Leaning pieces against a wall or a table can look elegant without any fuss. This display also brings pieces more fully into a room. Here, these casually propped-up still lifes of flowers add a feeling of feminine grace to a dressing table.
Tip: This look really is easy—no hammer and nails required. The works do need to be framed (or painted on stretched canvas), though, so that they aren’t damaged.
Traditional pictures have a surprising ability to complement what is already going on: A portrait might add a little formality to an airy bedroom; a landscape might bring new notes of greens and yellows into a living room.
Tip: Make it personal by blending a traditional picture with pieces like a framed letter, your wedding invitation, or a child’s drawing.
Room with a View
Sometimes we don’t have big walls to work with. In a crowded spot, in a corner, or around an architectural element like a mantelpiece, a representational image can give a fresh new view: Suddenly you’re looking out on the rolling countryside or the open seas.
Tip: The rule of thumb is to hang pictures at eye level, but why not break the rule and play off the height of other objects? Hang a piece over a coat rack, for instance, or run several pictures down the wall beside a bookcase.
Sometimes there’s nothing cozier than old-fashioned works of art hung in a plush room. Whether it’s a century-old painting of Venice or a classically drawn portrait, these images can bring a comforting sense of history. In this kind of setting, time slows down.
Tip: Gilded frames work especially well in these interiors; as true traditionalists know, gold really does go with everything.