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5 Ways to Display Art in Unconventional Ways

Barbara Mangoni, founder of South Hill Interiors, shares her top five tips on how to display artwork in unconventional and interesting ways. She was recently on The Morning Show showing viewers how to incorporate these ideas using Posterjack art.  

These days when it comes to decorating our home it’s Pinterest to the rescue. There’s an endless stream of “pins” to pin, but when it comes to creating your own art wall it becomes a little overwhelming to put on your “Martha hat” and turn those pins into nails.

To get you inspired, here are my tips to go beyond the traditional eye level photo wall and display artwork in unconventional and interesting ways.

1. Layer Your Artwork

Layering art on shelves or mantles, instead of placing on the wall, makes it easy to move pieces and quickly change the look of your room.

You can mount one large piece on the wall – lean and overlap the others below it on a bookshelf or credenza – a very low fuss bohemian feel.

You can also achieve layering using various different types of framing and photo mounting methods. There are so many great ways to print your photos these days that it is quite easy to turn them into pieces of art. Layering wood prints with acrylic prints and gallery frames results in a very eclectic and interesting look.

Global The Morning Show tips on how to display your art

Layering artwork

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Displaying art by layering

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2. Mount Your Art in and on a Bookshelf (or Built-In)

Use bookshelves to display your art! Take it one step farther by printing a favourite photo on a Peel & Stick decal and lining the back of a bookcase. This adds another dimension to your décor – one of those small details that can make a significant impact!

Display a framed photo or canvas print in front of a bookshelf – how often do you really take those books off the shelf? This is a look that keeps reappearing in many glamorous libraries, dens and living rooms. It’s one of those “more is more” looks that can be considered daring or unusual.

Global Morning bookshelves for displaying art

Displaying art on bookshelves

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Decorating with art displayed on bookshelves

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Artwork displayed on bookshelves

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3. Mix Your Materials and Use Objects

Create a mixed media focal wall and print photos on unconventional materials, like wood, acrylic, canvas or metal. Frame old keepsakes – like a ticket stub or playbill – or architectural salvage pieces, it gives them a gallery-like feel. Clocks, letters and mirrors are also perfect!

Don’t overlook small areas to create mixed media vignettes – coffee tables are great for this! Mix objects with your favourite coffee table books, a pop of colour with fresh florals and add photography with free-standing Acrylic Blocks.

Global TV The Morning Show coffee table displaying art

Using objects as art

Image courtesy of South Hill Interiors

Displaying art on a coffee table

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Incorporating coffee table trays in home decor design

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4. Dress Your Corners with Artwork

Hang art around your corners to create a focal point in a hallway or “corner gallery wall.” There are some really great examples of this on Pinterest. You can even hang your photos so they cut across an inside corner.

Tip: Trace your framed art and photographs on kraft paper and tape them on your wall using painters tape. Rearrange them until you are pleased with the groupings. Hammer your nail into the wall when the taped paper is still up, test your mounting to ensure it is within the paper cut out. Remove paper and hang art.

Displaying art on walls around corners

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Displaying art on corner walls

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Pre-planning when decorating a wall with art

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5. Hang Your Art Low

Hanging art below the chair rail, or leaning pieces on books against the wall is a great way to create interest in an unexpected way. It is also a very relaxed look that is less structured and formal.

Try to get away from the idea of hanging art at eye level only. Mounting art and photographs from floor to ceiling creates impact as it transforms an entire wall into a gallery. It is a great example of how breaking the rules can result in fabulous décor moments in your home.

Global Morning displaying art unconventionally

Displaying photo art on top of a stack of magazines

Image courtesy of South Hill Interiors

Hanging art unconventionally low

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Home decor tips displaying art unconventionally low to the ground

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Art hung low on the wall

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About the Author

Barbara Mangoni is the founder/principal of South Hill Interiors and a seasoned journalist. She has worked for several media outlets including CTV, CBC, MuchMusic, CityTV, CP24 and The Discovery Channel. You can find Barbara on Twitter and Instagram.

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