In yesterday’s post I discussed how to determine the right height for hanging your art – either single pieces or groupings – because art is often hung too high. Today I’m sharing a few tips on where to hang your art now that you understand how to determine the best height for viewing it.
First, please understand that anything you love and want to hang on your walls can be art. Art not only means paintings, posters and photographs but also rugs, fans, signs, plates, hats, baskets, quilts, old game boards, license plates, old wooden gears, childrens’ drawings and any other interesting pieces you want to hang on your walls. The art you use in your home should be something you love and are happy to look at everyday.
Hang Art in Relation to Surroundings and Furnishings
Unless you have an entire wall dedicated as a gallery, you need to hang your art in relation to the room’s architecture and nearby furnishings. Keep the following in mind so your art, your room and your furniture enhance one another:
- Match the shape of the art to the shape of a wall – hang vertical art and groupings on vertical wall spaces and horizontal art and groupings on horizontal wall spaces
- If hanging art into a corner make sure each piece is the same distance away from the corner wall line and also lined up along the bottom and top edges
- Art over the fireplace should be sized to fill from 2/3 to the full width of the mantel – do not extend mantel art beyond the mantel’s width and art less than 1/2 the width of the mantel will look too small proportionately
- Art should be no higher than 5″ to 9″ from the back of a sofa or chair or the top of a table in order for the furniture and art to read as a visual unit
- A single piece of art or a grouping of art should ideally cover approximately 2/3 of the width of the furniture it hangs over. In order for proportion of the art installation to work well with the furniture it should never be wider than the furniture and never less than half its width – aim for 2/3 for the best proportion.
- Hang art to increase the visual weight of a piece of furniture. If you have a bookshelf that is tall and a bit narrow, hang art on both sides to increase its visual width. If more height is needed on a wall, top a piece of furniture with a piece of art.
- When using mirrors as art hang them to reflect natural light or a view
Hang Art in Relation to Other Art
If you hang more than one piece of art in a room you need to consider how all the art relates. For positive impact you should:
- Keep art pairs or sets of art together instead of scattering them around the room – you’ll gain a lot more visual impact by doing so
- Create groupings in which the individual art pieces relate to one another in terms of subject, color, material, or framing. For example, don’t mix color and black and white photographs in the same grouping – stick with one or the other. If grouping floral images arrange them so the color is balanced throughout the installation.
- When hanging multiple pieces make sure the frames are the same or complement each other well (don’t use sleek aluminum frame next to a gilded baroque frame!)
- Make sure all of the art used in the room works together without clashing or competing
- Hang heavier art (whether physical or visual weight) at the bottom of a grouping with lighter pieces above
Use Art to Surprise
Now that you know how to determine the best height for art and how to place it in relation to the room, the furnishings and other art pieces, break the rules and place a piece or two of art as a surprise to viewers by placing them in an unexpected spot:
All photos from Posh Living, LLC were found on Flickr.
How Do You Use Art in Your Home?
If you’re interested in learning how to successfully create a gallery wall for your art then don’t miss Terrie’s post on Monday, March 1. She’s got lots of tricks and tips for creating visually stunning art groupings for your home.
What’s hanging on your walls and why? Share how you use art in your home by leaving a comment below or email us at email@example.com. We’d love to know how you’ve “art-fully” decorated your home!