Tyson and Billy Architects

Art Hanging Inspiration

Over the holidays I was perusing through a gallery in Key West, and the gallery owner asked the standard question, what do you like?

My response: I like a little of everything. I'm eclectic as are my art choices.

His answer: Artwork is a journal. You buy a piece, you snap a photograph, and it helps you remember everything about that time period when you look at it.

Insert epiphany: Why in the world do I have art I've never hung and photographs I've never printed?!

Design Elements Blog

Which leads me to this post … time to hang more art, time to print my photographs, and time to be inspired.

Art is a designer's best friend. It can fill voids, balance rooms, and eliminate the "what's missing?" pause. This is that stop where you go: what's wrong with this room?

The only pause you should be making in any room is a - "Oh, wow."  - pause.

Here's a small sampling of art and photograph groupings I love to create a few - "Oh, wow." - moments of your own.


Entryways are always a neglected area of the home. There's a  - what do I do with this space? - question in most every home. So we often add a floor plant, toss a rug down, maybe a bench and we're done.

Wrong! The entryway should be the teaser to the rest of the house. A little preview of intrigue to come.

Art is a great way to lead you into a room or down a hall. Adding a mirror is a great way to fill a large wall without fighting the focus from the streamlined art on the adjacent wall.

Atlanta Home Magazine

Art doesn't necessarily need to be a framed picture. These stunning red hand hooks and a chunky mirror give a definite - Come hither and see what other surprises this house holds - statement.

Abigail Ahern

Less is More: This busy tiled floor is perfectly complimented by large scale art with white frames. If hanging multiples of 8x10s and 11x14s makes you break out in a cold sweat, opt for a large image that compliments your interior. Be simple and be impactful.

Lori Langille Blog


Black & White Sleek: large white mats and simple black frames unite this grouping. Great use of vertical space by hanging the pictures all the way up the wall.

Otterwerx, Tumblr

Touch of Gold: A beautiful red & gold color grouping that compliments the bedding. Framed art is on the petite size engulfed by the large white mats. This keeps the bedroom feeling serene and calm by minimizing the art subject matter.

Elements of Style

Daybeds can be on the awkward list of furniture to design around. The scale and size of this furniture piece can make a room feel unbalanced. Centered art above the daybed and a grouping on the far wall balances out the monster day bed and keeps the eye traveling across the room.

Design Manifest

Dining Rooms

The most common mistake I see made in hanging or placing art in a dining area is the orientation. Art should be placed or hung at eye level while you are seated, not eye level while you are standing.

Pictured here, art is displayed on the credenza creating a area of visual interested. The oversized light fixture fills the space above the art creating overall balance.    

The Glitter Guide 

How to handle the vertical wall space without changing your light fixture?

Create a large grouping that is oriented to both the seated view and the standing view. Notice the scale of the light fixture is petite allowing the art to be the focal point.

Dust Jacket Attic


Art in Kitchens? But where?

Most of us have every vertical surface of our kitchen covered in cabinets. For those that don't a empty spot can feel a bit off kilter. Something a few pieces of well placed art can resolve.

Gallery Kitchen: This is a little extreme, but can you imagine this space without all this art? A white tunnel stopping at the stove. Yick!

Filling this space with art makes use of the verticality of this room and gives this tiny space a cathedral like quality.

The Pursuit of Aesthetic

Minimal Clutter + Lots of Emphasis - open shelves in a kitchen can look very cluttered very quickly. A box of cereal or a loaf of bread can resulting in a lackluster eye level display.

Keep the function (pretty drinking glasses) and ditch the everyday food packaging (Wonder Bread). Subtle artwork on eye level now makes a pleasing display to view while washing dishes or chopping veggies.

House & Home

I bet these homeowners went where's my cabinet to the right of the window?

Feel like you are missing a cabinet or two? No problem, artwork appropriate to the scale of the cabinets fills the void and eliminates the "what's missing?" pause.

Blessed with sprawling countertops? Fill the not so often used surface space by placing artwork on the countertop. Lovely display.

Habitually Chic

Base Cabinets Only? Fill the vertical with art. Hint: changing the size of the art (as shown: 3 small on the left & 1 large on the right) keeps this focal wall interesting, rather than a one note view that art all in one size would create. Spice it up with variety.

Habitually Chic

More to come on this. I will cover kid's rooms, bathrooms, living rooms, and home office another day. Following that - a post of my "go to" websites for unique artwork.

I hope this got you thinking about what's stored in your attic or pictures sitting in a folder on your desktop. Let those captured moments live on your walls.

Be inspired.

~ Kelly



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