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15 Ideas for Hanging Art We Got From You Guys (+ a Fun Reader Challenge)



Our #ehdweekendmakeover hashtag on Instagram is not a new thing for us. We took a dive into it (oh wait, maybe it was #showemyourstyled) over the holiday season in a big blog post about all the seasonal decor this amazing community was doing in their homes and sharing. We also regularly dig in for inspiration and occasionally run one on the Instagram feed that has us excited, but other than that, it’s mostly just a place where your guy’s designs and dwellings can be seen and that frankly feels like a wasted opportunity for us…until now.

We’re bringing #ehdweekendmakeover to life and making a big move toward being a part of it ourselves on an ongoing basis. This team has a TON of projects right now personally (so many makeover takeovers brewing and just general “new year” refreshes happening), and we bet you do, too. Each month—maybe even a few times a month, depending on how the design zeitgeist is feeling—we’ll throw a weekend project challenge your way via Instagram, and want you to share, share, share with the hashtag so that we can then go through and share back, both on the blog and on our social channels.

To kick things off, we’re starting with a project that likely EVERYONE can engage with. Raise your hand (or hide your head in shame…either way), if you’ve had art leaning in corners of rooms around your house slash shoved into the back of closets slashed stacked under beds for…years? There’s something that feels so permanent about hanging artwork, so you put it off because maybe you haven’t figured out a cool enough arrangement, or maybe you haven’t bought any frames…either way, we get it. Jess, whose living room and kitchen you’re going to see THIS MONTH…we’re shooting it TODAY, has been working on a gallery wall for probably about a year. Michael JUST hung a wall of art after months (also maybe years?) of hemming and hawing. Arlyn doesn’t even want to tell you how long she’s had art unframed and ignored that she actually really loves, just hasn’t bothered to put up. I know I absolutely have some stuff I need to get on my walls. THIS IS THE WEEKEND!!!! Who’s up for the challenge of taking some time this weekend to grab some frames, dust off your diptychs (or even get those downloadable prints actually printed), and commit to getting some art up on those walls?

We mined through what you guys have already tagged recently to get you started with some ideas in case you’re stumped or just need a little spark of inspiration…all in rooms that YOU GUYS designed, which we love nothing more than to share your beautiful, hard-earned work.

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We shared this image from @chelseamohram on our Instagram recently (you guys loved it as much as we did) for SO many reasons (the eclectic mix of chairs, the mix-and-match cabinets) but today, we’re including it on the blog because of the art. Hanging multiple pieces can bring out all your doubts and uncertainties…do you have to line them up, do the frames have to match, how do they look all good together? You can certainly hang whatever you want next to whatever you want, but here, this feels eclectic yet pulled together because all three artworks are oil portraits (picking a theme for a gallery wall is my go-to fundamental tip for that). As for the alignment, a good rule of thumb is to place your largest “anchor” piece and then pick if you want to line up art at the top, center or bottom (there is no wrong answer here)…and build from there.

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I’m pretty sure this is not how @goldalamode’s dining room looks anymore in terms of that sweet, soft pink molding, but since we’re here talking about art, it’s worth mentioning the art of the “off center” frame. I think we’re all somehow conditioned to put art smack dab in the center of either a big wall or vignette, (did they teach us this in school or something? how to center art on a wall 101?) but choosing to shift the eye and do something a little unexpected really pays off in terms of visual interest.

Dinexdesign Copy
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This is actually pretty genius on multiple levels. @dinexdesign skipped the works on paper altogether and went instead with a super punchy rug hung on what I’m guessing is a curtain rod? Here’s the genius part though…there’s a TV behind that. If you suffer from must-hide-my-black-box-itis, you no longer have to choose between something pretty and something practical.

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@fieldtheory rocks the modern line art diptych. The white frames here fall in line with the mostly creamy palette, while the black punch from the prints adds a welcomed tension and contrast.

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One of the questions we get SO often is…what to do behind a sofa. And while there are a bunch of options (gallery wall, one large piece, a wall hanging, a mirror, nothing), we rarely see the whole shelf + leaning art option in this room from @house.becomes.home and like…why not? It might make me a little nervous in “earthquake country” but if you live in a place where the ground isn’t prone to shaking things up and personal items not at ground level flying around a room, it’s a nice option. Keep in mind you’ll probably have to pull your sofa away from the wall an inch or two more than the depth of the shelf to avoid head bumps, though.

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Another regular “please help me” quandary we see is what to do above a bed. It’s totally fine to go without anything above your bed, but the four-poster here in a room from @suzannahstanley really helps to frame out a spot for a quiet moment. Don’t think you always have to totally fill a space with art…sometimes, some open white space sings louder than an overload of styling.

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Oh how I love this shot from @jennasuedesign. Is this technically a wall mural and not “art”? Sure! But who needs a 16×20 portrait when you’ve got a WHOLE WALL OF BEAUTY? Please note the molding details along the corners. We’ll always sign off on a feature wall when it looks like this.

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@mrorlandosoria knows how to build a killer gallery wall (I wonder where he learned it from…). And the reason this one is so special is that it’s not just abstract prints and cool line drawings…it’s his parent’s personal mementos and family photos (see more of this room here). This is my absolute favorite way to do a gallery wall: nearly top to bottom but with a tight focus.

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Never underestimate the power of an overscale piece of art. Period. (Thanks @mymoderndom for the inspo.)

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Speaking of really big art installations, I will never not love a giant map that takes up the majority of a wall. I’ve spent many a late night searching for a vintage one on Etsy and Craigslist and have yet to find something that sets my heart ablaze, but my (and your) best bet is likely digging through flea markets until you make a big score like this one similar to @nicolewear.

Sunnycirclestudio 1
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@sunnycirclestudio always has such fantastic inspiration and I love the risks in each of her designs. A polka dot wallpaper paired with a playful modern print will always be a winning combo.

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Another wallpaper + framed art winner from @sunnycirclestudio, but this time with more traditional oil portraits. I think this one works so well because they are still in line with the color palette established by the quirky paper.

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If you missed our house tour of @thegoldhive’s San Diego home, here’s a sneak peek (but head here to see the whole thing…it’s SO lovely and full of tons of doable DIYs). One detail that immediately caught our eye was the traditional photo rail she installed (to match the one in her dining room original to the 1930s).

Undecorated Home
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An oil nude where you get all oily (or bubbly) in the nude…why the heck not? I’m assuming @cocollected placed a slender shelf or the likes behind the tub as not to have to drill into tile for hanging. Oh…looking again, maybe it’s just leaning on the tub, so in real life, maybe this isn’t the most practical, but it sure looks fun styled to camera.

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And finally, this vignette that we love so so much in the home of our friend Mandi from @vintagerevivals. Yes, the card catalog itself is a work of art, but also, the off-center picture ledge with the leaning print is another example of not always having to be dead center. She could have easily added a taller plant to the right side to balance it, but the round mirror also does a great job of filling a little space and breaking through all the straight lines.

Like we said, we plan on doing an #ehdweekendmakeover feature once a month birthed from a prompt we’re going to give you, but don’t feel like you can’t use the hashtag on any image of your home you want us to see. Head to our Instagram Stories this weekend to see what I’m going to hang up this weekend. Plus, if you story your own #ehdweekendmakeover art edition, we’ll share on our stories (as long as you also tag @em_henderson, otherwise I don’t think technically it’ll let us). Good luck this weekend, can’t wait to see what you guys come up with. Xx

Fin Mark


Never miss a single post and get a little something extra on Saturdays.

0 responses to “15 Ideas for Hanging Art We Got From You Guys (+ a Fun Reader Challenge)

  1. I like this post a lot I am not an Instagram fan. I find it too random and time consuming, though I am sure my issue is probably just not understanding how to use it properly. So seeing a collection of pics grouped in a theme is very interesting. Thanks! Plus, I just moved last week, so ALL of my art, and I use the term loosely, is piled and leaning all over. So timely choice of topic for me!

  2. I am not in the leaning-art camp. I am in the other one — the make-holes-everywhere-in-the-walls-until-I-get-the-art-just-right camp. 🙂

    Great post. Hanging art is so difficult. Another post I would love to see here: Ideas on how to “style” a fireplace mantle.

    1. If you;re hankering for that content and don’t mind if it’s a year or two (or three or four) old, she has featured mantel styling before. You can use the search function at the top of the page (in the gray bar underneath the title of the blog) and look for “mantel”.

  3. Let’s get real – that oil nude leaning on the tub is the most pretentious thing I saw lately. Thumbs up for the 14 remaining ideas.

  4. I had been hoarding so much art in my guest room closet until recently. I started by doing a massive gallery wall in my formal living room –

    That helped a lot, but I still had a bunch of art and frames in the guest closet. Then we graduated our toddler boy/girl twins into their own rooms right after Christmas, and now we’ve been hanging up more and more art in their rooms and in that hallway every weekend. I’ve almost cleaned out the whole closet and I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to have that art on the wall. I have a few more to hang this weekend!

    This is especially timely because tomorrow is my dad’s birthday (he passed away suddenly a few years ago) and to celebrate his special day, we are going to spend this weekend doing a DIY frame and hanging one of his vintage basketball portraits in my son’s room. Will share with the hashtag!

  5. Hi! Just a quick FYI that the bathroom image from @undecorated_home is NOT their image. That is the bathroom of @cocollected. They just featured it, much like you guys do. I am sure @cocollected would appreciate being credited as the being both the creator and homeowner of that stunning bathroom.

  6. I love your posts but they almost always freeze my computer. I know you reported this in survey results. Yours is the only website that does this to me so I wonder if something technical could be done on your end?

    Just wanted to make the request since your content is so good and I would look at everything you post but half the time the freezing and glacial loading speed causes me to give up. Thank you!

  7. I love these posts and peeking into the homes of “normal people.” It gave me an idea for fun content for you guys — reader design dilemmas! I’m not sure if this is something you’ve done before but I would love it and it would be very interactive. Readers could send in their conundrums with photos and people could weigh in. I often have a situation where I wish I could crowd source opinions on which way to go, but I don’t have a blog nor an Instagram following. ????

    1. Yes to this! I, too, wish I could crowd source opinions. There used to be a Design Agony post, but I don’t know if it exists any longer. Your idea would possibly be less overhead for the EHD team than the old Design Agony posts, in which they drew up potential solutions.

  8. Dear lord, PLEASE tell me that someone knows where that light fixture from the first photo is from. It needs to get into my house, like, YESTERDAY.

  9. I do really love the tutorials for hanging art. But, I’m in the paralyzed by fear, of hanging art incorrectly, camp. Even after reading them. Hence my empty walls, 3 years after painting. I guess I need to just pull it all out, and go to town. But unnecessary holes in my old plaster walls makes me on edge. They can be a pain to fix.

    I’ve had new curtain rods, and curtains since May 2017 sitting in my closet. Same thing. I’ve read all the tutorials, and still curtainless. Guess I should just live on the edge and get them hung. I’m usually quick to be able to make any decisions, but these 2 decisions make me on edge! Ugh!

    1. I think you’re a good candidate for a picture rail! After you install it, you don’t need to ever put holes in the walls to hang art, and you can swap out pieces super easily. I installed it in my plaster walls and ADORE it. You can see my picture rail in my den shown in this round up (the dark green room) and the tutorial is here:


    2. You can always hire someone to install your drapes and artwork. I do this regularly for my job and I’m SO THANKFUL to have someone else do it instead of me. I trust those guys so much I’ve debated hiring them to do stuff around my house.

  10. Thanks for including that picture rail molding in my moody den in your collection! Using picture rail molding is my ULTIMATE favorite way to hang art! No holes in the wall each time you hang! Easy to swap out art! Looks cool!

    If anyone is interested in how to install this art discplay method themselves, a super simple tutorial is here:

  11. I love seeing these very different vignettes!! I love the rug to hide TV idea. It looks so great!!! I know it’s not in style to hide the tv anymore but we just bought a vintage mid century modern gentleman’s chest to hide our TV in. I like watching TV, I just don’t want to see it all the time. And it is a bit of out of sight out of mind for us!

    1. Thank you Dena! After much deliberation, this was the lightest and easiest way to cover the screen while still being able to remove for viewing! We’re pretty happy with it…and what’s fun about it is we can change out the 4×6 rug anytime we want for a new look! xox

  12. Loved this! I recently moved and have a ton of art pieces/ framed photos sitting in piles all over the first floor. I am a perfectionist so hanging art gives me extreme anxiety because a) i want to make sure its in the perfect “forever place” and b) I can stand when I dont measure correctly and need to create another nail hole.

    Nonetheless, your right a home never really feels like home until the art is hung 🙂

  13. That four poster bed is fabulous.

    A while back you mentioned you were working on a post on choosing lighting fixtures for an entire home. Is that still in the works? Did I miss it?

    I am replacing all of the hardwired fixtures in our new home, and I know it would help guide the way.

  14. Inspiring ways to rethink hanging my 1,099 pix! Please inform us about the methods and hardware. What are those magical thingies and where do I purchase?
    Dr. Kat

  15. If you want a good vintage map, there is one massive tent at Brimfield that has them every year! They’re usually from Europe and are so unique! I know it’s across the country in Mass, but might be worth it 🙂 I try to go all 3 weekends a year just for fun!

  16. Ugh yes to the stacks of art hiding under the bed and in corners! I accumulate so much that is unframed – and framing is so expensive! That’s what holds me back. Figuring out where and how to hang never bothers me. I feel like little nail holes can be covered up relatively easily, so I just take a look at the wall and place the art on instinct. When it doesn’t work, I move it. I won’t have time this weekend to take up the challenge and go sorting out frames for a few more pieces, but perhaps I’ll prioritize next week. I wish you could just measure your piece and a perfect custom frame & matting would arrive and be simple to put together and look really professional. Wouldn’t that be a dream?!

  17. I love this collection of art displayed in different ways, each making a unique statement. I’m so happy to see one of my styling projects in the mix and agree 100% that finding a big, bold vintage map can be a full time obsession!

  18. I love round ups like this. I don’t follow a ton of design blogs on IG, so seeing different inspo is great. I have a blank dark teal wall in our dining room, so maybe this weekend is the time. I also need to remember that I can change and move art around, if I don’t like it later.

  19. I think the paintings on the framed painting wallpaper work because it’s hilarious – that one lady with the yellow background looks REALLY WORRIED about everyone else! Not criticizing, I would love that in my house!

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