Category Archives: The Art Of Hanging Art

The Art of Hanging Art #3: Where Does This Go?

Pay attention to scale.

A small picture swimming by itself on a lot of wall space

looks silly.


Art Hung In Unusual Places Can Be Great
Art Hung In Unusual Places Can Be Great

Remember to step back and notice

you are creating a Big Composition

in three-dimensional space.

The walls are probably at least 8 feet high. Think of the width and height of a wall as a Large Canvas.  Err on the side of “Big”, or create volume with quantity for this reason.  It’s all about proportion and balance in relationship to the size of the room and the wall you are decorating.

Also take note of the size of the room. Large-scale objects and large-scale art can to be used to great effect in small rooms.  Make sure to pare down clutter to zero.  Less (stuff) is really More here.

The way you position your collection on the walls can affect the way the size of the room is perceived. You can visually raise the ceiling by mounting your art presentation to ascend vertically as well as horizontally. Rather than mounting a series of four pictures horizontally, try mounting the series moving vertically up a wall two by two instead, so you have a quartet or sextet of fine art.

About those trophies and family photos: Deciding where and how to display personal photos and honors is tough.  Your home should reflect You of course, and is an appropriate showcase for awards, trophies diplomas etc., but a public shrine to yourself is both gauche and off-putting.

Since you’re “going public”, accept the fact that this personal display is for you and your pleasure, and is for the most part truly boring to anybody else.

Nobody but the family is all that interested in family photos.


Start by editing. You probably don’t need to display five different Polaroids of your eight-year-old self in a Halloween costume.  Repair photos before moving on to the hanging phase while you’re at it.

Make your “personal display” fun, not perfect or perfectly staged. Mix the professional studio portrait in with the candid snap mug shot of you: big shots with pot shots so to speak, large photos with tiny ones. Personally, I like order with my informality, so I would still keep the space between frames uniform.  Don’t forget to think in terms of balance and composition.

One truly inspired thing to do with the family photos is to organize them into one big-framed piece of art, or even a Kraft paper covered bulletin board.  This approach cuts down on the clutter of 40 odd frames considerably.  If you are feeling more ambitious, your selected batch of photos can be shrunk or blown up to the same size for all, or with the help of PhotoShop, can all be turned to tones of sepia.  Arrange in a grid pattern for handsome results.

As for Where to locate all your personal wonderfulness…Look for the out-of -the-way, unexpected places, like stairways, hallways, powder rooms etc.

You can have your “fond memories” on display for your guests to visit

without having to spend the entire evening with them.

One unusual but effective “out-of-the-box” idea is to hang a picture under a desk.  Assuming a large chair wouldn’t visually block the piece, the legs of the desk act as an effective frame for the picture.  Another interesting place to hang something is at the end of counters.  As long as the counter isn’t so close to the doorway as to put said art in danger of being bumped into by accident, you’re good.

Whatever you are hanging, short of hiring someone to do it for you, bear in mind it’s more fun and best done with a friend.  An extra pair of eyes and hands makes it easier.

Related Posts

Rethinking Design Rules

The Art Of Hanging Art #2: The Lowdown On How High

The Art Of Hanging Art #1:  First Things First

An Art Collection You Can Call Your Own

The Savvy Art Buy In Uncertain Times

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