How To Hang Art in Your Home
Do you ever thumb your way through interior design magazines and marvel at how art is displayed on the walls of these gorgeous homes? It looks easy enough to create a salon style collection of hangings, but when it comes time to recreate the look at home, the results can look sloppy and hackneyed if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are a few pointers to help you get that art onto walls to be admired as it should be.
SIZE AND SCALE
The biggest error I see people making is not understanding what size art a room demands. The wrong size art in a room will throw everything off. Typically folks hang a too-small piece in a room say over the sofa or mantle. If your desired display piece isn’t the right size, try grouping a few pieces together to get the right scale. Play with the grouping on the floor first, before putting nails in your wall.
You also want to ensure pieces are hung at eye level, or that at least your showstopper piece is. Most galleries hang their art at about 58 inches from the ground. That means, in general, the centre of the artwork should be at 58 inches. To get the placement right, there’s some math to do: Measure the distance between the wire and the top of the frame, and measure the height of the art and divide it in half. Measure 58 inches on the wall, add the measurement of half the art’s height and subtract the distance between the wire and the top of the frame. The nail will go the nail here.
This 58 inch rule works too when you’re hanging a picture ledge. But disregard the rule if folks won’t be standing to admire the piece. In a room primarily used for sitting, the perspective will change and you should keep this in mind.
CLUSTERING ART WORK
Salon style is the perfect way to make a statement, especially if you have a large bare wall on which to create a grand display. Hang the largest piece show stopping piece in the middle, at eye level (58″), and then build out. It’s okay if it’s not symmetrical it’s okay if your frames are all mis-matched, in fact that’s generally preferable. It’s also okay to mix media here: display a basket, a headdress, ceramics in with your line drawings, posters, prints, pictures and paintings.
The grid is a great way to make a bold statement. In this case all frames should match and each should be spaced 2 to 3 inches apart from one another. The grid works to give you the scale of a singular piece of art but allows admirers to focus in on each one. When measuring to hang a grid, lay out the frames on the floor first. You’ll need to use the measurement of the full display to map out where each piece is going.
KEEP YOUR AUDIENCE IN MIND
Furniture hung in children’s spaces should be at their eye level. Likewise, if you’re hanging art in a room where visitors are likely to be seated, hang things slightly lower.
Have fun with your art! It’s meant to be admired!