How to Arrange Wall Art - A Complete Guide for Beautiful Arrangements

In this guide we will show you how to arrange wall art, pictures and posters on your walls. We will show you broad tips on how to arrange them for maximum effect, but we will also focus on specifics regarding how to arrange groups:

    - Of 2 pictures,
  • - Of 3 pictures,
    - Of 4 pictures,
    And more.

We will start by choosing the placement of your pictures, paintings or posters and deciding on where to hang them. Then you will see how to arrange them to make your walls come to life - we have some great examples to show you!

So, how can we arrange wall art, pictures and posters? Find the inspiration and our tips below!

Art Placement Matters

The first important step is deciding on a placement of your pictures, and the overall layout of the arrangement you want to create. Hanging your art in a thoughtful way will add to the balance and warmth of the room. So, where to hang your pictures & art?

We have a few tips for you, which we think will help you better arrange your wall art.

Where to hang pictures?

You can hang your pictures basically everywhere where there is space on your walls, especially:

    1. Over the fireplace
  • 2. Over the sofa
    3. Over a desk
    4. Over the bed
    5. Over the table
    6. On a blank wall

    Hanging art over the Fireplace

    If you have a fireplace in your room, it instantly creates a focal point, and an ideal place to

    arrange your pictures. You can either hang a picture over the fireplace, or arrange them as a display on the mantel. Either using one bigger art (ideally in the same width as the opening of the fireplace), or a couple of smaller ones.
    hanging art over fireplace

    We have more abstract scenery posters on Displate.

Hanging art over sofa

Hanging art over the sofa is always a good idea, and it works in all (or nearly all) cases. There are sofas in every apartment, and it’s another natural focal point of the room - ideal to display your wall art and pictures. 
Below - an example of floral and botanical posters over a sofa.
Arranging art over sofa

On a blank wall - creating a Focal Point when arranging wall art

In some cases you might just have a blank wall, or other pieces of furniture that aren’t necessarily natural focal points. Don’t worry, you can create your own! By hanging groups of pictures you can beautifully decorate your wall, make it interesting and immediately warm up your room. This is a great idea for decorating a blank wall.

On a blank wall art arrangement

You will find more examples of hanging paintings, pictures and posters further in the guide.

Arrange your pictures first, then put them on a wall (not the other way around!)

It’s important to first think about and try the arrangements before making any real commitments on the wall. You don’t want to put all the work in, and then have to disassemble it!

We have a few tips for you:

    - Gather all your art and pictures, and put them on a table (or the floor)

  • - Move them around, try to get the arrangement that you’d like on your wall. This is the creative process, that will allow you to do different things without committing to one solution

    - Try symmetrical or asymmetrical placements. With pictures of the same size you can try doing both. With pictures of different sizes, you’ll probably end up with asymmetrical setup - but you can have it composed in a symmetrical shape (for example, smaller and bigger artworks arranged in the square shape)

    - When you decided, ideally take a picture of the arrangement, which will then make it easier to reflect it on the wall (you won’t have to remember it, just check the picture and you’re set)

    - Measure the distance between each of the pictures or paintings, this will help to keep the right distance between them, when hanging them on a wall

    - When you decide on the arrangement, and know the distance you should keep between each artwork, start putting them on a wall

    Hang the artwork at eye level...

    A common mistake we see is hanging wall art too high on the wall. Of course, if your whole wall is decorated (or you intend to do it that way), it's OK. But if you want to display a group of pictures (smaller, or larger one), or a single picture - it’s best to hang it at eye level.

    Example of hanging pictures on eye level with beautiful fine art paintings posters:
    fine art arrangement at eye level

    And more in the famous paintings posters category.

    There are times when you want to create something more creative and inspirational. If you have more paintings, posters or other pictures, or you’re hanging it over the sofa or a fireplace, those will naturally be placed higher on a wall. It will still maintain a balance on the wall.

    And there are times when you have a larger piece of blank wall, which you can use to arrange your wall art lower or higher - without sticking to straight rules. Try everything out!
    As an example, see this idea of a group of 3 abstract art posters, arranged asymmetrically on a wall:
    three pictures arranged asymmetrically on a wall

    How far apart should pictures be spaced?

    Ideally the spacing between multiple paintings or pictures should be in the range of 2 to 6 inches (5cm to 15cm). This range provides a sweet-spot for most of the cases. But everything depends on individual scenarios and preferences, as you might want to create different effects.

    There is also a general rule, that your art arrangement should not be wider than the piece of furniture you’re hanging it over. While this can be a solid advice, we recommend that you experiment with it on your own. In many cases you will find that you have more freedom that the “rules” allow. Experiment!

    How to hang groups of pictures (or multiple pictures) on a wall?

    Whenever you’re arranging wall art with groups of pictures, posters or paintings - basically, with more than one - you can get really creative.
    We have a few ideas in our mind, that can help you when arranging and hanging groups of pictures:

      - Creating compositions
    • - Using similar or different colors
      - Pictures belonging to a collection
      - Doing something completely different or totally random

    See below our ideas, along with examples of arranging art on your walls. We tried to show you a different mix of the above, and we hope you will like it!

    See below how you can hang sets of 2-3-4 pictures on your wall, including arrangements:

      - Put side by side
    • - Vertically, Horizontally or on Angle
      - Slightly staggered
      - Symmetrically and asymmetrically

      Let’s get to it!

      Hanging pictures staggered?

      You can try hanging two pictures staggered, by hanging one of them slightly lower or higher than the other, so that the bottom or top won’t match. This helps create an interesting effect, and looks especially good with one picture being slightly larger than the other.

      Hanging a group of 2 Pictures

      Hanging a group of two pictures, although sounds easy, can be a very creative process, as there are a few common ways you can do it. So the hard part will be in the decision - how should you do it?
      We recommend that you try the following:

        - Side by side
      • - Vertically
        - Staggered

      Here are some examples.

      Two beautiful landscape posters (or landscape travel posters) arranged side by side on a wall.
      side by side picture arrangement over a sofa

      Below an example of two staggered pictures, one slightly higher than the other. Here we used an example of animals posters, but with the look of abstract geometry shapes.

      staggered arrangement of two pictures

      Arranging a group of 3 pictures on a wall

      We have plenty of options when hanging a group of three pictures. We can do it either symmetrically or asymmetrically, side by side, or in a totally different way.

      Example of 3 pictures hanging symmetrically, side by side, with similar colors and theme, over a desk. This creates a balanced and minimalistic look for the room - minimalist posters & paintings were used here.

      You can create a similar look with black and white posters or paintings.
      three pictures arranged symmetrically

      More symmetrical arrangements of 3 pictures - over a sofa, side by side.
      All You Need is Love Collection

      Another symmetrical arrangement of 3

      Another example of wall art over a desk. This time each artwork is staggered, and the pictures are hanging beside other pieces of art. Similar themes and contrasting colors make for a stronger style of this home office.

      home office wall decor 3 pieces

      And below - a set of 3 wall art pictures hanging vertically, with a strong travel theme. The style of the room is completely different from the previous one, the theme is strongly travel-related, because we’re using vintage travel posters as wall decor. But we are still using only 3 pictures. Other wall art and furniture compliments this arrangement well.

      travel posters arrangement 3 pieces

      Moving on to different styles and colors, here’s an example of similar style, but different (and contrasting) colors, well arranged in the bedroom. It was arranged with the use of abstract nature and animals posters.

      Nature posters arrangement on a green wall

      We have so many arrangement options with 3 pictures! See below how differently they can look when put symmetrically, but on an angle. Again, related thematically (black and white movie posters), and strong, contrasting colors.

      With the second one you can see how you can use a bigger picture (a France travel poster) to be the centerpiece of the arrangement.
      classic movies posters arrangement on a concrete wallFrance travel posters arrangement

      It is amazing to see what you can do with 3 pictures. As we saw above, you can get a great look with one bigger picture or painting, and two smaller ones. A great example of this is below, where the bigger one creates a focal point for the eyes. This look was created using botanical prints and monstera posters.

      3 piece botanical prints arranged on a wall

      Arranging a group of 4 pictures

      How to hang 4 pictures in a square?

        - Pick a place on your wall
      • - Keep the same (close) distance between each picture
        - Hang them symmetrically on an eye level

      Here’s an example of a square arrangement of 4 pictures:

      4 pictures square arrangement

      Hanging 4 pictures, symmetrically in a line, with similar themes (using flower posters) and color palette. The artwork beautifully fits the bedroom.

      4 picture side by side arrangement over the bed

      Hanging 4 pictures, asymmetrically and staggered, with similar theme and color palette:

      4 picture asymmetrical arrangement

      Similarly here, four pictures have been arranged in one line, asymmetrically. Different colour palette, but the same theme created with travel poster prints.

      travel themed 4 picture arrangement on a wall

      Here’s how you can arrange a set of 4 pictures, with one bigger (a focal point), for a symmetrical look.

      fine art arrangement of 4 pictures on a wall

      Another, animal themed 4 picture arrangement, this time sort of square shaped idea, helps to bring this kitchen wall to life.

      animal themed arrangement in a kitchen over a table

      More than 4 pictures? Arranging them is no problem at all.

      Got more than 4 pictures or paintings, or maybe you want to use other pieces of wall art, too? You can create beautiful and creative arrangements! You can mix and match art with one another, as you go for a more “busy” and stunning display. Hang the bigger pieces first, and then fill the wall with smaller pictures and other elements. The effect can really be eye grabbing!

      beautiful flower and w all art arrangement

      (Image from https://laurajaneatelier.com/, shared in one of our previous blog posts, Decorate your space with coherent collections)

      Or try a more minimalistic look, and hang your art on a blank wall, side by side, like so.

      5 pictures side by side arrangement over a sofa

      To sum things up

      As you can see, there are many ways in which you can arrange your art on a wall. We found out that most popular configurations relate to 2,3 or 4 pictures or paintings (or other wall art), and we tried to show you how you can arrange those kinds of sets.

      We hope you liked the tips!
      But, of course, there is more to what we already have shown. You can get really creative and arrange the pictures any way you like. It’s helpful to remember that you can do symmetrical, asymmetrical, vertical or horizontal (side by side) arrangements.
      The art can be thematically related, or totally different. It can have similar, complimentary colors, or different or contrasting ones. It depends on you!