Have you ever really considered your options for how to arrange pictures? You spend hours browsing shops and online galleries for the perfect picture for your fancy pants living room. You double the cost of the picture by framing it so it looks just so. Then what? You nail a hook at eye height and stick it centred above the mantle? You’re so pleased you finally got round to hanging it you haven’t even noticed you’ve completely missed it’s potential to transform the room. Steady there… let’s look at your options for how to arrange pictures creativity.

how to arrange pictures

Introducing Naptime Makeovers

I aim for this post to become the first of a series that will encourage me to get off my butt and start dressing my home as I want it. These posts will also allow me to pluck up the courage to start blogging about something I’m formally trained in – Architecture and Design. We have been living here for 18months and other than getting the house neutrally painted from top to bottom and installing wood flooring, we have done little work on styling and finishing it. I was pregnant with twins when we moved here so cut me some slack… but the boys are now one and I should probably start chipping away at those spaces that are somewhat lacking.

Because I have no family or childcare available and don’t want my children to lose a finger or an eye in the name of renovation, I will be making these interventions during the Twins’ Naptime. So, what little makeovers can you get done during the 90minutes babies sleep? We’re going to find out… and we’re starting with how to arrange pictures. Wish me luck and I hope you’re feeling sleepy babies!

How to Arrange Pictures:
Some Creative Options

The Gallery Wall

Photograph taken by Julia Robbs. Sourced from gravityhomeblog.com

This industrial loft apartment in Brooklyn really works the gallery wall. The textured brick, double height end wall is perfectly organized with an off centre collection of monochrome frames. The frames are similar enough to hold together as a uniform group while varied enough to avoid formality. Abstract photographs in shades of greys and blues are warmed by the rustic backdrop of the brick, it really is marvellous.

For more photos of this fantastic apartment visit Gravity Home.

Overlapping on the Mantle

Sourced at countryliving.com

This cosy but cool home is a few minutes from me in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Designed by Linda Criswell, the white washed tones are offered in a number of textures, bringing a country feel to the desert. The informal arrangement of the mantle delivers a welcoming warmth and teams with the animal furs and casual scatter cushions to place the house feel like home.

For more pictures of this Paradise Valley home and other design by Linda Criswell, visit Bungalow Furniture.

The Modern Picture Rail

Photo taken by Earl Carter. Sourced from oconnorandhoule.com

Whether you’re in a historic restored home or something more modern, everyone can make use of a picture rail. Once installed you can swap and change your pictures around easily without damaging walls, perfect for the indecisive amongst us.

This Victorian terrace in Melbourne has been renovated to make the most of traditional style with a contemporary palette. The choice of pictures and placement breathes modern, without overwhelming the original features of the house. 

For more pictures of this house and other projects visit O’Connor and Houle.

Oversized Floor Picture

Photo taken by Grace Alyssa Kyo. Sourced at thegracetales.com

If you’re cool enough to not even bother putting your picture up, take a look at the country home of Kristy Withers in Sydney. The casual lean of this oversized print is purposefully informal, softening a whitened space to avoid sterility. The simplicity oozes class and the horse image and the cow hide rug and perfect together.

For more images of Kristy’s home visit The Grace Tales.

The Picture Ledge

Photo by Anna Truelsen. Sourced at mylovelythings.blogspot.com.es

Welcome to the home of fellow blogger Anna Truelsen. I’m presuming all the mess is shunted out of the photo, because this place looks immaculate. This simple double photo ledge not only looks refined, but also means you don’t need to worry about measuring and lining up your pictures… it’s made for the lazy perfectionist. I’ve seen some great photos of spaces using ledges to overlap a number of different sized pictures, similar to the mantle shown above, but I love the clean look of these identical monochrome frames.

Find more pictures of Anna’s home at her Swedish blog My Lovely Things

Floor to Ceiling

Photos by Peter Fehrentz. Sourced at dwell.com

Just to show you don’t have to go big to go floor, welcome to Peter Fehrentz’s apartment in Berlin. His picture gallery wall runs ceiling, creating a waterfall of small frames that seems to tumble down the side of the wooden chair. And who can’t notice that perfect pink picture that matches the paint work…

To see more of Peter’s apartment, this article from dwell.com tells you all about it.

Today’s Naptime Makeover

Now I’ve browsed high design until my eyeballs fell out, I had better get on and decide how to arrange pictures in my own home.

I may not live in a whitewashed art studio warehouse, filled with people that make money out of being ironic. I may not own any original Rothko canvases that I can strategically place on the floor so that my children can add to it with a Sharpie. However, I do have a home lovingly built by a mass housing developer in 1987, a bunch of pictures and around 90minutes to myself. Lets see what we can do…

Before Naptime:

How long has that frame been wonky?

After Naptime:

ah… that’s better.


Naptime makeover complete! It really has made a difference, and I can confirm that small interventions like this can be done during naptime. The twins even slept for an extra 30mins, even though I was nailing hooks into the other side of their bedroom wall… what a success.

So go on, look at your walls. Have you considered how to arrange pictures creatively?



  1. Lovely- I wish I still had a naptime to do ANYTHING. Luckily for me my mom was a visual arts manager at a huge home goods store so I got all my tips and tricks from her!

    Thanks for linking up to #globalblogging linky lovely!

  2. My living room (so far from fancy pants it is in another country) is filled with family pictures, framed cheaply or with fancy Disney frames from holidays. Although one wall resembles the gallery wall style it was not intentional, just space at a premium! #GlobalBlogging

  3. Yay good on you for getting that done! I have a variety of ways I hang my art. I have some on the floor against the wall which I love, my fav being a large print I framed that we got on honeymoon in Vanuatu. I also have some raw canvases which I display the same way. I then have some of hubbys and my black and white photographic pieces on the wall. We only moved in 7 months ago to this house so I have some more family photos I have to and upstairs but haven’t done that yet. Thanks for inspiring me xx #globalblogging

    • Ooo… it sounds like you’ve got some serious display skills… I love an over-sized canvas on the floor! Good luck getting the upstairs sorted, as you’ve only been there 7 months it sounds like you’ve done pretty well so far 🙂

  4. I love the floor to ceiling layout! I have a cathedral ceiling in the living room so my walls are 14 feet high. I can never figure out what to do to make it look decorated! Everyone says that pictures should be hung just around eye height but then all of the walls above it look completely ridiculous! I may need to take a few photos and ask your opinion.

  5. I love the gallery wall. We have a giant picture frame I have been trying to upcycle and make into a unique project for about 3 years, because I am terrible at finishing things haha. I will have to get a move on! x #bigpinklink

  6. I really need to work on our pictures! I still have to put some up! These are great ideas! I love “Naptime Makeover” – also the fact that ALL my kids still nap, the day that ends will be heartbreaking 🙂 #globalblogging


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