Whether you’re hanging your latest masterpiece you painted at that paint party you went to recently, a family heirloom, one large piece or a lot of small ones, determining the proper placement of your artwork can sometimes seem daunting. Don’t be scared! Here’s a guide on how to hang artwork to make the process a little bit easier, and maybe even fun.
Tips and Tricks
Look for a focal point in your room like a fireplace. When hanging art over the fireplace, it’s a good idea to make the art grouping about the same size as the fireplace opening. One large piece or several small pieces that appear as one unit is a great solution.
A great way to test an arrangement before putting it up on the walls is to lay everything out on a table or on the floor. This can be done in different ways. One way is to lay pictures on brown paper and trace around them to tape to the wall to figure out your placement. Or use wrapping paper that has a grid printed on the back. Cut the paper the size you would like your pictures to be on the wall, then lay it on the floor or table and move the pieces around until you have an arrangement that you like. This allows you to trace around each piece and mark the hanging points. Then, tape the paper to the wall and hammer in the nails. Remove the paper, and voila!
Choose smaller pieces for narrow walls and larger pieces for big walls. As a general rule, hang the artwork so that the center point of the piece or grouping is at approximately eye level; think of groupings as a single unit. For example, you may want to consider hanging art slightly lower in a dining room, since you are sitting down when you are looking at it. Also, hang 8-10 inches above the items on a piece of furniture to help ground your artwork.
Hanging Pieces Horizontally
Perfect for a hallway or sofa wall, hanging art horizontally allows you to achieve some volume without appearing crowded. For this scenario, an odd number of pieces is more attractive to the eye and is visually balanced; a normal spacing of 4-6 inches is recommended.
Tip: Use your hand, fingers closed, to determine the spacing in this scenario.
Great for pieces that are similar in size, shape, and subject matter, this method allows you to create a grouping that has a visual balance and is perfect when hanging items over large furniture collections or fireplace mantles.
Asymmetrical placement is a great solution when you have a group of prints that aren’t the same but share at least one similar element, such as subject matter or color scheme. You can asymmetrically arrange the pieces so that they still achieve a nice ‘organic’ balance.
When you have two larger pieces, try staggering them by hanging one lower than the other, so that top and bottom don’t match.Grouping larger and smaller pieces help to create interest and energy. The same is true for vertical and horizontal pieces in the same grouping.
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