Transform Your Home with Creative Wall Art Alternatives

Photography by William Dickey, design by The Lettered Cottage

Text by Bethany Adams

Filling the empty walls of your home can be a daunting task, and while it may be tempting to hang the first landscape you see, this is the perfect opportunity to express your personal cottage style. From tableware to textiles, let these nine ideas inspire you to create brand-new works of art on the walls of your own home.

Cool and Collected

wall art
Photography by Helen Norman, styling by Charlotte Safavi, design by Powell Brower Interiors

There are plenty of ways to display your beloved collections, but sometimes it’s as simple as hanging them on the wall for all to see. Whether framed—like these hand-illustrated vintage letters—or hung as-is, a grouping of cherished items doubles as beautiful art and an easy  conversation starter!

Photography by Marcy Black Simpson

Better than One

Photography by John O’Hagan

While a solitary painting may seem cliché, arranging similar works of art can result in a gallery wall that your guests will definitely notice. When displayed together, simple pieces picked up at thrift stores or flea markets—like these pastoral landscapes and portraits—are easily elevated into something remarkable. Depending on the style of your home, opting out of frames can offer a quaint country finish to the collection.

Photography by Jim Bathie

Serving up Style

Photography by Marcy Black Simpson

There’s a way to show love to your grandmother’s heirloom china without setting the table every day! Hanging tableware on your walls honors these pieces as the true works of art they are, from transferware to silver platters. And don’t be afraid to venture out of the dining room! Over the master bed, these ironstone beauties add a finishing touch without upstaging the wallpaper.

Photography by Marian Parsons

Reclaimed Remnants

Photography by Dodson Interiors

If you’re a lover of old things but living in a new home, you know the challenge of introducing beautiful patinas to your space in a way that feels natural. Often available at flea markets and antique stores, architectural remnants can provide the timeworn finishes you crave while fitting right in with the rest of your cottage. From elegant European embellishments to salvaged farmhouse details, it’s easy to find an option that will complement your home’s style.

Photography by Eric Roth

Fabulous Fibers

Photography by John O’Hagan, design by Brooks Interiors

From elaborate tapestries to heirloom quilts, textiles have been designed to be shown off for centuries! Vintage clothing, needlework, and even purses can be framed as wall art, while larger works are often hung using fabric loops attached to the back and slipped over rods or other mounting hardware. Whatever textiles you choose to display, make sure to consider factors like exposure to sunlight and moisture to keep the pieces display-worthy for generations to come.

Photography by Stephanie Welbourne Steele

The Perfect Recipe

Photography by Marcy Black Simpson

Just because something is useful doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful! If you’re short on storage space, keep in mind those necessities that can double as lovely works of art. Hanging copper cookware on the backsplash keeps it close at hand for ease in cooking while showing off that beautiful finish, and rather than taking up space in a drawer, rolling pins can be an eye-catching addition to a pantry wall.

Photography by Lu Tapp, styling by Sunday Hendrickson

Reflect Your Style

Photography by Cindy Blackenburg

In addition to enhancing natural light and helping a small space feel larger, the right mirror can be just as artistically pleasing as a painting or photograph. Gilded French beauties, patinated vanity pieces, and sleek contemporary creations are all wonderful options, depending on your style, and hanging them in groups can take them to the next level.

Photography by Helen Norman, styling by Charlotte Safavi, design by Powell Brower Interiors

Look for a Sign

Photography by Mark Lohman, styling by Sunday Hendrickson, design by Tumbleweed & Dandelion

Antique and vintage signs don’t just add color and weathered style to kitchens, bedrooms, and anywhere else you hang them, they can also be a nod to a personal interest or a way of remembering a special time or place. Even if they hold no personal significance, hanging a hand-painted sign is a great way to honor this underappreciated artform.

Photography by Haylei Smith, design by The Vintage Round Top

Mix it Up

Photography by William Dickey, design by The Lettered Cottage

Still can’t decide? Consider going for a selection of all your favorites, like these displays that combine paintings, photographs, mirrors, textile art, and more! Make sure to find that common element that ties everything together—whether it’s a color, theme, or something else—then have fun mixing and matching until you love what you see!

Photography by Laura Thurman

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