Recent Articles
News Of A Very Special Auction Happening Next Week
Investment Pieces
News Of A Very Special Auction Happening Next Week
10 Questions for LatchKey Gallery co-founders
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for LatchKey Gallery co-founders Natalie Kates and Amanda L. Uribe
INTERVIEW: Elmgreen & Dragset
Meet the Artist
INTERVIEW: Elmgreen & Dragset 'What We Need to do, As Cultural Workers Today, Is to Find a New Way of Getting Back Our Dignity as Citizens'
10 Questions for RESORT Gallery co-founders Seth Adelsberger and
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for RESORT Gallery co-founders Seth Adelsberger and Alex Ebstein
10 Questions for River Gallery Founder Carl E. Smith
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for River Gallery Founder Carl E. Smith
10 Questions for Davis Editions and Originals Founder Jeff Davis
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for Davis Editions and Originals Founder Jeff Davis
10 Questions for Baby Blue Gallery Founder Caleb Beck
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for Baby Blue Gallery Founder Caleb Beck
10 Questions for Carvalho Park's Jennifer Carvalho
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for Carvalho Park co-Founder Jennifer Carvalho
The Making of Love, Rihanna: Luxury Supreme
Close Look
'A Piece of Art That I am Really Proud Of' - Rihanna on Love, Rihanna: Luxury Supreme
INTERVIEW: Sterling Ruby
Meet the Artist
INTERVIEW: Sterling Ruby 'In America, often the response to negative aspects of the system is to retreat to platitudes about morals and family values. In this way nothing is achieved.'
INTERVIEW: Kerry James Marshall
Meet the Artist
INTERVIEW: Kerry James Marshall 'I never think of artworks as having a quality that’s intended to mobilize people to action. They don’t make people do things. But they do put questions in the mind of a viewer that they may not have entertained before...'
Come On Our Virtual Studio Visit With Maria Jimena Herrera
Meet the Artist
Come On Our Virtual Studio Visit With Maria Jimena Herrera
Jeff Koons on Big Ideas and Gazing Balls
Jeff Koons on Desire, Beauty, the Vastness of the Universe, and the Intimacy of Right Here, Right Now
Could Artist Collectives Transform A Post-Corona Art World?
On Trend
Could Artist Collectives Transform A Post-Corona Art World?
INTERVIEW: Sarah Sze on How all Art is Essentially Sculpture
Meet the Artist
INTERVIEW: Sarah Sze on the Changing Pace of Time and Space, the Ebb and Flow of Information, and How all Art is Essentially Sculpture

Collecting 101

How to Perfect the Salon-Style Hang: An Easy Guide


How to Perfect the Salon-Style Hang: An Easy Guide
The old Artspace office

Taking its name and appearance from the salons of the 19th century where dozens of artworks were squeezed together onto the walls as part of academic competitions, the salon-style hang looks effortlessly boho chic when done well—but can be very easy to mess up. After all, hanging more than a few works on a single wall requires careful consideration of many make-or-break factors: spacing, proportions, frame styles, color pallets, and composition. Here, we’ve put together a guide to help you master this all-important display strategy, which can make a large wall look attractively full without having to pay the big bucks for a giant, expensive artwork.



For those lucky enough to have huge, un-hung collections, beginning your salon-style wall will involve laying artworks on the floor to see how they might fit together. With all your puzzle pieces laid before you, you have the advantage of visualizing your options before tapping in a single nail. But for many of us who are slowly developing our collections, our salon-style wall may come together piece by piece. If buying works specifically for a salon-style wall, consider giving yourself some collecting guidelines.

There aren’t any hard and fast rules here, and the most important thing is that you love each and every artwork—if you stay true to your style, chances are your wall will come together organically. But if you need a little nudge to get you started, consider organizing your collection around a single theme, whether that theme be based on aesthetics or subject matter. Here are a few options to mull over: 


Theme #1: Portraits



Historically, salons of the 19th century most often showcased portraits and landscapes painted in oil. For an updated take on a classic, fill your wall with a wide range of contemporary portraiture. Here’s a collection of portraits that would look great together.


Theme #2: Black and White


If you’re worried about your arrangement being too garish or clashing with the rest of your room, go for punchy, graphic, black-and-white pieces that are varied in texture and medium, but limited in color. This option is great for more minimalist or industrial chic homes. Here’s a collection of black-and-white works that are sure to add sophistication to your any room in your home.


Theme #3: Monochrome 


All pictured works are available on Artspace. (Rendering not representative of scale.)

Make a statement with color. Use our Color Theory 101 guide to figure out which hue will best compliment your room, whether you’re going for an analogous, complimentary, or triadic color scheme. Then, collect some works that share the same color, and pull it all together by adding in some pieces in neutral tones like cream or gray. That way, your wall won’t be overwhelming and instead will offer a few carefully considered pops of color. Interior designers couldn’t be more excited about emerald green this year—a color that has traditionally been ignored by décor and fashion enthusiasts until now—making it a great choice for those on the cutting edge. Here’s a collection of green and cream colored works that together look as edgy as ever.



For a cleaner, more streamlined wall, opt for thin frames in just two or three different finishes. Varying margins on your mat boards can add variety to the overall look. And, you can lay unframed paintings and framed photographs and prints side by side without having either one feel out of place.

If you’re going for a more old-timey feel, with portraits and landscapes in oil, vintage and ornate gold frames can look great—but since some will probably be quite thick, don't crowd the thick frames together but instead have them dispersed throughout the cluster. This option looks best on dark colored walls.





Do you have a small or irregular wall? In this case, you may consider filling the entire wall with artwork, floor to ceiling, spanning the entire width. This doesn’t necessarily mean cramming it with artworks, however—you can easily space out the arrangement to fill the space in a balanced way with out blowing all your cash on a slew of works.

When working with a large wall, like one found in a loft space, large living room, or open floor plan, hanging art can create a focal point, concentrating interest in one particular area to help guide your eye around the room. So rather than fill the entire wall like you might with a small or irregular space, hang your cluster above a couch in a living area or a headboard in a bedroom. It tends to look best when the artworks on the edge hang just beyond the edge of the couch or bed frame.  




Now that we’ve figured out our artworks, our frames, and our location, it’s time to decide how to arrange it all together. This part can be equal parts fun and frustrating, so don't think twice about cheating: trace each framed piece on a large roll of brown paper, cut them out, and tape them to your wall to build your composition with out committing and regretting. (Remember to label each template so you know which artwork it represents.)

Start arranging from the middle and bottom and work upwards and outwards. Let’s say your cluster is going above the couch: start with installing a piece near the center of the couch with the bottom of the frame hovering 8 to 10 inches above the back of the couch. (For more golden rules on hanging art, check out our guide to maximizing wall space.) Then you can begin installing works on either side, with the bottom edges of each work keeping in line with the bottom of the couch.

There are a few different camps when it comes to composition approaches. The one illustrated above involves keeping artworks square with one another, so that even if they aren’t in a rigid grid, they do have some geometric rhyme and reason. This approach is probably the most fail-safe, and you’re less likely to end up with an assortment that looks sloppy and arbitrary. As a loose rule, make sure that at least one corner of each piece lines up with an edge of another piece. And be uniform with the space you leave in between frames—two or three inches should be the minimum.

If you have less artworks to work with, you may want to space out your cluster, grouping some smaller works closer together while giving larger works more room to breath. This approach is more intuitive and less mathematical, making it more personal yet harder to pull off.  There aren't any hard rules for this approach but we do have a couple of tips: Avoid having your largest artworks towards the outside edges of your cluster, but also make sure they aren’t directly centered either. If you have one large piece in the middle, it will draw attention to the cluster's asymmetry in a distracting way. And lastly, trust your intuition!






If you've made it this far, you're either feeling confident and prepared, or you're feeling overwhelmed with all the decisions you have to make (not to mention all the holes you'll be leaving in your wall), in which case, this might be music to your ears: don't hang a single artwork and instead, arrange them all on shelving. Ta-da! Vary the heights of the works and overlap some of the frames to give it the same casual, bohemian feel as a salon-style wall. And, if you want even more irregularity, consider staggering several shorter shelves above one another. Plus, you could even squeeze in a small sculpture or two.


a treasure trove of fine art from the world's most renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. We offer exclusive works you can't find anywhere else.


through exclusive content featuring art news, collecting guides, and interviews with artists, dealers, collectors, curators and influencers.


authentic artworks from across the globe. Collecting with us means you're helping to sustain creative culture and supporting organizations that are making the world a better place.


with our art advisors for buying advice or to help you find the art that's perfect for you. We have the resources to find works that suit your needs.


Artspace offers you authentic, exclusive works from world-renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. Collecting with us helps support creative culture while bringing you art news, interviews and access to global art resources.