The best way to show off art in ANY home

Revealed: The best way to hang pictures to make rooms appear bigger or ceilings higher – and it doesn’t have to be expensive art

  • Affordable Art Fair director Lucinda Costello shared her insights with FEMAIL
  • Says we don’t need to spend a fortune to bring art into our homes  
  • Told how dividing smaller spaces up into ‘zones’ can help compartmentalise
  • Embracing the ‘salon hang’ can create a big impression regardless of size 

While we all enjoy browsing galleries, few of us have the budget – or the space – to incorporate pricey artworks into our own home decor.

But according to Lucinda Costello, director of the Affordable Art Fair, there are easy ways to maximise the impact of the pieces you can stretch to – whether you live in a four-bed semi or a studio flat.

Lucinda told FEMAIL, there are hanging hacks that can actually make a living room appear bigger at the same time as showing off your art to full effect, and tricks for picking frames that will make prints look like limited editions. 

‘There are plenty of great, affordable tricks to fill up wall space without breaking the bank,’ she explains.

‘Perhaps you live in a studio flat the size of a shoebox, have one room of your own to decorate, or want to revitalise a cosy nook in your home? Whatever the size, there are lots of ways to refresh your space,’ Lucinda explains.

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Lucinda Costello, director of the Affordable Art Fair, says there are some simple tricks that can make cheap artwork look infinitely more expensive. Techniques like leaning pieces against a wall (above) can also make rooms look bigger than they really are


‘If you live in a small home, you may automatically think of the downside: tight spaces, not enough storage and of course, less wall area to fill with glorious art. But, in actual fact, a few well-placed prints, paintings or sculptures can really maximise your space, and make it feel roomier, lighter and bigger than before, comments Lucinda.

‘One great way to give the illusion of space is to accentuate the higher sections of your home. Adding a pretty print or canvas above a door or within a set of shelves is a brilliant way to create an illusion of depth. Similarly, a vertical gallery hang can suggest a higher ceiling.’

Leaning – rather than hanging – certain pieces can save on space, too. Lucinda suggests resting large art on the floor against a wall if you have low ceilings, or leaning on shelves if you’re lacking room on your walls.

Dividing a space into different segments can create the illusion of a larger area, says Lucinda. Consider pairing two complementary prints next to your bed to create a clear ‘sleep’ zone


Compartmentalising a smaller space can also help make it feel larger – a technique that’s best done with art, explains Lucinda.

‘Divide your space into different segments depending on how they’re used – to work, sleep, relax or eat – and choose art that reflects this idea.’

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‘When it comes to colour schemes, think monochromatic. A lot of colour and pattern can overwhelm a small space, incorporate a different shade or tone in your artwork selection to help smaller spaces appear larger.  

If you’ve got printed wallpaper, try a sculpture instead. It won’t fight for your eye in the same way that hanging a painting or print onto a patterned wall could.’

Expert Lucinda reveals arranging various pieces of work together in a cluster known as a ‘salon hang’ – a trick that can give a big impression regardless of the size of the space you have 


Often called a ‘gallery wall,’ a salon hang refers to an arrangement of several pieces of art grouped together either in a grid or more eclectic arrangement.

‘Embrace a salon hang and use multiple pieces together in a cluster to show off as much of your collection as you can. A variety of small, works can create a big impression regardless of the size of your space,’ says Lucinda who suggests saving money by incorporating family photographs or low-value pieces.’ 

Lucinda suggests adorning simple, affordable prints with statement frames to make them appear more expensive. A faux gold design (above) can help elevate the work


It’s not just the way you hang your art that’s important but how it’s accessorised, too.

‘Framing a work well can totally transform its appearance. A bold and alternative frame, particularly if you opt for something substantially larger than the original artwork, will help fill a wall in no time,’ says Lucinda who also advises considering a float mount which lifts the art forward very slightly.

‘When it comes to mounting your work in the frame, a float mount can help a work to appear more expensive and works particularly well if the paper or canvas has an interesting and unfinished appearance at the edge.’   

The next Affordable Art Fair takes place in Hamburg from November 15 to 18. For more information visit 

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