Rookie Mistake: Quote Art

Rookie Mistakes: a series of common decor mistakes made by rookies… aka us. And no we are not judging because we have made (and continue to make) these mistakes too!

Remember the Rookie Mistakes series is a NO JUDGEMENT ZONE. We’ve both made ALL of these decorating mistakes in our own homes and simply want you to learn from us so you can make your home look amazing.

Rookie Mistake – Too Many Quotesdisplaying too many quotes in your home

We have all seen quote art, right? These prints display a meaningful, motivational, or entertaining quote to showcase in your home. Don’t get us wrong, quote art is NOT a bad thing… not at all! That’s definitely not what we want you to take away from this post.

Heck, we are actually big fans of displaying quotes in our homes, especially using our Letterfolk boards!

too much quote art

But you know how the old saying goes about “too much of a good thing”. That rule rings very true when it comes to displaying quote art in your home. There is room for some quote art, but this can quickly turn into a Rookie Mistake if your collection grows too large.

Limit The Quotes!

Having quote art displayed all over the walls and the shelves in your home can quickly become overwhelming and actually dilutes the messages that you are trying to showcase. Plain and simple, your house is just too talkative! Haha, I know this is a funny way to think about it, but it’s so true.

displaying art and quote art

And I come to this conclusion not by judging other people’s homes, but realizing I was a repeat offender of this rookie mistake and had to make some changes! After I took down my Christmas decorations, I realized I had a letterfolk board, a quote framed on my built-ins, and another quote displayed on a book that lay on the side table.

how to display a letterfolk board

I get it, not the end of the world. But seeing all of these quotes in one place made me feel overwhelmed! In just ONE room in my house, I was reminded to be kind. I turn the other way and see a reminder to be bold. And then I about-faced only to read my favorite homebody quote. Way too many directives in one place, which made all of them seem diluted.

And that was only in our family room. I took inventory of the rest of our house and was a little embarrassed to realize that MY house was way too talkative, which was negating any of the messages I was trying to display. (wah-wah)

One (and a half) Quotes Per Room… Tops!

After reflecting on this rookie mistake a little more, I came up with an easy-to-follow rule to help all of us quote lovers from going overboard.

Leaving baby overnight for first time

My rule?! You should only display one and a half quotes per room (tops!).

Ideally, I would say only one quote per room, but I do think there are a few exceptions to this rule, which is why I adjusted it to “one and a half”. Allow me to explain. Let’s start with the one and then we can chat about the “half”.

I think it’s safe to display one piece of quote art per room, trying not to fill every single room in your home with a quote even though the rule technically allows it. It’s okay to have a quote in your family room, one in your kitchen, and one in your bedroom. But do you really need one in each of those rooms, plus the dining room, mudroom, bathrooms, entryway, etc.? I personally think that feels a little talkative, but that’s up to you.

If you’re below one per room (while skipping a few rooms altogether), I think you are great shape!

So what’s this “half” I’m talking about? I do think there is a way to display one large piece of quote art in a room and still have space for another very small quote (if necessary). For example, Ben’s nursery has quote art that is the focal point above his dresser. It’s my favorite print of all time. But on his shelf, I also display a very small quote block he received as a gift when he was born. I think this combo can work because the shelf décor is very small. I count the big quote + the tiny quote as 1.5.

 how to display quote art

I use this same 1.5 philosophy in my family room. I display a large letterboad that I love and also have a small print on the shelfie that more subtly displays a quote. The framed quote is more of a layer to the décor and less of a focal point, so I only count this as a half.

displaying quote art in your house the right way

But because two of my rooms are tipping the scales with 1.5 quotes, I try to keep quotes very minimal or non-existent in every other room. This way the house doesn’t feel too talkative, but I can still display quotes that are meaningful to our family.

Generic vs. Meaningful Quote Art

While we are on the topic, I have to address one other thing you have to keep in mind when choosing quote art. 

Warning: Tough love ahead because I think this is so important with no room for exceptions! a thoughtful place quote art

Image via A Thoughtful Place

Your quote art HAS to be meaningful for it to work anywhere in your room. The message that you are sending should deeply resonate with you and your family. I love this gorgeous piece of art that our dear friend Courtney displays because it has such a deep meaning to her family. Not only does her quote art “count” follow the 1.5 rule, but even more importantly, it’s meaningful.

All too often I see generic quotes sold at stores and I cringe (I’m looking at you “Live, Laugh, Love”). Although these may be tempting, try and hold out for quote art that you are proud to display in your home because it speaks to you personally.

Avoiding those generic messages will make you appreciate the quotes you choose to display so much more and will ensure you don’t have the same cookie-cutter sayings as everyone else in your neighborhood.

Tips To Avoid This Rookie Mistake

how to display quote art

  • Quote art can totally work, but make sure your home doesn’t become too talkative!
  • Choose quote art with intention… even if that means passing up on that “cute” generic art and instead, holding out until you find one that speaks to you personally. It’ll be well worth it in the end!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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