Wednesday, December 2, 2015

8 Tips for Displaying Art in a Small Space

Wondering how to effectively showcase art in a small space? We can help:

header art on 8 Tips for Displaying Art in a Small Space article
  1. You don't have to think small... While small works hung together salon-style can have a dramatic effect, a large simple painting can have even more impact.

  2. But if you go small, do it right. Scattering small pictures everywhere can just look cluttered and make your friends and family think you're just one knick-knack away from needing a hoarding intervention. Instead, think of your pictures and the items surrounding it as a larger entity and design something that ties everything together. Unify your frames by color, style, and/or mat design. But in the end, let your own taste ultimately be the guide: after all, you're the one who will have to live and/or work there.

  3. Liberate your art from the walls. There are several ways to do this. First, consider bookshelf displays. Lean art in several layers against each other to add visual interest and interest. Overlap your art just into the frame/mat area, so as not to obscure the images themselves. And let common sense be your guide: if you're leaning a large heavy work against a wall, consider finding a way to anchor it to prevent possible injury. Display rails are another good way to display your art and rearrange items to your heart's content. Again, consider the possibility of a fall and select pieces carefully for this treatment: you don't want your most prized work to tumble to the ground.

  4. Don't forget the 3-D art. For example, custom-made furniture, pillows, pottery/ceramics, glasswork, metalwork, and wooden sculptures can all add style and character to a space. Some are small enough to be swapped out every few months to allow your rooms to change with the seasons.

  5. Discover «Window to the World Mandala», Exclusive Edition Throw Pillow by Janusian Gallery via Curioos


  6. Measure before you buy. Do you know how much space you have over the chest or sofa? You should if you're buying artwork to hang there. If at all possible, buy from a source that lets you "try before you buy" or has a generous return policy in case your treasures don't fit.

  7. Play with shape. If you're going with large artwork, consider acquiring a tall and thin piece to create the illusion of height. Want to draw your eye across a room? Then you'll want to think horizontal. Unusual shapes like discs an die-cuts also make a bold statement.

  8. Discover «Gold Mum Fall Kaleidoscope», Limited Edition Disk Print by Janusian Gallery via Curioos


  9. Think function and practicality as well as style. Want to hang that heavy piece directly in the middle of your space? Think again if there's no wall stud nearby. Also, avoid hanging valuable artwork over heaters and fireplaces. If you absolutely must have something where heat plays a factor, consider a mirror that can be safely cleaned regularly to add light and beauty. Function and practicality are important for rooms of all sizes. But small rooms, with less space, have fewer placement options.

  10. Know when to enlist the assistance of professionals. They can ultimately save you money in the long run by providing valuable design guidance and helping you avoid costly mistakes. And because of the discounts many professionals get from their own vendors, you may end up paying the same as if you'd gone to the vendor directly yourself. Finally, professionals are your entry to "to the trade" businesses that do not provide services to the general public. And if you have an extremely valuable or sentimental piece, consider hiring a professional picture hanger to install it for you.

Small spaces are ideal for creating intimate and stylish spaces at a fraction of the price of decorating a larger space. Ultimately, well-done rooms of any size are more welcoming and likable than poorly-done spaces. Good luck with your small space.


- Lynne Sabean


Janusian Gallery is dedicated to changing the way that people buy, create, and think about art. Visit us online at and/or download a free copy of the Janusian Manifesto here.

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