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Display artwork in your home : the how, the where, and the what

I love to inspire others to find joy in the simple things in life as well as share my journey as a mom of three little boys. My passions include decorating and design, photography, literature, education, and family life.

So many Mt. Hope Chronicles readers are creative and enjoy beautiful homes, but they’ve expressed their frustration that the ‘where, what, and how’ of wall décor trips them up. I’ve heard the question over and over: “Exactly how do I hang things on my wall?”

I thought I would share here at Simple Mom a few of the tips I use when decorating and designing the walls in my own home.


• Coordinate the shape and size of your wall decor with the shape and size of your wall space. Large items (or a grouping of small items) in a large space; small to small; horizontal to horizontal; vertical to vertical.

• Less is more. Try not to fill bare spaces for the sake of simply filling a space. Wait until you have something perfect or a piece that you really love. While it might take some experimenting and arranging, a little minimalism looks more attractive than haphazard or inadequate arrangements.

The Rule of Three applies to items hanging on the wall. Go for groupings with odd numbers.

If you have the space, be brave and try one over-sized element to make a bold statement.

• Don’t place numerous disconnected pieces throughout a room. Choose one or two favorites, consolidate into groupings, or ‘ground’ a wall item with a piece of furniture.

• Aim for consistent wall height between furniture and wall decor throughout a room. Stand in the center of the room and turn slowly. Do your eyes move up and down to follow the focal points along the wall, or do they move smoothly?

• When hanging items on a blank wall, aim for roughly eye level. If you want to be exact, the center of the item or grouping should be 55-58″ from the floor. In a child’s room, it would be appropriate to hangPhotobucket items lower on the wall to match a child’s eye level. I throw the eye level rule out the window when hanging a picture above an item of furniture such as a piano or above a mantel. I then hang the picture comfortably in the space available, as long as it is not hugging the ceiling.

• Think outside the box. Use unexpected items on the wall. If nothing else, they can be conversation starters. Hang game boards (Scrabble, Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly…), a grouping of white plates, decorative maps, empty frames painted in bold colors, a collection of straw hats or mismatched wooden oars for a summer atmosphere, a painted quotation, or an old door. You are only limited by the bounds of your imagination (and your husband’s tolerance level). Look through catalogs, magazines, and decorating books scouting for ideas.

• Create your own art. A canvas painted with a list of the things that makes you happy is much more personal in a home than a store-purchased, mass-produced, framed picture. Create silhouettes of your children or a collection of treasures found on a nature hike secured in a shadow box. Hang a large framed cork board, a board covered with stainless steel for a magnetic surface, or a surface painted with chalk board paint for an ongoing creative process. I used a cork board to create a personalized Christmas advent calendar.

• Don’t be afraid. Your home is a place for self-expression. A place to feel comfortable in your own skin. A place of acceptance. Ultimately, only you (and the members of your family) need to love the way your home looks and feels. Throw these tips out the window if they are unhelpful or hinder your creativity!

“The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

mt home chroniclesI love everything about Heidi and her blog, from the photos of her “forever house,” to the reasons she homeschools, to the little shop in Oregon her family runs that I enjoy when I travel there. She’s also the one who inspired me with this little idea. If you haven’t yet, subscribe to Mt. Hope Chronicles for more decorating and design ideas, and a celebration of the little things in life!

All photos by Heidi

Reading Time:

3 minutes





  1. nikkisnacs

    Great Tips!

  2. LisaHoo

    I love the Advent calendar — that’s the board with all the tags, right? I looked on your blog for more info but didn’t find it — I’d love to hear more about that project.

  3. Kori

    I love decorating ideas, I’m challenged in this area! I’m going to try the frames in the window pane thing, it looks so cute! Thanks for the great ideas.

    Koris last blog post..My First Giveaway!!

  4. Angela Fehr

    As an artist, I love to see good art on people’s walls – by good art I mean pieces that hold personal meaning to the owner, thoughtfully chosen, or created in love.
    A reminder that original artwork needs to be properly mounted and framed – I do watercolor paintings and they require more care than oils or acrylics do. I’ve put some tips for framing artwork, ideas on frame & mat colors, etc. on my web site

    Angela Fehrs last blog post..Cow Parsnip – Not Really a Great Painting Title

  5. Heidi @ Mt Hope

    LisaHoo~ I didn’t do a tutorial on my blog, so here is a quick rundown: I covered a large framed corkboard with black paper (you could paint it any color or use wrapping paper, etc.). I cut 25 tags out of craft paper and punched a hole in the top of each (I also used hole reinforcers). I used stamps, stickers, and rub ons to create the numbers. I mounted them on the board with thumb tacks (five rows of five). Then we hung an ornament (greenery, candycane, etc.) with the thumb tack of each tag as the days went by, so that the board was completely decorated by the 25th. That’s the quick version. Let me know if you have any other questions!

    Thanks, everyone, for the kind words and comments! I’m glad I had the opportunity to be featured here at Simple Mom!

    Heidi @ Mt Hopes last blog post..On the Wall

  6. Michie

    Thanks for the information on the advent bulliten board. It is really beautiful. I also noticed you had another little advent kind of thing in one of your posts – looked like a little apothocary table with 25 little drawers. I was interested in that project too.

    Sorry to be such a pain – but I really enjoyed looking at all of your projects!

    Michies last blog post..Happy/Grateful

  7. Therabreath

    Definitely a haven! This is another work of art! I would never go out of my house, if my house looks as beautiful as this. The wall decors compliment the paint of the walls. The table top decors are really exceptional. I salute your meticulous arrranging of your house.
    .-= Therabreath´s last blog ..Therabreath Plus Coupons =-.

  8. Melissa @ chalkboard stickers for wall

    These are awe inspiring!!! Your pictures and suggestions gave me lots of ideas for decorating my walls. Thank you very much for sharing these.

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