19 Tips To Consider Before You Hang Your Art

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In general, artwork should be hung so that the center point of the picture or grouping is at about eye level for the average person. While this won't be possible in every situation, it's a good guideline to keep in mind

Another technique to remember is that a grouping of pictures should be thought of as one unit. Test an arrangement of pictures by laying everything out on a large table (or on the floor), playing with combinations until you hit upon one that works. Laying them out on paper is even better since you'll be able to trace around each object and determine where picture hangers should be installed. Tape the paper up on the wall as a template for picture hangers and you'll be done in no time.

You can also lay out pieces of scrap molding (or tape) onto the floor to form the "outside" bundaries of a picture grouping -- the measurements within which the smaller pieces of art will be set. This is useful when a particular wall has certain boundaries that must be observed (such as a chair rail, windows, heating vents, and the like) and helps keep your arrangement the proper size.

Before you hang your art, consider these tips...

  • Relate Art to Wall Size: Choose smaller pictures for narrow walls and larger works for big wall spaces.
  • Relate Art to Furniture Size: In general, when hanging art over a piece of furniture it should not be longer than the width of the furniture.
  • Lighting: Illuminating artwork gives it importance and brings out it's colors.
  • Hang an Art Shelf: Popular art shelves are a great way to add interest and take up very little space. Artwork can be hung on the wall over the shelf as well.
  • Check Color: Vibrant colors bring excitement to a room while neutral colors are more calming. Choose an arrangment which best fits your taste.
  • Bigger is often Better: One large painting makes a statement and keeps things simple. It can also call attention to the focal point of a room.
  • Landscapes Open Up: Add the look or illusion of space to a small or windowless area by hanging landscape art.
  • Think Outside the Box: Get creative when framing your artwork.
  • Horizontal Lines: Strong horizontal lines in artwork, or in the way artwork is framed or hung, tend to be calming and can give the illusion of width in a narrow room.
  • Vertical Lines: Strong vertical lines -- in a picture, in a frame, or in the arrangement on the wall -- add to the feeling of height in a room.
  • Diagonal Lines: Strong diagonal lines -- either within a picture itself or in a line of pictures arranged on the wall -- add excitement to the composition.
  • Offset Arrangements: Avoid hanging matching pictures in a perfect line if you want to emphasize a casual atmosphere.
  • Symmetrical Arrangements: Symmetry adds balance and formality to an arrangement and is generally pleasing and calming to the observer.
  • Make a Box (Square): Two horizontally framed pictures can easily be hung with two vertically framed pictures by offsetting each style; together as one unit.
  • Hang Securely: Hang pictures to securely attached picture hooks rated for the weight of the artwork or object.
  • Mat Colors: Pictures will have greater impact if matted in a contrasting color to the wall. Choose a dark mat for a light wall and vice versa.
  • Stick to Your Theme: Support your room theme with art, repeating the colors, motifs, and style of the room's interior.
  • Art as Inspiration: Look for pictures that inspire you and use their themes and colors as the foundation for other room elements.
  • Add something Fun or Sexy: Art can be humorous, fun, whimsical, and/or sexy. Look for themes that fit your decorating style and bring out the colors in other elements of the room -- in fabrics, wall color, flooring, and window treatments.

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