7 Unexpected Places to Hang Art

Ideas for hanging wall art in unexpected ways

Lean art up against a wall for an unexpected look

Not only does the art you display in your home add instant interest, it also serves as a reflection of your distinct personality and style. So whether you have a framed concert poster, original canvas art or a statement-making mirror, you should display it proudly. And if you’re bored with traditional wall hanging arrangements or simply lack the wall space, check out our ideas for unexpected places to hang your wall decor.

Mirror hung over a window

In Front of Windows

Let the great outdoors serve as your backdrop for a great piece of art. This idea works especially well in rooms with multiple windows and little wall space. Here, we hung a sunburst mirror over an upholstered headboard to create a focal point.

Hang art up high, like over a bookshelf

Up High

Sometimes, you just have to throw conventional wisdom out the door. Most designers will tell you to hang artwork at eye level, but we love the unexpected look of a piece of art hung high, just below the ceiling trim. This works best when hung above a bookshelf or large piece of furniture to anchor it to the room.

Hang art from the shelves of a built-in bookshelf

Fronting a Bookshelf

If you have a wall full of bookshelves (a good problem to have!), add a focal point — and give the eye a rest — by hanging a piece of wall art in front of the shelves. It’s also a good way to block unsightly storage on open shelving.

Art can live outdoors as well.

On Your Patio or Porch

Hanging art in an outdoor covered area is an unexpected touch that enlivens a space and makes it feel more like an extension of your home. Whether you choose wall decor specifically for outdoor spaces or just bring your favorite pieces outside, we love the warmth and personality this creates.

Art hung up a staircase

Staggered Up a Staircase

A common place to showcase a family photo gallery, the staircase is often overlooked for displaying an art series. This blank expanse of wall is the perfect place for large-scale art of a similar size and nature.

Layer art of other pieces of art for a unique look

Layered Over Other Pieces

Don’t be afraid to overlap artwork and accessories. It adds richness, a welcome layer of depth and color, while managing to look a little less staged and a little more like a real home.

Hang art in a small niche

Inside Niches

Jazz up entry cabinet storage, an open shelf or an empty nook with a beautiful piece of wall decor. It breaks up the space while creating a pleasing focal point for the eye.

Browse our wall decor items and get inspired to hang more art in your space, our browse Wall Decor pins on Pinterest.

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.