Living Room: Hanging mismatched art

This “final” living room post has been rather difficult to write. I started with the idea that I’d talk about hanging the art around the room, but something about it keeps rubbing me the wrong way. Maybe it’s that there’s really no homemade or handmade element to what I’ve done (well, there is to two of the art pieces, but I’ll share those later), or maybe it’s that the whole discussion feels kind of privileged. Compared to the budget I had when I started this blog, this room was furnished in absolute luxury. Feels kind of like cheating. And it’s not say that the room is phenomenal either. It feels like home and I love a lot of individual elements in it, but I wouldn’t say it’s anything that shows I have an eye for design or anything. I think it’s pretty average for what a person can pull together with a little bit of money and a few decent pieces of furniture and art. So with that, I want to say, I am totally open to suggestions. Anything striking you as off? Any ideas for what would pull the room together a bit more? I’m fairly happy with the side by the windows, but the other half of the room doesn’t have the same “put together” feel.

Hanging art on the walls made a huge difference in making the living room feel cozier after I repainted it a light icy blue.

Some of the walls needed little to no art, mostly due to huge windows and big pieces of furniture.

TV corner after

While all the others were in need of something.

I had a hard time deciding what to do on the opposite side of the french doors, especially since I normally leave that door open all the time. I could have left it blank, I suppose, but it’s very visible when you are sitting on the couch or the green chair and it just looked empty. In the end, I decided to go with one mid-sized picture and treat the wall as though the door wasn’t there. Here’s what it looks like from the couch at night. 

painting behind french door

I actually could have gone a little bigger, but I had already decided to buy a big piece for the adjacent wall. It’s not ideal to have a picture partially obstructed, but it look better than it did with a blank wall—and it gave me an excuse to order a print that I’d been wanting for a while (Autumn in Orillia by Franklin Carmichael. I ordered the print from and LOVE the paper it was printed on. It was heavy and matte and textured – perfect for a water color print. I got the frame at Michaels after quite the hunt for a frame the correct size.)

On the wall opposite the windows, I chose to go big and bold, yet simple with one gigantic painting that I’d been lusting after for two years. (To give you an idea of the scale, that painting is 48 inches by 48 inches and about two inches deep.)


And on the wall next to that, you can see the start of my art collage project for the remaining wall. See, those first two walls were easy. I invested a some money in two pieces I really liked and had been wanting for a while. But if you’ve been reading for a while, you know I love collecting artwork that speaks to me, so it should be a surprise that I had quite a few framed pieces and bits of brick a brack sitting around waiting to be hung in the perfect spot.

The big challenge of the living room was the wall opposite the french doors: A row of high windows, a low couch and two big blank patches of wall. (Ignore the paint color, of course. I neglected to take a proper “before” pic.)


I had around a dozen pieces to play with, including framed photos, prints, some fun fabric pieces, a tortoise shell (faux, from Target) and a carved mirror. Almost none of the frames matched and the orientations went both ways. I followed the Young House Love paper-template approach to planning and traced the outlines of all the objects onto pieces of paper (I used a lot of packing paper I had laying around – a nice non-destracting neutral to play with, but it tended to be wrinkly). Then I used painters tape to play around with the different options.

big wall after

After a few days of hemming, hawing and rearranging, I finally got bold and started nailing. I started with the largest objects on each wall, and did a little rearranging after each additional object was added. And here’s where it ended up.



When it comes to hanging a gallery wall, I highly recommend the paper template approach. It made it so fast and easy and I knew exactly where to put all the nails. I really like how the arrangements came together on either side of the windows.

The things I’m still considering: Let’s see…should I expand the gallery wall and flow things under the windows? Should I put shelving or something in the two empty corners of the room? Get a longer sideboard instead of the dresser that’s under the horse painting? An actual table between the two refinished chairs? For now, I’m calling it done, but if I find a great piece that I think will help tie it all together a bit better, I may make some changes down the road.


3 thoughts on “Living Room: Hanging mismatched art

  1. You have done a beautiful job! My only adjustment would be the horse painting. That area is so jammed together it looks like it wants to burst free, lol! I would consider hanging the art instead of leaning it but just 4″ or so above the console and maybe just off centre to the right, and move the console just to the left. It will open it up a bit and balance that wall. At least that’s how I picture it!

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