How to Arrange Pictures Creatively

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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?


Once you’ve purchased your dream picture, you may be tempted to nail a hook at eye height and stick it centered 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:
Some Creative Options

The Gallery Wall

This eclectic gallery wall in Seattle is a floor to ceiling beauty. A staircase is a classic and fun place to arrange your smaller pictures together. Don’t worry if frames don’t match. Don’t fuss too much over positioning, just let the eclectic charm work for you! See more pictures of this light and airy home at designers’ Heidi Caillier’s website.

Overlapping on the Mantle

This cozy but neutral-colored home is classically styled and I love the purple accents. Pictures arranged casually overlapping reduces formality and similar to the picture ledge below, can be swapped easily.

The Traditional Hanging Picture Rail

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

I don’t know why houses stopped installing picture rails. The way the pictures suspend downwards is rather fabulous. For more images of this historic but modernized home by designers JKA, check out their website.

Pictures on the Floor

If you’re cool enough to not even bother putting your picture up, just lean them against the wall. The casual propping on prints is purposefully informal, softening a whitened space to avoid sterility. The simplicity oozes class although if you have little ones you might find they don’t stay put for long!

The Picture Ledge

The beauty of a picture ledge is that is is easy to update with the seasons. You can add temporary pieces if your kids have a masterpiece of the week, and it has a casual appeal in its simplicity!

Picture ledges also make great bookshelves, especially for kids because they can clearly see the book covers rather than having to browse book spines. I love the example below, and I used the exact same idea with my own playroom reading nook makeover.

Arranged in Uniformity

Sometimes, OCD organization pays off. Identical frames, uniformly arranged pictures can look stunning!

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!

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. Let’s 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?

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About the author

Katherine is an electrochemist, hiking enthusiast, and family lifestyle blogger. As a mom of three, including twins, she enjoys DIY, travel, and eating good food. British born, Katherine moved to the US in 2014, and now called Las Vegas home.

14 thoughts on “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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