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Leaning art vs hanging art - which is right for you?

By Amy Wright | Jun 23, 2022

Art styling choices are very personal, and significantly affect the vibe of your home’s interior decor. Everything from the pieces you choose to display and their colors and sizes to the location and hanging method can have a serious impact!

When it comes to displaying methods, there are two primary options: you can hang your art directly on the wall, probably with a nail, picture hook, or maybe a picture hanging strip. Or, you can lean it on a bookshelf, picture ledge, tabletop, or even the floor.

Here at Canvaspop, we offer custom options for canvas art, framed prints, and so many different types of art that there are enough options to hang some and lean others. Without further ado, let’s explore the different types of art you might choose to lean, and what types are better for hanging!

5 Reasons to hang your art:

When you’re displaying art that’s part of a collection and they all go together, or if you have a group of photos from a single event (like a wedding, perhaps!) then it’s best to opt for hanging. Gallery-wall style displays work really well for this type of collection and those are best created when hung.

This may feel slightly counter-intuitive, but your most fragile and breakable works like framed photos belong safely hung on the wall out of the way of being brushed or bumped. Leaned artwork is more likely to fall or get knocked over than art hung on the walls. Protect your precious memories that you’ve worked hard to collect and display!

Black and white framed prints side by side on top of a table

As we mentioned, leaned artwork is more susceptible to bumping and knocking over. This is why we recommend you avoid leaning art and opt for hanging it instead if high traffic areas of the home like mudrooms and entryways, or in living and bedrooms when there are children or pets who frequently run through.

Art and photos can help fill a large space with tall ceilings by adding visual interest. You can get things higher on the wall when hanging as opposed to leaning, so when your space is vertically large, you’re going to want to opt for hanging!

Framed print of black and white abstract art in living room

Enough about hanging art already! Now let’s move on to some great times when you actually should choose to lean your art instead.

5 Times to lean your art:

When you’re dealing with an oversized piece of art, something that’s especially huge or heavy, you may not be physically able to hang it on your wall yourself, and it could really tear up your drywall if you try. It could even be ruined if it falls and breaks after being hung improperly, so this is an opportunity to lean with abandon. Think of large scale leaned artwork like a classy full length mirror. A piece in the corner or against a little-used wall can be a beautiful statement in your home.

Canvas print of friends on top of a drawer

On the other hand, as we mentioned above, leaned art has the potential to keep things casual. If you have a play space with a bunch of your kids’ artwork that you want to swap out often, then using interchangeable frames or printed canvas can make that task a breeze!

Again, at the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s the super high style and artistic vibe that leaned artwork can offer. Think of an art gallery with a special piece in a heavy frame leaned against a blank wall, or a high design clothing store with a stunning leaning mirror. You can channel that vibe with large leaned framed canvas and minimal other clutter in the room.

Okay, not like that! But hear us out: using leaned artwork or framed photos to cover up imperfections in your walls or unsightly plugs and cords can be a simple, cheap and still stylish solution! No one will know what’s hiding behind your strategically placed leaned artwork, and you just might forget that there is a big old tangle of cables back there too.

Canvas print of road trip on floating shelf

Renters delight: leaning your artwork is the ultimate way to get your security deposit back. Never risk tearing off a chunk of your wall with a nail or a sticky strip that’s supposed to be damage-free and then not being able to match the paint ever again! Leaning your artwork is the perfect solution for more temporary living situations, or even for homeowners who don’t want any wall damage.

Now that you’ve explored all the ways you can display leaning or hanging art, all that's left to do is to create a custom piece of wall art for your home!

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