The flooring is down, the walls are freshly papered and painted, the curtains are hung and the furniture is in... what next?

It’s those little bits and pieces that really make a house a home isn’t it? And to be more specific, it’s those pieces that make it YOUR home; the lamps, the cushions, the vases and plants , the books lined up on the shelf, the artwork and photographs.

Artwork and photographs are an easy and inexpensive way to add heaps of personality and character to a room, and we’ve put together a few pointers to help you style and display your favourite pieces.

Consider what you want to frame and display

Photographs of family and friends are a go-to, as are your favourite art prints and originals. We would encourage you to think outside the box a little - frame your kids’ drawings, find an image or cool typography from a magazine, or beautiful book that you love, or use a cutting of incredible wallpaper or fabric to make a totally unique artisanal piece of art.

Choose your frame

Take a moment to consider how the piece of art or photograph will sit alongside your frame of choice. They should work with each other rather than fight with each other. Sometimes photographs or artwork are enhanced by a rustic frame, others by a beautiful antique opulent frame and still others by a more modern and minimalist frame.

Mounts are a good way to give a more elegant, elevated look to the contents of the frame. A particularly effective technique is to use a small photograph or piece of art within a large mount, and frame - this really draws the eye to the piece and has great impact.

Decide where to display your frames

Gallery Wall
A gallery wall is a striking and effective way to arrange a collection of artwork and photographs. Once upon a time we cluttered our sideboards and tables with frames, but making use of a gallery frees up space on our furniture, while also drawing our eye up to the wall and making a real statement feature!

Gallery walls offer great flexibility, allowing the homeowner to show off a variety of photographs, artwork and even 3D sculpture in one curated collection. There are various approaches you can take in tackling a gallery wall:

Centred Gallery Wall: Position the largest frame in the middle (making sure the centre of the picture is positioned at eye-level), and hang smaller pieces around it - giving them a couple of inches space to allow them to “breathe”, and to avoid a cluttered look. This is an elegant and slightly more formal way to arrange your frames.

Symmetrical Gallery Wall: this is a more structured, formal and tailored way to arrange frames, and is most effective when you group photos or prints together around a common theme. For example - all the prints have the same frame, all the prints are black & white, similar subject matter etc. Simply arrange the frames in a symmetrical grid, making sure the frames are all spaced equally apart.

Asymmetrical Gallery Wall: perfect if you have lots of different frames and pieces to hang! There are no regimented rules with this arrangement - it all hangs on what arrangement you like and what feels good to you. Lay your frames out on the floor and play around with the arrangement until you're happy before drilling any holes in the wall!

Picture Ledges

If you find it hard to commit to a gallery wall and are more drawn to moving things around in your room, then a picture ledge is an ideal alternative way to display photographs and artwork. Picture ledges are easy to come by and how many you use will depend on the size of your wall and the size of your frames. For a chic and stylish arrangement, keep frames all the same colour, but for a more eclectic look, mix your frames: white, black, wood, brass, and coloured. Be sure to make use of a mix of sizes - and even shapes - of frame for variety and interest, and to allow you to layer the frames.


Of course you can’t overlook some thoughtfully placed photographs and prints on side tables, sideboards and shelves throughout the home. The key here is restraint - layer a couple alongside a lamp and a plant on a sideboard, or style a few in a living room or dining room shelving-unit alongside carefully curated books, vases and decorative pieces. Sleek, minimalist frames add an air of elegance and softness but beautifully crafted artisanal frames add a punch of colour, texture, and surprise to a space.

February 07, 2024 — Catherine McMillan

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