One of the elements in magazine photos that always catches my eye is how others display their art. I evaluate the arrangement to see if there’s something unusual or that I particularly like or dislike about the display.
Displaying art falls into a few well defined categories: large art hung individually, groupings of multiple smaller pictures, art collage which includes a mixture of art and dimensional objects and mirrors. In the groupings category there could be further ‘sub categories’ like stairwell art, family photos or black and white.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to take you on a journey to explore your art preferences. We’ll look at how your art is currently hung, what could change about it, how to infuse your personality into a room using art, etc.
What is Art?
One of the most personal choices made in decorating a home is the selection of art. Much more so than a sofa or table, art says something about your view of the world, about your color and style preferences, and your hobbies and interests. As a designer I advise my clients all the time, “Choose art you love to look at and that speaks to you in some way, not because it matches the color of your sofa.”
Even your definition of art makes a statement about you. Do you love framing and hanging your children’s art? How about found objects from a nature walk? Do you prefer sentimental shadow boxes filled with memories, family photos chronicling each stage of your life, vintage signs, your own handicrafts, art photography from a street fair or an original oil painting? I guess my definition of art is anything you can hang on a wall. The trick is to do it attractively.
As a newly married couple, our hardest home decorating discussions were about art. It can be a fairly expensive accessory, so my husband and I agreed early on – we both have to like the piece before we spend the money on art. Sometimes that meant we went years without adding an “art” piece (that doesn’t count the occasional photo or poster purchase).
Art as a Single, Grouping, or Collage
How you display your art says something about your personality. If your home is filled with walls with a single piece of art, it could be saying you like order and simplicity; it might be implying you haven’t got time to do more than add a single piece; it could be that your home doesn’t have a lot of wall space and single pieces fit the walls better. Next week I’ll be explaining proportion and how to hang that single piece of art so it’s shown to its best advantage.
Displaying your art in a grouping says something about you too. It might say you have a good eye for scale; it might say you have too many pieces of ‘single’ art but want to display all the pieces you’ve collected; it might say you love the color…blue…and want to hang all your lovely blue things; it might say you love to travel and show off your lovely travel photos; it might reinforce your symmetrical (or asymmetrical) design style. Whatever the message, hanging art in a group can be a fabulous statement for a room. In a couple weeks I’ll share some designer tips for creating an art grouping – what to include/exclude, how close together to hang the pieces and more.
A display collage is a blending of art or pictures with other elements. I think it can be the most interesting as well as the most fun to assemble. If you’re intimidated by the idea of adding something unexpected to your walls, follow this series and I’ll be sharing some very successful collage efforts. Maybe you’ll be inspired!
This new series about displaying your art is only one of many informative topics we plan to cover. If you don’t want to miss all this free information, we hope you’ll subscribe. You can get our posts via RSS feed or directly to your email by signing up in the box at the top of the sidebar.
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