measure, level, and pencil to make sure the pieces are evenly spaced.

11. Create a collection of miniature originals 

Buying mini original paintings and drawings is an affordable way to start your art collection. When you have at least three of them, you can hang them together to start a mini gallery wall that will draw viewers in. 

Hanging a collection of small artwork is an excellent way to add visual interest and personality to your space without breaking the bank. When creating a mini gallery wall, you can experiment with different arrangements to find the perfect balance between each piece. Consider hanging them in a straight line, in a grid pattern, or in a staggered arrangement to create a dynamic and cohesive display. To add even more interest, you can mix and match different mediums, such as watercolors, drawings, and photographs. Don't be afraid to get creative and have fun with it!

mini gallery wall over bed

Create the look with these  paintings by Aimee Schreiber

Many artists sell tiny originals and may even distribute postcards to market their work, so hit your local art walks to start collecting! A collection of small artwork can be just as impactful as a larger piece, and can add character and charm to any room in your home.


Styling artwork is a fun and creative way to design any wall space. Whether you’re matching or mixing, there are endless possibilities to make your walls look beautiful and professional.  By following the eleven art styling ideas outlined in this post, you can arrange your art the way that best expresses your personality and suits your space. 

Now it’s time to get creative and start styling your artwork!Shop our selection oforiginal artwork andprints to find the perfect pieces to elevate your walls.


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