Don’t Get Hung Up–Tips on How to Hang Your Photos

By Evelyn Eshun
Photos: Donna Santos

Shoe boxes filled with photos that have to be framed have been sitting in your closet for years. Sound familiar? I confess, I’m one of those people with watercolours from my travels, and treasured black and white family photos that have yet to be hung.

No better time than Spring to get to it and tackle the backlog of “to-do’s.” Family photos are a great place to start. In this living space,  I worked closely with the client to carefully select treasured images of the family that would then hang in their family room. It was an emotional journey which I was privileged to share and experience with our client.

My first step was to measure out the wall area which would be covered with the images. We decided to go for it and create a dense collage of similarly framed photos which were both black and white and sepia. Photos in colour that we loved were converted by the Art Framing company into sepia or black and white. We were also able to alter the size of some of the prints based on where we wanted to place them.

Because the collection was meant to be dense and busy, I chose to select about six different frames and mattes, that were all the same colour tone, but different weights , thicknesses and shapes. This kept a consistency throughout the collection. Mirrors were also made to break up the monotony of the photos and add a sparkle to the collection.

When creating a collection of art on your walls, it is important to realize that the eye is always looking for a line or pattern; you must give a cohesive look to the collection, and the first way to do so is by creating a rhythm. I picked the top and sides to be perfectly lined up so that it looks clean, and the “random” feeling comes from the unmatched lines within the collection.  Just like a carefully touseled hairstyle which is meant to look as though there was no effort in putting it together, this process took hours–about 16 to be exact–just planning where to hang, measuring,  and then hanging. Patience pays off though, and the finished look provided a true family room, where everyone is represented and part of the daily life of the family members.

Thoroughly inspired to get into your photos and art? Lay them all out on the floor or large table, just as they would hang on the wall. This will give you the ability to create a time-line or theme if you wish to do so, and it’ll also help you visualize the finished product on the wall.

Organizing Frames Evelyn 1



— Keep your photography all colour or all two tone–this will give harmony to your collection

— Turn favourite colour photos to black and white and size them up or down as required

— Use frames and mattes that are of similar styles in order to make the collection focus on the photos

— Vary the size of frames and mattes to add a dynamic element to your collection

— Space the frames four to six inches apart, and about ten inches from the back of your sofa or table for perfect harmony

— Include mirrors of various shapes to add interest in your collection


Evelyn Eshun is a Toronto-based accredited, award-winning interior designer and Principal of Evelyn Eshun Design. For almost two decades she has concentrated on custom-designed residential projects throughout the GTA. She is known for making your space a showcase, and bring out the best in you.


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