Lighting your wall art is not “one method fits all.” It all depends on the unique look you want to achieve. We’re going to walk you through the simplest ways to make your wall art look sophisticated and professionally curated. Well-lit wall art can make the difference between amateur and designer spaces. From positioning your lights at the right height, to choosing the right lamps to suit your style, this is the ultimate wall art lighting guide. Don’t let your artwork go unnoticed and blend into the background. If you feel like you’ve found your perfect print, let it be the center of attention! Follow these tips and tricks for a foolproof interior that glistens and glows.

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The Overhead Method

Dare to Double Up

A Posable Lamp

One-Sided Drama

A Traditional Take

More Technical Design Tips

The Overhead Method

A classic way to light your wall art is from above. Traditional galleries often use this method, and for good reason. The overhead lighting will give your print a refined aura. You can choose between sconces and mounted strip lighting. Strip lighting will look more professional, but it will also create a contemporary feel. Sconces or hanging light fixtures will look more artistic and give your space a splash of personality. If you want to create a more evenly lit appearance, you can also hide lights pointing upwards behind a large piece of furniture.

designer wall art

Technical Tips

It’s also important to consider the angle of your light fixtures to avoid glare on your precious prints. The typical angle suggested by expert designers is 30 degrees. Angling your lighting at 30 degrees will avoid casting shadows, but still shine directly on the artwork. If you are hanging framed artwork rather than an unframed canvas, you may need to add 5 degrees to the angle. On the other hand, to enhance the texture on an unframed canvas, subtract 5 degrees for a 25-degree angle.

Rules for Hanging Your Wall Art

Speaking of shadows, in order to reduce shadows as much as possible, it’s imperative to hang your wall art correctly. Follow this tip from our guide on how to hang artwork like a pro:

“A mistake you want to avoid is not hanging your artwork completely flush with the wall. A canvas that sticks out too far can cheapen the overall look of your space. Attention to detail is crucial when crafting a well-curated interior. If your nail is sticking out and causing a gap between your canvas and the wall, it can be distracting to onlookers. A flush frame or canvas is especially important when creating a gallery wall or hanging a multi-panel piece.”

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designer wall art

Dare to Double Up

Need an extra boost of light AND style? Double up on your pendant lights! Hang two sets of lights on either side of your print. If you vary the heights of the pendant lights, you can create a natural, dynamic look. Plus, this is an excellent option if you’re looking for a truly modern take on lighting. Create a well-balanced atmosphere with four matching lights. For an industrial-style look, go with hanging bulbs without shades. This look is ideal if you want a space that looks sleek but doesn’t take itself too seriously.

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trending wall art

A Posable Lamp

For the most versatile lighting option, consider a posable lamp! A lamp that can be manipulated to point in a variety of directions is perfect if you’re constantly reimagining your space. If you’re still in the process of designing your interior, this is a great short (or long) term solution. You can angle your standing lamp up, down, or to the side for a custom look. Choose a lamp color/finish that complements the shades in your print. For an ultra-current feel, go with a gold or bronze lamp to riff on 2022 design predictions. This will also create a beautiful balance between warm and cool hues, which is going to be a top trend this year.

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designer wall art

One-Sided Drama

While even lighting is usually the way to go if you want to follow the rules of design, there is a more daring, unconventional option. If you want to create a more dramatic space, consider lighting your wall art from one side. This will create an almost noir-like appearance, and give your artwork a moody effect. Ideal for contemporary interiors, choose a print that lends itself to being lit predominantly from one side. You can achieve this look with pendant lights or lamps.

PS This is also a great technique if you want to even out natural light from one side!

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trending wall decor

A Traditional Take

Lighting can be a great way to tie together your space. Use your light fixtures to define your personal style, and light your wall art accordingly. If you’re leaning towards a more traditional style, go for ornate, decorative lights or overhead chandeliers. A more lavish, luxurious look will enhance your space in a classic way. Hang matching fixtures on either side of your print for s symmetrical, radiant look. Keep your artwork fairly simple so that your décor is working together in harmony, rather than competing for the viewer’s attention.

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living room wall art

More Technical Design Tips

Lighting your wall art properly is essential when it comes to curating your home. Choose the best lighting setup based on your interior goals. For more technical tips and tricks, visit our inspiration blog. In addition to lighting your artwork, learn how to choose the correct size of artwork, and perfectly hang a multi-panel print. Follow the rules, and then break a few! Your home should be a representation of who you are, and wall art is the perfect way to express your unique personality.

These are our top picks for 2022 wall art >>

2022 wall art



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Annette Schmucker