Abigail Ahern reveals her golden rule for putting small framed artwork up on your walls

Advice from the designer will accentuate your treasured pieces and turn your home into an aesthetic gallery space

Abigail Ahern small art frame tips
(Image credit: Photo by Kam Idris on Unsplash)

Esteemed interiors expert Abigail Ahern is noted for her signature dark-toned palette – but now she is influencing how we style the most kaleidoscopic pieces in our homes. Yes, Abigail has reshaped our gallery wall ideas by sharing her styling tips for small artworks – so your favorite piece can create the statement you always intended. 

‘Art really brings your walls alive, and I don’t want you to freak out that you haven’t got an art collection,’ Abigail begins in her Instagram video. Instead, she suggests there is no wrong place to source art and recommends clipping images and quotes that involve joy from magazines. 

Though these pieces may be small, Abigail explains that they can stand at the forefront of our modern homes. In her tutorial, she explains everything you need to know. 

Abigail Ahern small art frame tips

(Image credit: Future / Paul Raeside)

‘The big thing I want to say is, there are two ways that you can go with art. You can go supersized, or you can go quite ‘diddy’; it doesn’t actually matter. The only thing that [does] matter is if you’re going ‘diddy,’ [you] couldn’t just have a small print on the wall without something that almost comes up underneath it,’ Abigail begins. 

Abigail demonstrated how to hang a picture using a small frame and a large lamp that sat underneath the piece. After removing the light, Abigail focused on the single small frame that was left alone in the space. 

Abigail Ahern small art frame tips

(Image credit: Future / Paul Massey)

‘If I took this lamp away, do you see how lonesome that would feel? It would feel awful,’ she shares. Abigail recommends pairing a small frame with a lamp or a plant because these pieces have ‘a lot of visual weight’ that accentuates the small artwork and brings the frame into the center of the scheme. ‘Otherwise, it would feel like it’s on a sinking ship,’ she adds.

Abigail Ahern small art frame tips

(Image credit: Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash)

See: Expert tips for creating a happy gallery wall without sacrificing style

Similarly, Abigail recommends using mounted frames to emphasize the power of a small art piece and ensure it is not overlooked in your wider interior scheme. 

‘You can get away with putting a small image in [the frame], but it’s given grandeur by having a large mount around it, so it feels more impressive than it really is. It’s a really simple trick,’ Abigail explains.

So, will you be taking the scissors to the images in the latest issue of Livingetc? We're sorry, of course, we just had to ask. 

Megan Slack

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team.

Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US whilst studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site.

Megan currently lives in London, where she relocated from her hometown in Yorkshire. In her home, she experiments with interior design trends and draws inspiration from the home decor ideas she observes in her everyday work life. Her favorite pieces include her antique typewriter and her expansive collection of houseplants. When she isn’t writing, she is browsing London’s coffee shops and bookstores to add to her ever-growing library, taking over the open shelving in her apartment.