How to display a statement artwork

We have all been faced with a blank wall and wondered how to make it more appealing rather than a dead space to pass by.  There are a number of approaches to make it more interesting.  You can employ a collection of interesting items to group together so that the eye can meander slowly along the wall, or use a large mirror which is particularly effective if it reflects a beautiful view, or you can use one large statement artwork to create the perfect wow factor.

How to display statement artwork

I love this last option as a statement artwork adds the perfect finishing touch to a space, creating a dramatic effect and adding a personal element that ensures the room has character and appeal.  Clearly if your choice is to use a statement piece you need to ensure that firstly you really love it. 

Too often I see people select artwork they think they should buy rather than something that they really love.  This is fine when you can hide it in a corner but if it will be the major artwork statement in a space, you really need to love it.  You also need to ensure that it suits the look of the room and that the scale is right for the wall space.

How to display statement artwork
Image – SheerLuxe

A statement artwork will draw the eye directly to the area where it is displayed so ensure that you are not placing it where it will be in competition with a beautiful view.  Remember though if you have something you are trying to hide, an artwork like this can actually be used to great effect to draw the eye away from a less flattering part of the room, perhaps from an air conditioning unit or a dull outlook. 

Statement artworks also look great over a bedhead but you need to ensure that the scale of them is such that it is in proportion to the size of the bed.

Related: 5 tips to create a calm bedroom environment

How to display a statement artwork

Remember too that you don't have to confine a statement artwork to a wall in your home.  The trend for propping up artworks on shelving or on pieces of furniture is very popular and brings a casual note to the scheme.

Rather than finding the perfect space and committing to hanging a piece on the wall, it is very effective if you just prop up an artwork on a sideboard or chest of drawers.  This can still be quite a statement piece and displayed on an item of furniture really brings it into the styling vignette.

How to display statement artworks
Image – Urban Road artworks

As a statement piece, the artwork is likely to contain strong colour and this will usually look much more effective on a dark background.  A white background will make the artwork appear fresh and clean, however a beautiful rich dark background colour will really ground the artwork and ensure that it belongs in the space. 

Your eye will also be drawn directly to the statement artwork rather than the white space around it.  I'm not a big fan of feature walls anymore but if you have a wall where you are going to hang an artwork and group it with a chair, as in the image below, then I think this is a good reason to have a feature wall.  I'm just past the picking a wall out of four and plonking a colour on it – always think about the reason you are doing anything like this in design.

Related: How to work with a dark colour palette

How to display statement artworks
Image – Urban Road Artworks

Consider the colours that the artwork contains and draw out one of the darker hues to use as the background for the wall.  You will need to view large samples of your proposed paint colour behind the artwork to see which ones really work the best and display the artwork to its best advantage. 

A statement artwork should never be just isolated on a wall.  Artworks always look far more effective if they are part of the room, so above a chair or sofa, in a decorating vignette with a side table and plant or a gorgeous landscape piece over a bed.

For this reason I prefer gallery walls along hallways, as being part of a collection they become a vignette on their own.  Unless you have space for a slim console table that you can then hang a statement artwork above, I find it is preferable to use these walls for a gallery, possibly a family photo collection that you can appreciate as you meander past.

How to display a statement artwork
Image Mrs Paranjape

Alternatively you can hang statement artworks along a hallway if you group them.  The designer here in the image above has done a very good job with these four statement pieces as the frames tie in with the pendants and the large expanse of white within the artwork tie in with the white painted background creating a very pleasing rhythm along the wall.  So think carefully when you have an area like this that you would like to hang artwork in to avoid a beautiful piece looking lost and stranded on a large long wall.

Related: 7 tips for the perfect welcoming hallway

My final piece of advice is to enlist the services of a professional art installer, if you can find one.  I use one and even when I think I have the right spot chosen for a piece, he will just tweak it slightly and make it look so much better.  He can also hang large pieces in difficult to access areas and ensure that the beautiful statement artwork over the bed doesn't land on your head in the middle of the night!

Failing that and you want to DIY, bear in mind the points above and you are sure to find the perfect spot for that beautiful piece.

Do you have questions about how to display artwork or comments about this post.  If so don't forget to comment in the section below and follow me on Pinterest where I have a board dedicated to ideas and inspiration about displaying artworks.


How to display statement artworks

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