Decorating with Picture Frames: 10 Ideas

Written by Laura W

Picture frames are the perfect way to flaunt your favorite photos, artwork, pithy quotes, and more. They also help define the spaces in your home by adding dimension, enhancing your unique design sense, and sometimes even contributing a pop of color. As professionals who work with picture frames daily, we are big fans. Lately we’ve been noticing some creative and clever ways to display frames. Today we’ll talk about 10 of those ways.

Image via tasha.kaleidoscope

1. Gallery Lighting Vibes

When you have a single photo or painting that means a lot to you, why not give it the focus it deserves with a soft, low-watt picture light? Gallery-style lighting can achieve an elevated look in your living room, dining room, or bedroom. We suggest a simple frame for this presentation, like our refined aluminum Profile 97 frame — perfect for both modern and vintage home decor. Or consider the more substantial reverse-sloped Profile 788 frame with organic scratch-work finish. Other great options: the economical Nielsen Profile 11 frame and the wood Profile 728 with metallic finish in gold or silver.

2. Hang From a Picture Rail

If you want to hang a grouping of photos but spare your walls from scattered nail holes, a picture rail — or even a curtain rod — does the trick. This is also an excellent way to hang heavier artwork between studs. We recommend placing the rail or rod near the ceiling, lining it up with window trim. Then it’s a matter of measuring string, wire, ribbon, or chains to the desired lengths to hang your artwork wherever you like. Our slender, timeless Nielsen Profile 117 and the antique-style Wood Frame Profile 721 with small ornate detailing are both ideal frames for this technique. Other pretty choices include the two-toned modern Profile 760 and the intricately carved Wood Profile 573.

3. Place on Floating Shelves

Floating shelves or picture ledges are a great way to add height in a room with vaulted ceilings. Plus you can change out the art whenever you want a fresh look. Keep it simple with all black and white (or silver and gold) frames in the same round-top metal Nielsen Profile 15, or try the Wood Profile 572, which blends old world textures with a contemporary profile in an array of pastel colors. You could blend a variety of frame styles, using the same size frame or same color mat for continuity.

4. Unexpected Asymmetry

Have you ever heard that asymmetrical design is more appealing to the eye? Maybe because it catches us off guard. But asymmetry doesn’t mean unbalanced.  In our feature photo here, you can see the balance achieved through color and art size. In a room like this with great natural light, we recommend using our Non-Glare Acrylic glazing. Another way to achieve asymmetry is by creating a partial arc over a doorway or filling a small powder room with mismatched frames that appear to “climb” the walls.  Frames we like for this look include the avant-garde Wood Profile 205 and the Arthaus Profile 117V; the latter combines clean lines with vivid colors like turquoise and tornado red.

Image via nlowphoto

5. Go with a Grid

We all admire a stunning Instagram feed. You can translate that idea to your walls by using identical sized frames hung in even rows and columns. The example featured here is courtesy of Nerissa Lowicki, another Frame Destination customer. We like the monochromatic look in both the artwork and the frames. Our smooth, matte Wood Frame Profile 851 is a great choice for that type of dramatic display. More options include our Wood Frame Profile 502B in black, white, and matte black, or its sister frame Profile 502A in various wood tones like honey maple. Bonus: We offer discounts for multiple identical frames!

6. Corner the Market on Style

Most of us ignore the corners of our homes and offices or treat them like the two separate walls that they are. Nothing wrong with that. But we love the idea of incorporating a corner into an art display. Balance plays into the aesthetics, of course, so we recommend laying out your design on the floor before hanging. As for the frames, we suggest choosing one or two colors/finishes so as not to overwhelm the eye. We like the angular, two-toned Wood Frame Profile 435 in your choice of bright colors and the subtly detailed Wood Profile 506B. Another appropriate option is our Wood Frame Profile 716 sloped frame in light, quiet finishes.

7. Overlap to Add Dimension

A subtle way to create depth and dimension in a room is by overlaying one artwork on top of other framed works, taking care not to cover the essence of the overlapped work(s). You can go simple or complex in your design, with similar shaped frames tying the look together. Our Wood Frame Profile 851 with a smooth, matte black finish works well with this idea, as does the narrow Wood Frame Profile 713 in rich antique finishes.

Image via laurainspirit

8. Nestle Framed Art Among Books

Mixing art among books is a worldly yet casual look. Our example comes from Frame Destination customer Laura Johnston, who combined a white mat with our Wood Frame Profile 502B in opaque white, really making the artwork pop. Other fitting frame choices include the slim, ornate Wood Profile 568 or the classic metal Nielsen Profile 93. Both are available in a variety of neutrals.

Image via thegoodjunkco

9. Lean In

How’s this for a nonchalant vibe? Leaning your vertical art frames against the wall is a great way to get that lived-in look — and no nails needed. The sample we share comes from a Frame Destination customer @thegoodjunkco, who showcased a vintage relief print in our Nielsen Profile 33. Other frames we like for this approach are all wide-faced but with various finishes: Wood Frame Profile 855 (in black matte), Wood Frame Profile 741 (in bronze, pewter, and silver), and the tiered-edge distressed Wood Frame Profile 742 (in French vanilla, French grey, and antique black).

10. Supersize It

With a collection of extra-large art, you can essentially create an entire accent wall that feels almost like wallpaper. We recommend simple prints or paintings that play together nicely but don’t “take over” the whole room. Thin frames work best, like our slim black metal Nielsen Profile 33 or the equally slender Wood Frame Profile 547 in various neutral shades.

Go Forth and Decorate

With 10 fun and fresh ways to showcase your framed art, we invite you to choose your favorite and try it somewhere in your home. Share your results with us on Facebook or Instagram so we can see your creativity. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions. Our Customer Service department is available via phone at 972-479-1188, email (, and live chat on our website during business hours.

Last Updated May 25, 2023