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Why Picture frames of different sizes should not be put together



Have not it happened to you that you want to avoid controversy and you decide to stay quite just because of it? It sometimes happens to me on décor matters. We, designers, can have very different opinions and in order to avoid meaningless arguments it is better not to say a word. But this is going to be an exception; there is something I’ve wanted to express since long time ago and; even though I know many will get upset, today I am going to say it: Frames of paintings of different sizes should not be together!

No; it is not a whim I am going to stand or my opinion on a very coherent way through the following lines.

Would you accompany me? Either you agree or not with me; I’d like you to read this article and then leave me your opinion inside the comments box.

Paintings and Frames – How to Actually Organize Them?


The first thing we should evaluate is if we actually like those paintings. We should be connected with the theme; with the colors and even with the style. Just by evaluating these three aspects you will get the same conclusion I just did.

Paintings with different frames cannot be together.

The proper way to say it would be: together but not mixed. The size of the wall must be proportional to the size of the painting; that is to say, on a small wall the best thing to do is to place small paintings. Of course; the shape of the wall affects this decision a lot. Since the wall next to us while going up stairs has very singular dimensions compared to the rest of the walls.

A long wall should go with a long painting, but not a tall painting. Thus; those people that use two vertical paintings in order to highlight the main painting, never manage to either highlight the main piece or make the side paintings look nice.

Shapes are a determinant factor. I am not just speaking of the frames or the paintings, but the wall shape too.

So let’s try to analyze this calmly.

On extremely big walls


Once again; let’s go back to the stairs wall. I do not want you to think I am contradicting myself; remember I said “together but not mixed”.

This means that a wall of this magnitude could go dressed with a variety of paintings of different sizes; However, there must be some sort of clear harmony in these paintings.

It is not usually convenient to hang varied art on this wall. It is one of the walls most prone to accidents as people tend to pay more attention to the wall when they go upstairs than when they come down.

This is the ideal wall to place a set of paintings arranged in chronological order, not art pictures; but the most valuable traditional photographs of the family history. That is, the copies.

In this way you will not regret if any of them falls and is damaged, it will simply enough to print a new photograph and buy another frame.

And speaking of the frames that is the main theme; here comes the game with shapes and sizes.

Preferably only with the sizes.

Aligning the paintings in equal columns will achieve a good effect; although the width of the pictures is not the same nor it is the height, they will have a good starting point.

Pictures of the family members when they were little, the photograph of your graduation in college, then the wedding, the birth of your child.

The chronological order of the family is given in different sizes of photographs and therefore; in different sizes of frames but all those frames can have slight differences that will not make them look like a mediocre decoration.

With that it is shown that a wall can exhibit frames of different sizes, as long as it is done in the right way. So the chronological order will be upward. It will begin with your story and end with that of your children. The bigger the family then the first photos are yours to move to another place.

At some point the house will belong only to your children, and they will have a sanctuary to you, their parents. It is good that the family starts thinking about that one of the many topics.

Rules for hanging a picture

Depending on the room in which the wall is, the picture should go some distance from both the floor and the side objects or ornaments.

If it is a picture that goes over the bed of the master bedroom for example the distance between the frame and the head of the bed must be at least 45 centimeters.

However; if it is a painting on a wall dedicated to it, it should be hung at a distance of 1.60 centimeters from the floor to the center of the piece. Ideally, the center of the picture should be at the level of people’s eyes.

Most important of all is when the same wall shares several pieces that the center of all the pictures is aligned.

Pictures are organized by style, by genre or by theme. When you have several paintings that share the same theme these can be organized according to the technique of the artists.

If you want to dedicate a wall to a single genre, then the decorative line should be focused towards the style.


However; when we include frames to these pieces of art, the dynamic changes.

You cannot place a painting that has a thick frame next to a stylized frame; you will lose the perspective of the work. By themselves; frames cause that part of the beauty of the work is distorted. Especially the Victorian era frames that were a work of art in themselves.

Therefore, the paintings must be placed together with the same type of frame, so that, although the style of the works is different, they will give the idea of order.

The size of the frames and the works

The bigger the work the bigger the frame? Well; not always, I must say. There are many ways to highlight small parts; it is not strange in these days of modern art to appreciate a small photograph on a large white canvas bordered by a black frame.

For these cases you should remember that, if the frame is on a piece of furniture; it cannot exceed the width of said furniture. Especially if the painting will be placed on the head of the bed. The feeling of heaviness that you get before such an image is really uncomfortable.

But when we talk about several pieces in different frames of different sizes, the best way to place them together, if the pieces of art have the same style or genre, is to make the edges match.


For this I recommend that using paper or cardboard. Cut several patterns with the measurements of the pictures and using a bit of tape to hit them on the wall.

Once there you can check the rule that each frame should be separated from the other a distance equal to double the frame and with patience, you will be able to achieve that the final form is a kind of bigger picture.

That is to say; frames of different size can be grouped without being scrambled, as long as the works that are contained by them keep harmony between themselves and the decoration that surrounds them.


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I love writing about interior design. I am in love with achieving harmony at home to improve the well-being of my family. I usually write for the "Visitacasas" blog, both in Spanish and English, and personally answer the questions about home decoration of all our users.

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