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Hanging Art Vs Leaning Art: Which Is Right For You?

Posted on Friday 5th June 2020   |   Interior Design

Hanging Art vs Leaning Art: Which is right for you?

We love a great gallery wall here at - after all our ready made photo frames are just the thing you need to help put the finishing touch to any room. One of our favourite things about hanging art and gallery walls is that you can really get creative with it, and let your individuality shine through. After all, artwork is a great way for you to add some personality to your home and express your creativity – whatever room you decide to hang it in.

However, hanging is not the only option when it comes to displaying art or photos in custom made photo frame - nowadays leaning your art to display it is becoming just as popular. But how do you know whether hanging or leaning your art is the right approach for your home? Well, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons:

Leaning art can create a unique layered look

One of the biggest benefits associated with leaning your art rather than hanging it, is that it really allows you to unleash your creativity. You can mix and match large pieces with smaller pieces, or really go wild and use empty frames as well. 

Layering your art in different size frames allows you to play around with depth and dimension more easily, and it is a great way to quickly add some visual interest to your space. It is also the fastest way we know to instantly turn a boring old sideboard into something worthy of a museum installation!

Hanging art creates a more orderly style

Hanging has been the traditional way of displaying art for centuries, especially among home decorators and interior designers – and with good reason. If they are working with lots of pieces of art, it can quickly become disorganised and chaotic unless they are hung in a clean, precise and orderly manner. 

Hanging also works best if you have a lot of similar sized art and photos to display – as this will make your home appear even more neat and organised. So, if you are trying to decide whether you should hang your art or lean it, think carefully about the impression you want to give – if you are after a traditional look then hang it, for a more bohemian look lean it. 

You need a flat surface to be able to lean art

The key thing about leaning art is that you need a bottom flat surface to place it on in order for it to lean – something like a sideboard or a mantelpiece for example. Mantelpieces are great places to experiment with leaning art, as you can quickly give a room personality and a little bit of fun in a way that doesn’t feel too staged.

However, if you don’t have a mantelpiece, and your home is quite minimalist on the furniture front, then it will be harder for you to create a display of leaning art – as the only place you will have to put it is on the floor – which may not be practical if your animals or children!

Hanging art is a permanent decision

The biggest drawback of hanging art is that you need to hammer nails and/or picture hooks into the wall – which could turn out not to be the best idea six months down the line when you want to change your display or move house. 

There are options available, such as command strips, which supposedly allow you to hang pictures without affecting your wall covering, but at the end of the day hanging art is a pretty permanent solution which can be hard to change. So, you need to think really hard about what you are hanging and where before you put any holes in your wall!

Leaning art is a great way to transform a small space

Decorating a small space can be difficult, and many designers look for ways to add personality and visual intrigue to a space as a way of drawing attention away from the small amount of square footage. Using leaning art is a great way to make a focal point of a room, adding style and elegance and helping to make the room feel larger than it actually is!

If you have a room that is on the small side, or you are struggling with how to finish off your space, then leaning some art might just be the thing you need to do.

Art can be pretty much hung anywhere

We mentioned above, that if you want to lean art you need a surface for it to sit on – well, with hanging art you can pretty much hang it anywhere you want – if there is a space. A successful gallery wall doesn’t just have to contain rectangular framed pieces, you can experiment with hanging all sorts of different things – as we have mentioned in previous blogs.

Your walls can be the perfect canvas for you to display your favourite pieces, from a hanging lantern to a vintage plate and everything in between – mixing things up is a lot easier when you don’t have to think about them needing to stand on something.

Leaning art can leave you with lots of blank space on your walls

If you hang some picture shelves on your wall then you will have an easy way to lean art in a way which will fill a lot of empty space, but if you are working with just one flat surface in your room then you may end up with a lot of blank walls. 

Deciding to hang art rather than lean art may come down to the face that you have a lot of space that you want to fill, and you have more art than your surfaces would allow you to lean. However, if you prefer things to be clean and minimalist, then you may prefer to keep the amount of art you share to a minimum anyway. 

Layering art is an easier way to add interest than hanging

If you have visually interesting and eye-catching art in your collection, then hanging it can add a touch of drama to your room. However, if your art is not bright or engaging, then it can be hard to create interest in a hanging display as you cannot experiment with adding a sense of dimension the way you can when you layer art.

You can add interest by hanging other items but this can be difficult to get right, and so layering is really the simplest way to go.

Layered art is easier to change around

The Scandinavian look is very trendy at the moment, with clean lines and minimalist furniture proving popular. Bright abstract art tends to work really well with this look. However, let’s say six months down the line a new trend emerges and you wanted to change the feel of your home to match that – it would be hard to change your art to match if it was hung. Layered art is much easier to move around, and won’t cause any damage to your walls. 

Hanging art takes a lot more planning

As we have said over and over, gallery walls can look amazing, but you really need to put some thought into them before you start banging nails in. You need to select each piece of art or photo carefully, and then measure them to make sure they will all fit into the space you have allocated to them. 

As you can see, there are pros and cons to both hanging and leaning art – and the final decision is really down to you. Whatever you decide, make sure you order the best picture frames uk from

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