Do’s & Don’ts for Displaying Art

   Blog Category: How-to, Interior Design

Ever buy a piece of art you love and then get home and have no idea how or where to hang it? There are so many options out there: frames, mounts, colors, shapes, styles, sizes…it can be completely overwhelming! So we’ve sought out the advice of Kati Curtis a top-notch interior designer to help sort things out.


Kati is Principal of Nirmada Interior Design and shares some great tips for displaying fine art. Kati was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times, and she has a wealth of interior design experience including luxury New York City homes, offices, and boutique hospitality projects.


© Zack Seckler

LUX ARCHIVE: Framing artwork is the classic option for displaying artwork. When do you suggest mounting a photograph instead of framing it?


CURTIS: Mounting fine photography directly to a substrate was historically the only way to display photography. Mounting instead of framing was preferable so that the viewer could see the photograph without the glare of a glass cover. Nowadays, non-glare glass and Plexiglas, allow us the freedom to protect a photograph without compromising the look and clarity of a photo. Only in very recent years has framing photography become acceptable, and we typically do this in more traditional settings. Mounting photography to Plexiglas is our go-to method for contemporary environments. It’s a simple, clean and sophisticated way to display and protect your art.


LUX ARCHIVE: When would you recommend people stick with a traditional frame for their artwork?


CURTIS: Stick with a traditional frame when framing a portrait or landscape painting. Modern art and fine photography are better suited for simple, clean frames that don’t detract from the art itself.


LUX ARCHIVE: Can you tell us some do’s and don’ts of displaying fine art?




Don’t let your frame compete with your art. The art should be the star. A fancy frame highlights a fancy piece, but could overshadow a modern piece or detract from the details of a photograph.

Don’t buy art to match the furniture. A truly curated art collection speaks for itself.

Don’t just go black and white when it comes to fine photography. Ansel Adams’ are beautiful, but color photographs can be sophisticated, stunning, and add interest to your interior.

Don’t blow up or Andy Warholize photos of yourself, your kids or your pets. There is a time and place for everything and you don’t need to memorialize yourself just yet.

Don’t Ask your friends or co-workers if they like or approve of your art. Art is extremely subjective, and what matters is if you’re happy with it.


Do always use a professional to mount or frame your art – don’t insult you art with anything less than the consideration it deserves.

Do buy art that speaks to you personally. The amount you paid for it is irrelevant! If you love it it’s great.

Do hang art at eye level. Most people hang art too high. 60” on center above your finished floor is a great rule of thumb.

Do realize that fine photography can be a sophisticated and high-end addition to your home or office. Photography can be slightly less expensive than paintings, but still provide a significant collection you’re happy with for generations.

Do preserve your photos with high quality, museum grade mounting boards and non-glare, UV protective glass.


LUX ARCHIVE: Any parting thoughts?


CURTIS: Remember – all rules are meant to be broken! Follow your gut – do what you like, and most importantly buy and display what has meaning to you!


Do you have any tips of your own? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page and on Twitter!