How to Arrange a Collection on a Wall

One of the biggest wall art trends we’ve seen over the last few years isn’t even technically “wall art” at all. More and more, both our clients and the interior designers we work with are opting to display wall “collections” instead. Whether it’s a large set of vintage bottles, a collection of road signs, or an assortment of straw hats, the category of what constitutes wall art is ever-expanding.

Because of the increasing popularity of this unconventional art type, we’ve quickly become experts in hanging objects of all shapes and sizes in a way that’s safe, secure, and beautiful. Here are a few of our best tips for arranging a collection on a wall.

1. Choose a hanging strategy. Objects with finite shapes — square road signs, round records that can be broken into even rows–lend themselves to a symmetrical or grid-style arrangement. A mixed collection of objects, or items with an abstract shape should be arranged in a looser, more fluid fashion like the arrangement of antlers, above.

arrange antlers on a wall

2. Lay it out first. To ensure you are satisfied with your end results BEFORE you secure them to the wall, create your arrangement on the floor first, moving things around until you have a layout that feels balanced. Then, take a picture of your final arrangement, and hang the pieces one at a time from the floor. For an abstract arrangement, eyeballing the distance between each item will work, but for a grid layout, you’ll want to measure both the perimeter of the grid, and the distance between each piece.

how to arrange wall decor collection

3. Choose the proper hanging solution. For certain items, like the plaque-mounted antlers we hung in the photos above, or something flat and lightweight like a road sign, traditional picture handing hardware will suffice. However, if your objects are three-dimensional, it might take some creative problem solving to hang them securely. One of our favorite solutions is to showcase 3-D pieces (especially pottery, glass bottles, and books) on display wedges. For items you want to mount directly to the wall, think outside of the box and consider specialized hardware, like plate hangers, guitar hangers, or a contemporary cable system.