There are subjects in nature that often beg to be captured vertically. Towering waterfalls, trees, forests and slot canyons are a few of my favorites that immediately come to mind. As a photographer, it is critical to choose the orientation that presents your work in its best light. When decorating your home, it is equally important. If you have a space that you just can't seem to fill and would like my help, I frequently work with homeowners and designers to enhance all kinds of unique space with original photography art. I enjoy speaking with current and future collectors to help bring our natural world inside their homes. Until then, let's dive into some rules of thumb when displaying vertical artwork in your home.
Where to Hang Vertical Photography Art Prints
Look, it happens to everyone at some point or another. You have a horizontal piece of art that you absolutely love but aren't sure where to display it. After agonizing over it for weeks, it ends up hanging awkwardly at the end of a long hallway, leaving you with that feeling like a stranger peeking through the bathroom stall door in a public restroom. What? This has never happened to you? You need to get out more.
Ok, maybe hanging vertical art isn't as serious as your stalker from the local coffeeshop peering into your porcelain palace, but it is a challenge that many find difficult to navigate. Maybe you've sought out some inspiration and tried to find out how others make their vertical prints work – at your local art gallery, while out shopping at West Elm or over at your friend’s house... you know the one with the annoying dog that likes your leg a bit too much. Don't worry, if you’re still not sure where or how to hang your vertical photography art prints, you’ve come to the right place.
There’s an art to displaying your art artfully. If you can forgive or indulge the wordplay, this article will uncover some of the best ways to make use of vertical photography art prints in your home and provide some ideas for you to try out in your space.
Make The Most of Your Accent Walls
Accent walls can be the bane of the interior designer’s existence. And no two accent walls are identical, which can further complicate the matter. But these spaces are prime real estate for vertical photography or fine art prints. Abstract photography, even when originally presented in a horizontal format by the artist, can often be rotated and displayed vertically as well.
Regarding the nature of accent walls – vertical artwork can be a real game-changer. It offers a unique opportunity to infuse your personality and creativity into your living space. You might begin by evaluating the rest of the room’s aesthetic. Your choice of art or photography should harmonize with the existing decor, so consider the mood you want to convey and how you might achieve that look.
Scale and placement are crucial. A large, dramatic piece can dominate the room and become a focal point, while smaller works may be better suited to intimate spaces. In most cases, the artwork should hang at eye level for comfortable viewing, and it should also be well-lit to accentuate the overall appearance.
Corridors, Hallways & Traditional Spaces
Oftentimes, these liminal spaces get overlooked when it comes to design or wall decorations. Adding a vertical photo or frame or two can really liven these spaces up in ways that horizontal displays cannot.
You can even arrange multiple vertical pieces to create a visual journey and guide the viewer’s eye through an interior space. The size and scale of the photos or artwork should match the space’s dimensions to complement instead of overwhelm.
These transitional spaces are a great opportunity to showcase something special that expresses your unique style, whether you gravitate toward the modern, traditional, or an eclectic style all your own.
You can also craft a gallery-like ambiance with a thoughtful mixture of vertical photographs, paintings, and other decorative pieces. Doing so is a great, low-effort way to transform these spaces into decorative delights.
Above or Beside A Fireplace
Ah, the fireplace. The hearth. The heart of the home. On or above a fireplace’s mantlepiece is another great location for a striking vertical photograph. The juxtaposition of artistry and the cozy ambiance of a crackling fire can create a tranquil atmosphere that draws family and guests together.
If there’s no space above or on top of the fireplace, you can achieve similar success by flanking both sides of the masonry with vertical pieces. This creates a soothing, symmetrical appearance that can provide cohesion and continuity in an interior space.
Aside from the firelight, lighting fixtures are integral to enhancing the allure of hanging artwork or photographs. Because homes are so nuanced and varied in terms of layout and design styles, it really boils down to how well you know your space and making the most of the resources at your disposal.
A themed room is a carefully curated interior space that follows a specific concept, style, or motif, often inspired by a particular era, cultural themes, hobbies, or personal interests. These rooms are generally meticulously pieced together to create an immersive experience for viewers or occupants.
As such, vertical photography or fine art can be a powerful tool that reinforces and enhances the chosen theme. For example, in a vintage-themed room, vertical photographs from a bygone era can transport viewers back in time and immerse them in an old-world atmosphere. In a nature-themed room, you might hang vertical photography of towering trees or natural monoliths to evoke the beauty of the natural world.
It’s also true that vertical art can make better use of available wall space while allowing for a more detailed, immersive depiction of the chosen theme. Regardless of your ideal theme or style – vertical pieces can elevate the ambiance of your space and contribute to a more engaging, memorable experience.
Your Favorite Armchair
Who doesn’t have a favorite armchair at home? If you don’t have one yet, go out and get one so you can hang some vertical art or photography next to it and look very stately and dignified sitting in your chair beside your decorations.
If you’ve got two armchairs next to each other or facing each other, hanging vertical art or photography between them can help create a sense of balance and natural flow through the interior space as well. Making vertical paintings and/or photography work is all about matching the energy of an existing space, or accentuating that energy and letting it flow uninhibitedly.
Even if you don’t have a favorite armchair and you’re hesitant to splurge, hanging vertical work near seating arrangements of any sort is a great way to add depth to your living space without adding more furniture or clutter to shelves.
The Side Table
That under-utilized side table in the foyer? The side table in the upstairs main bedroom? Hang a vertical piece next to it! Even if the framing doesn’t exactly match the color or style of the table, you can still showcase something beautiful and spice up a lackluster wall.
Nightstands or end tables are also fantastic pieces to pair with your vertically oriented photography or artwork. Try to stick to smaller or medium-sized pieces so that you can still see the details if there’s a table lamp or something obscuring the view. Larger pieces can be beautiful when hung properly, but they can also easily overwhelm in a cozy, intimate setting.
Nevermind... Just Do Whatever You Want To Do
Now, don’t start trying to hang stuff from the ceiling rafters just because you can. You should still be thoughtful and intentional about curating the wall art and photography in your space, but you also have the freedom to do as you please in your own home.
Vertical pieces can be particularly effective in highlighting tall ceilings, making large open spaces feel more inviting, and accentuating certain architectural or design features. Even smaller, more slender vertical pieces can add charm to corners or accent walls where it can be difficult to get creative.
Ultimately, you get to decide how and where to hang your vertically-oriented wall art and photography. Doing so is a wonderful way to express your individuality and creativity – it offers an opportunity to tell your story, evoke emotions, and create a lasting impression on viewers. Now go get vertical!