How to Display a Group of Paintings on a Wall

Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

One of the biggest decorating mistakes often made is hanging small artwork above large furniture such as a sofa or bed. Since large pieces of art can be expensive, one way to overcome this is by grouping several pieces of art together. Paintings may be grouped vertically, horizontally or within the shape of a square or rectangle. Paintings are also often grouped together on long, bare walls and staircase walls.

Gather all the artwork you wish to display. While the pictures don’t need to have identical frames or mats, it is best to group items together that are similar (e.g., one silver frame would look odd in the same grouping with all other black frames). You can also group paintings by theme, such as beach images or travel pictures.

Decide what type of grouping you wish to make. For example, if you have three tall and thin paintings you want to place over a sofa, you would place them next to each other horizontally. If you have six smaller square pictures, you may want to group them in a rectangle shape. If you have numerous pictures you want to place on the staircase wall, you would place them at a vertical angle up the wall, following the line of the staircase.

Practice making the grouping on the floor before you hammer nails or place hooks into the walls. This way, you can see what your grouping will look like on the wall. Make sure each painting is placed equidistant from the others, ideally no more than three inches apart.

Use whichever picture hanging device is most appropriate for your type of wall (nails, dry wall hooks, etc.) to hang your images in the pattern you practiced.

Step back to look at your grouping. Make sure it is at eye level and is balanced.


  • By grouping paintings on top of each other (vertically), the wall appears taller. By grouping paintings next to each other (horizontally), the wall appears longer. While groupings may be asymmetrical, it is important to maintain balance.


About the Author

Lisa Hall began writing professionally in 1998. In addition to freelance writing, she worked as a graphic designer for international nonprofit organizations for six years until she started a home staging business in 2009. She frequently writes about art, design and home improvement. She holds a Master of Science in European social policy from The London School of Economics.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images