Tag Archives: art collecting

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

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An Art Display Fail…

Hang your art too high and it no longer relates to the area you are decorating.

In other words, don’t automatically assume that all wall art should be hung at eye level.

Opportunity:  create a wall composition that relates to the furnishings and the architecture of the room. One example would be to set a picture on a table off center and leaning against the wall. Now, arrange objects and/or lighting next to and around it to create balance and interest.

To hang any kind of collection on a wall attractively, first lay it out on the floor in the exact dimensions of the wall space you want to fill.  Use what’s underneath the proposed composition to determine length.  For example, if you want to hang a grouping over a sofa that’s 86” in length, then the overall width of your composition shouldn’t exceed that or it might visually over-power the sofa.  Just in case of the odd wildly gesticulating arm, leave a 6-8” margin between the top of the sofa and the bottom of the art.

If you are unsure of how something will look on any given wall or how high to position it, here is an invaluable tip well worth the extra time:  Make an exact measure template of the piece in Kraft paper (available in rolls at art supply stores and probably your local drug store too).  Use blue painter’s tape (sticks without pulling up the paint when you remove it), and try a few different positions and locations first.

A level is a must for placing frames, mirrors, and brackets. In addition, make your measurements between frames more or less equal and not too far apart.

If you don’t pay attention to spacing, the pictures won’t relate to each other. This equals Display-Fail.

Frames don’t have to match but they should be similar in style/color/material. Organize groupings attractively by subject, size or color.

Don’t spread what would naturally be a grouping  (those ubiquitous family photos) all around the room.
More impact, less clutter.

The following suggestions are by no means rules. They are only concepts to be mindful of to avoid an overall effect that appears “top heavy” by accident;

  • Put larger pieces with heavier frames at the bottom of your picture composition, as these naturally appear “heavier”.
  • Consider color from another perspective.  Darker colored frames “seem” heavier than lighter ones.
  • When the frames of a series of pictures are the same in size and color, all of the art can be hung together to form a giant composition.
Big rectangular grids on walls look spectacular.

One foolproof arrangement on a blank wall with no furniture is to set the top of the lowest piece 58 “ above the floor.  Always use two hooks to keep the art stable. Unless you’re hanging something very heavy (more than 60 pounds) you don’t need anchors, except if they offer you greater peace of mind as a concept.

The two hooks should spaced about half the width of the frame (if the piece is 36 inches wide, space hooks 18” apart). Again, use a level to mark your two points before hammering.

Another Art Work Fail. The most beautiful wall arrangement ever won’t work if you haven’t fully considered if the area makes sense for the themes of the art and the look of the frames.

Next Time: The Art Of Hanging Art #3: Which Works With What?

Related Posts

(The Art Of Hanging Art Four Part Series)

The Art Of Hanging Art #3: Which Works With What?

The Art Of Hanging Art #1: First Things First

The Art Of Hanging Art #4: Where Is This Going?


Article Photo: https://pixabay.com/en/photos/poster/

Large Article Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane/8256700744 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane/ Creative Commons: Taken on July 12, 2012 Some rights reserved

Questions? Cindy@DecodingDecor.com