Decorate With Artful Leanings

Each residence has empty wall space that feels unfinished if left blank. Nevertheless, not everyone is a talented carpenter and the thought of nailing into freshly painted walls can be daunting. The solution: lean your artwork. There is no risk or moment of deciding”this botanical print shall be hung over the bed for all of eternity!”

Here are a few examples of shredding art that range from traditional, smaller pieces layered on mantels, to oversized modern paintings propped on the ground. In each scenario, the look feels chic and casual, providing a livability into a space.

This abstract painting is practically as tall as the ceiling, so leaning against the wall atop the country-looking mantel is really a wonderful juxtaposition.

Glenn Gissler Design

Rather than centering the larger scaled piece of artwork of this mantel, the designer decided to hang it off-center. This allowed for another piece of artwork to lean from the mantel to the right. The layered effect appears quite sophisticated, and makes the room feel less formal than it might with just 1 piece of art over the mantel.

Mark Dodge Design

Both of these oversized paintings that clearly go together are simply propped against the walls from the ground, adding to the general play of the modern space.


Framed black-and white-photos lean together atop a snowy bookshelf containing all-white books. By leaning the photographs from the wall, the more modern shelf receives a warm, practical look.

John Lum Architecture, Inc.. AIA

The picture ledge here allows for these photographs to feel grounded, creating a focal point that matches the seat.

Both drawings that propped up in this layered tablescape add depth to the total grouping.

The antique mirror leans against the wall, and the antique painting contrasts from the mirror atop a vintage table. Both pieces would feel very formal if hung properly. Leaning them provides the vignette a casual, country-chic look.

If these botanical prints were hung in a straight line on the wall, the arrangement could look generic. Resting them contrary to the ledge makes them feel more authentic and calm.

Glenn Gissler Design

There is no wall space for both of these photographs. Propping them up from the window helps give this daybed a hot, lived-in look.

The modern brass framework which houses this pen drawing leans from a formal gold-leaf mirror, creating a wonderful contrast between modern and antique.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

A little print rests on the counter top of the galley kitchen, adding just a little artwork without taking away in the practicality of this kitchen’s open cabinets.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

For a whimsical touch, put a little piece of artwork on the ground, almost so that you miss it at first glance. It adds a bit of character without overpowering the room.

Dreamy Whites

A tall vintage mirror leaning against the walls constantly looks magnificent, especially if it is the only thing on the wall.

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