Hanging art in your home shouldn't be controversial. There are some great rules of thumb to always follow. Too often I see pictures on someone's wall that I have to crane my neck to see. They're hung way too high. Is that so giraffes that you invite over for dinner can have a better view of your art than people?
As in all things dealing with interior design, there are common sense solutions to hanging art. These 10 tips are from Val Sharp, the Interior ReDesign guru on one of my favorite home sites, casaGURU.
- Hang art to work with furniture. You want to use the art to enhance the furniture it’s around.
- Hang art in pairs or groupings. A pair of pictures or a collection of art has much more impact than a single piece floating on the wall by itself, except for the case of large paintings that have enough presence to "carry" the wall. Also, artwork has much more impact if it’s hung over a piece of furniture or even if a shelf has been placed underneath to provide more impact.
- Pay close attention to the components of groupings. They should relate either by subject or color. Observe the placement of dark and light frames as well as matting colors. Try to achieve a sense of balance by mixing the colors throughout the grouping.
- Hang art that’s the right scale. A grouping or single picture should occupy about 2/3 of the space of the piece of furniture it is hanging over to achieve the proper proportion – and never overlap the piece of furniture.
- Hang art low enough. When placing artwork over a piece of furniture such as a sofa or a table, hang it no higher than 6 - 9 inches over the furniture (3-5 inches may even work better if the picture is visually light). This will ensure the art and the furniture is seen as one vignette. As for placing art on hallways (or other areas you walk by), the universally accepted height for hanging pieces is 58 inches to the middle of the art (art galleries usually hang art 56 inches from the middle of the piece so you have a bit of a range).
- Tuck artwork in unusual places. An example is between the lamp table and lampshade. This will create a nice surprise for the eyes.
- Use art to expand a piece of furniture. If you have a tall and narrow piece of furniture, add stacked artwork on the side of it to expand the width.
- Hang items other than traditional art. Plates, hats, baskets, wall reliefs, shelves, sconces, and quilts work well. Almost all accessories can be hung using fish line.
- Make sure that pieces of art don’t compete. Ensure all art works together and draws the eye to the focal point.
- Only hang art that you love.