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10 Unique ways to show your artwork, photos, and souvenirs

Changes will affect all areas of life, including our art styles and decorating preferences. It could be the changing trends, the size of your collection, or a new location entirely.

Whatever it be, there are so many creative ways to display your collections so that it compliments your home, personality, and transition needs allowing you to adjust all year round.

So, if you love collecting art but aren't sure how to display it or want some fresh ideas…

Dig into these versatile and creative ideas, and I’m sure you’ll discover something that’s just to your liking.

1. Embrace Grids & Collage Layouts

If your looking to display as many items as possible while still showing balance and organization, using grid and collage layouts can bring a clean look to a bunch of random pictures.

You can create a designed silhouette from the grid or collage that negates the need for a single large piece and can be a design element on its own.

They can be as large or small as you wish yet satisfies the brain's need for order, especially when using a large number of items.

Tip: Use tape or craft paper to determine your layout before hanging the first frame. You can also mark where the nail holes are on the paper pre-drill or nail in the hangers without worrying that it will shift something unintended.

2. Utilize monochromatic mats and frames, etc.

If you’re looking for a unified way to display as many pieces of art as possible, I suggest you look into a monochromatic or themed color pallet in your art, frames, or mats.

This creates cohesion and reduces the chance of a chaotic or overwhelming display, no matter how you present them.

You don’t even need to restrict yourself to neutral colors. I find this to be the easiest solution, as you can always paint a frame.

3. Make Use of the Corners

If you’re looking for a way to smoothly transition one room or pathway into another or to feature your art unconventionally, using corners is always a pleasant surprise that creates a unique focal point.

You can use these corner galleries to navigate, break up larger grid/collage layouts, bring focus to strategic areas of the home, etc.

This trick is most favorably used on staircase landings.

4. Hanging High to Low & Utilizing the Floor

When feeling experimental, you can cover the entire wall with artwork of your choice. Go for floor-to-ceiling installations that include travel souvenirs, photographs, and your favorite paintings. Mixing different art forms can enhance the look, add depth, and create a statement wall that tells a story and has an impact.

Utilizing the floor is a fantastic way of bringing some unexpected interest to forgotten nooks, crannies, and corners.

This eliminates the hassle of hanging or holes in the wall, making it easy to swap items out without worrying about placement or weight changes. The undone effect gives your home a nonchalant, lived-in touch.

Using the floor to lean larger or heavier pieces creates interest in an unexpected way while still appearing relaxed and informal, without the need for special hardware.

5. Feature the Stairway

Stairs automatically capture our view, and add to the drama with well-placed artwork?

  • Over: The empty walls beside your staircase are one of the best spots in the house to display your favorite artwork. Take a journey up or down the stairs with strategically curated and placed works of art or memorabilia. The stairwell creates a framed stage for your art to be featured.

  • Under: The uniquely sized spaces under the stairs are typically underrated areas, whether you choose a little nook with a single piece, smaller pieces in a grid, or along the steps to embrace the architecture.

  • Landings: Stairwell landings are ideal moments to add something eye-catching as it's a moment of transition causing a lingering or pausing effect. These areas are ideal for large grids or statement pieces.

6. Double Purpose Doors, Cabinets & Shelf Framing

Don’t let an unused door get in the way of your art!

This fun trend should have taken off sooner. I remember a simple frame around the peephole in the TV show Friends, and thinking why don’t more of us hang art on doors.

Try re-utilizing those spaces with something more inspiring to look at than coat and towel hooks. Plus the doors act as a frame for the artwork.

Tip: Make sure the works you use are safely mounted and able to withstand constant touching and movement.

A newer trend is mounting works of art onto the exterior of bookcases instead of setting them with. This allows the room to appear larger by fooling the eye into thinking it’s part of the wall.

This is a great way to incorporate shelving into the architecture of the home, adding a touch of the unexpected.

Tip: Be sure to put lesser-used items behind the artwork to reduce irritation later.

7. Make use of small forgotten spaces

Areas such as closets, entryways, bathrooms, and over cabinets are often neglected areas in the house for visual expression. Make use of these areas and create pleasant surprises by jazzing up these small spaces with a piece or two, or several, or repurposing the space altogether.

8. Accent Furniture or Architecture

Don’t let the fact that there’s already something taking up space on the wall stop you from making it a larger statement piece.

Areas like:

  • Doorways

  • Windows

  • Fireplaces

  • Cabinets

  • Entertainment Centers

  • Dressers

  • Shelves

These are focal points already, so why not give them some added interest?

As long as there’s no risk of damage from door bumps, kids, pets, etc… I’d say go right ahead and turn these forgotten areas into focal pieces.

This works best when you have a consistent theme running through either the artwork or framing.

9. Layering Your Art

When working with multiple pieces, or types of artwork, another trick to displaying several pieces at once is by layering them. This adds depth, and intrigue, and creates a modern contemporary look that’s still versatile.

Try layering them on the walls, in or on shelves, counters, tabletops, the floor, etc...

10. Incorporate Accessories

For a full-fledged art display without the nails that go with it... add lots of shelves and utilize tabletops.

  • Photo ledges: If you're the type that likes to change artwork out as quickly as you put them up, or change things out for the season, a photo ledge could be the perfect solution for you with a versatile and modern look.

    • Instead of committing to a permanent display (and the holes, measuring, and nails that go with it), photo ledges allow you the flexibility to quickly and easily rearrange your photos on a whim.

  • Shelves & Tabletops: When you want to display various sized, or types of objects that require more room, try using the back of a desk, table, or a few shelves in your bookcase to create small shadow box moments of art.

  • Rails & Hangers: If you like your work on the wall, but love the idea of repositioning or replacing your art without the hassle of placing new hardware, or looking for a stud, then a picture rail might be your best friend.

    • This not only helps with dividing 2 toned rooms but adds an element of character.

    • Don’t like the idea of a solid rail? Break it up with segmented hangers and simply change out your pieces.

  • Found Items: these are the most fun, unexpected and creative ways to display your collection, as they are typically one-of-a-kind, or not so mainstream that everyone's already done it. Items such as ladders, ropes, towel and curtain rods, doorknobs, etc. are fun and unique while adding interest to the work and decor esthetic as a whole.

Use some of these tips or a combination of them to bring some excitement to your art display that will be pleasing for you, yet different and exciting for your guests and visitors.

Be careful where you choose to place some works of art, as sunlight, temp changes, moisture, etc… can have adverse effects on the lifespan of your treasures. If you’d like to know what precautions to take, feel free to check out this post or use this quick and easy checklist for placing your art.

Happy decorating!

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