Leaning Pictures and Mirrors


How to sell your home and make a faster, more profitable sale

Leaning mirror and chair. How to sell your house.A leaning floor mirror adds a sense of extra dimension to this room. Photo by Pottery Barn.

Leaning pictures and mirrors against the walls is an easy decorating alternative to hanging them up and great for those who have a fear of commitment.

Leaning artwork results in a less formal, casual look that is very appealing and handy for those who love to change out their accessories often.

My mother, who is a natural born interior decorator, has been leaning pictures and mirrors against the walls as far back as I can remember, long before it became vogue. 

Whether you are redesigning your home decor or planning to do your own home staging in preparation for selling your home, the following ideas for leaning pictures and mirrors should inspire you.

Benefits of leaning pictures and mirrors

Fireplace mantle vignetteMirrors add extra dimension and light to your home interior.
  • It's just so darn easy!
  • You can display pictures or mirrors without the hassle of measuring and putting toggle bolts or nail holes in your walls.
  • Leaning a floor mirror against the wall in a small space will make it feel larger.
  • Leaning pictures, instead of hanging them will prevent window glare from obscuring the art.
  • Leaning pictures and mirrors lends a casual, yet elegant look to your home design. If you prefer a formal look, hang your artwork instead.
  • You can quickly change out artwork to another part of the house when you get bored with the placement. 
  • Leaning pictures and mirrors can be used to hide unattractive things like; electrical panels, wall outlets, unsightly wiring or damaged walls.
  • You will never have to straighten pictures again! They will always be level.
  • Leaning pictures and mirrors is the ideal room decoration solution for renters— they won't have to repair holes in the walls when they move.

Where to lean pictures and mirrors

Black and white themed bathroom.

You can lean pictures and mirrors practically anywhere;

  • Fireplace mantels
  • On the floor, against a wall
  • Shelves, inside bookcases
  • Chair railings
  • On flat surfaces, like sofa tables, consoles, buffet tables
  • Windowsills
  • The top surface of an upright piano

  • Display pictures on an artist's easel. Easels are ideal for interior decorating because you can move them wherever you want.
  • I've even seen pictures leaning on back of a toilet

What kind of artwork can be leaned?

You aren't limited to leaning pictures and mirrors alone. Any kind of flat decorative object will look interesting if you lean it. 

Look for exciting "leaning" possibilities at antique and second-hand stores.

Spend a day wandering around a flea market, imaging what would look fun leaning on your fireplace mantle, a shelf, against a dresser mirror, even on the floor.

Here are just some decorative objects for the home that would look great:

  • Stained glass
  • Old salvaged doors
  • Rustic or brightly painted shutters
  • Rustic iron bed frames with ornate design elements
  • Flat architectural objects
  • Serving trays, platters, flat baskets...
Artwork design interior picturesLeaning pictures and objects of similar color combinations or design will tie them together.
  • Weathered wood, reclaimed barn siding
  • Large letters, old neon numbers or letters
  • Large coffee table-sized books
  • Picture frames
  • Flat sculptural objects
  • an old gate, weathered fencing
  • old store signs
  • Paper products, like vintage greeting cards and sheet music

Layering pictures and mirrors; creating vignettes

Leaning pictures and mirrors creates a casual look.Layer pictures and mirrors with other objects to add dimension and excitement to your home decor.

Layering pictures and mirrors with other decorative objects for the home can add dimension and fun to your home decor. Vary color, texture, height and shape of objects. When layering, DON'T allow acrylic canvas surfaces to touch, as they will often stick together, especially in warm weather.

Experiment by incorporating some of the following room decorating ideas:

Design interior picturesOverlap leaning artwork slightly, so that each item is visible
  • Overlap artwork slightly, so that a part of each item is visible.
  • Large heavy objects on the floor, like mirrors or shutters, look great when layered with live potted plants and sculptural decorative objects from the garden. Be sure items are in proper scale to the size of the room-- don't use small objects in your floor arrangements.
  • Group old picture frames in varying sizes, contrasting colors or frame styles.
  • Arrange items according to theme; landscape pictures, antique pictures, beachy items, black and white photographs, and so on.
  • A stack of hardcover books, a candle base, or small box can be used to raise smaller objects.
  • For a sophisticated look, group canvases or frames in the same color palette.
  • For a bohemian look, lean artwork of varied colors and patterns.

Objects that work well in layering with pictures and mirrors; dried starfish,  only attractive hardcover books with the jackets removed) rustic ironware, baskets, trays, plates, candles, vases, candlesticks and lamps. A lamp will add light and dimension to your display.

How to keep pictures and mirrors from slipping

Place a small piece of carpet grip or rubber drawer liner under leaning items on table tops to prevent them from slipping. Cut it thin and place it to the back of your leaning object so it won't show.

Or, place a heavy object in front of leaning pictures and mirrors. A pretty rock, (like a geode or fossil) a large candle, a stack of books, or a small piece of statuary will hold things in place.

If you have a house for sale, don't display personal photos. Why? Because home buyers will be distracted by them, making it harder to see themselves in your home.

When I was a real estate agent showing houses, it never failed... home buyers always stopped to check out personal photos.

Decorating with floor mirrors

Leaning large floor mirrorAttach large floor mirrors to the wall if you have small children.

When you decorate with a large floor mirror, you should always consider what the mirror will be reflecting. If a mirror is reflecting an air conditioner or other unattractive feature, try another area.

A good rule of thumb is to place a mirror where it’ll reflect the outdoors. This will create a feeling of spaciousness and light. If this isn’t possible, try placing the mirror where it’ll reflect an artificial light source, like a pretty chandelier. This will scatter light around the room.

Avoid leaning small pieces of artwork or mirrors on the floor. They will be lost in the overall landscape of a room.

How to secure a leaning mirror to the wall

If you are decorating with a large mirror and have kids running around, you should be concerned about your heavy mirror falling. You can attach a hook to the back of the piece to secure it to the wall.

Below is a video showing one way to secure a heavy leaning mirror.

See the video below on how to secure a leaning mirror to the wall. Video by MirrorLot of canvaslot's channel.

Make your own floor mirror

If you've always wanted one of those popular floor mirrors but couldn't afford it, watch the DIY video below. It shows you how to make your own affordable leaning floor mirror. Video by pinksofoxy.

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