Decorating your home with art can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Finding pieces that speak to you and reflect your personality helps create a space that feels uniquely yours. However, choosing art and figuring out how to display it properly can also feel overwhelming at times. There are so many options and factors to consider from size to framing to placement. Don’t let the details deter you. With some broad strokes to guide you, curating an art collection you’ll love is very achievable. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.

Have a Vision

Before starting your search, spend some time thinking about the look and feel you want your art to help create. Are there particular colors, textures, eras, or styles that appeal to you? Do you prefer an eclectic mix or a tightly curated collection? Having a vision in mind will help focus your efforts and prevent impulsive purchases. Take stock of the decor you already have and look for art that enhances that aesthetic. Your personal taste is the most important factor when building your collection.

Consider the Wall Space

Take measurements of your walls and spaces where you intend to hang art. Scale and proportion are key for a cohesive look. Oversized pieces can overwhelm a small space, while too small a work might get dwarfed on a large wall. When planning a gallery wall with several frames, map out arrangements on the floor first to play with flow and placement. Measure both width and height to select the right mix.

Choose a Focal Point

In every room you want to create a focal point that draws the eye. This is a great spot for an important, statement-making piece. The focal point could be over the mantel, behind the sofa, or on the wall behind a dining table. Choose art with presence like large size, vibrant colors, or compelling subject matter. Flank it with coordinating works to create an appealing arrangement. The focal point helps anchor the room.

Mix Media and Styles

Don’t limit yourself to just paintings and prints. Consider photography, mixed media, sculpture, and even functional art like decorative mirrors. Mixing up the media keeps your collection from becoming one-note. Having a range of styles, from impressionism to abstract to contemporary, also adds more visual interest. However, aim for cohesion by repeating colors, frames, shapes or artistic techniques. The art doesn’t have to match, but it should coordinate.

Scale is Important

As mentioned before, scale and proportion create balance and flow. When grouping smaller works together, hang them close together and at the same height. For differently sized pieces, go wider and lower with larger works and tighter and higher with smaller ones. Oversized art can dwarf furnishings and looks best with lots of breathing room. For large walls, choose a few sizable works with negative space around them. Scale prevents chaos.

Frame with Intention

Framing finishing the artwork and brings all the elements together. Carefully choose frame colors, widths, textures that complement your pieces. Neutral tones like black, white, and brown are classic options. Distressed wood and metallics add flair. Frames should never overpower but they impact the look dramatically. Gallery walls look best with identical or coordinating frames. Invest in quality framing and be willing to spend on custom options. It makes a difference.

Arrange Thoughtfully

Once you have your pieces selected, thoughtfully arrange them for the most pleasing configuration. Spread art throughout the room, rather than clustering in one spot. Utilize horizontal and vertical orientations. Frame edges should align when grouping multiple works together. For asymmetrical arrangements, offset with largest piece in the center. Play with layouts on the floor first. Stand back frequently to check sight lines and flow as you hang. Minor adjustments can make a big difference.

Height Matters

Standard height for hanging art is about 57-60 inches from the floor to the center of the frame. But rules are made to be broken. Go lower for small pieces or tall ceilings. Highlight large works by going near the ceiling. Clustered arrangements can descend gradually. Place art near seating at eye level. In stairways or hallways, descend the art as you descend the stairs. Let your architecture and proportions guide you.

Lighting Sets the Mood

Properly illuminating your art is key. Bright overhead lights flatten the work, while dim lights obscure. Position lights to graze the art at a 45-degree angle. Wall sconces subtly light without glare. For security, LED rope lights under ledges provide soft glow. Add accent lighting to highlight your focal point. Layered lighting with dimmers allows you to set the perfect mood for enjoying your art.

Take Your Time

Curating an art collection you’ll enjoy for years requires time and diligence. Seek out small galleries, local art fairs, Etsy artists in addition to large retailers. Develop a relationship with a framer who understands your aesthetic. Live with new pieces before hanging to see their impact. Your collection will evolve as your taste evolves. The joy is in the process of gradually filling your home with art that moves you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some tips for buying art on a budget?

  • Check thrift stores and garage sales for hidden gems
  • Purchase unframed prints and frame them yourself
  • Commission student or emerging artists selling affordable original art
  • Attend free local art receptions to discover new artists
  • Scan museum gift shops which carry unique prints

Should art match my furniture?

Not necessarily. Cohesion is more important than matching. Artwork that picks up some colors from your furnishings while also adding contrast helps tie the space together. Similar palette plus some eclecticism creates interest.

How do I hang art on drywall without damaging it?

Use drywall anchors designed for hanging heavy objects. Toggle bolts grip both front and back. Adhesive screw hooks can work for lightweight pieces. Doubled sided mounting tape can also be used for small works.

What type of lighting should be used on art?

Wall washing the art with LED or halogen lights at a 45-degree angle is ideal. Go for diffused, indirect light. Avoid spotlights which create glare. Dimmer switches allow you to control intensity.

Should I hang art in entryways?

Absolutely. An entryway creates a first impression so use art to convey your style. Floating shelves nicely display collections of smaller works. Tall canvases make the space feel grand. Just avoid pieces that could get bumped into frequently. Choose durable works.


The way you decorate your walls makes a statement. An art collection that resonates with your personality helps craft a space that feels like home. By keeping scale, frames, arrangement and lighting in mind, you can thoughtfully curate and display pieces that will bring you joy. Don’t rush the process. Seek out art that makes your heart sing. The end result will be well worth the effort.