clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:


Ask Flipped: Is It Cool to Hang Art on the Floor?

Hanging artwork on the walls seems like it's been done already

Welcome back to Ask Flipped, where we answer very real questions from readers who are having problems with home decor, design, or anything else. Do you have a question? Write it on a post-it note and throw it into a strong gust of wind. If it was meant to be, we will find the post-it and answer the question.

Dear Flipped,

I recently bought some paintings in the hopes of giving my home a little more character. (I was worried that my decor was too bland after a friend made a comment to that effect.) I hung my new artwork on the walls and, I have to admit, it immediately helped. My formerly boring house was instantly transformed into a sophisticated and tasteful abode. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself until I went to another friend's house for a party and discovered that he also has paintings hanging on his walls! I was so embarrassed, and just thanked my lucky stars that I'd only showed a few people my place's new look. I don't want anyone to think I'm a copycat (even though I did come up with the idea independently, but good luck convincing people that, right?) so I took all the artwork down and hung it on the floor instead. It still looks pretty good, but I thought I should consult an expert just in case. Please review the attached picture and tell me if it works.

Let's keep this one between us,

Anonymous on the East Coast


Dear AEC,

I'm sure it will disappoint you to hear this, but just as you were not the first person to conceive of hanging artwork on the walls, neither are you the first person to conceive of hanging it on the floors. I was doing that myself way back in the '80s (I may have been one of the early pioneers, in fact) so I can tell you firsthand about all the pitfalls:

  1. You end up stepping on the artwork. Sure, during the day you can just skirt around it and it turns your house into a fun little obstacle course, but you're probably going to end up putting your foot through a canvas the first time you come home after dark. One solution for this is to wrap the frames in Christmas lights, but I've always found that a little kitschy whenever I've seen it.
  2. Most paintings clash with hardwood. Walls tend to be painted, so the paint from the paintings goes perfectly with the paint on the walls—a classic paint/paint pairing. Not so with floors. So, unless you can find a bunch of mosaics made out of wood (and good luck this time of year) you're not really doing yourself any decor favors here.
  3. I already did it. Did I mention that I already did this, in the '80s? I was ahead of my time, and got myself featured in more than a few magazines. But you are behind your time. Or is it my time? Either way, don't do it.

There are a lot of ways that you can hang artwork that haven't been overdone yet and I suggest you find one of them. Maybe you could hang it on the ceiling. Or on the wall, but facing backwards so that you only see the backs of the canvases. Or under the couch, or really anywhere—I don't want to tell you exactly what to do, because it seems like it would do you good to figure this one out on your own.

Good luck,


Ask Flipped [Curbed]