Beautiful artwork can be lost unless it is well lit. See the top photo on this page for an illustration of an art collection that is properly lit.
Next, with art shelves all the rage, try one or two in your home to unite a small grouping of objects in a pleasing display.
Art Tips About Color and Size
Choose artwork that underscores the mood or theme of your room's decor.
Is the room vibrant, pastel, or neutral? Is your furniture casual, formal, modern, or traditional? These are clues that will help zero in on the type of artwork that compliments the color and scale of a room.
Vibrant colors bring excitement to a room while neutral colors are more calming. Which do you prefer? The artwork in this small dressing room echos the neutral tones found in the window treatment, table skirt, and chair seat. For a more exciting feel the pictures could have been matted in red to cross link with the bedroom wall color.
Landscape Art - Tips for Hanging Artwork
Landscape art is one good way to visually open up a smaller space. The view of a distant horizon acts as a sort of "window" giving the impression of a faraway
The lower photograph illustrates a simple framing technique of tailoring the frame to the size and shape of the object being framed. You can also mount some flat objects between two pieces of glass (pressed leaves are shown here) that allows the wall color act as a "mat" for the art.
The use of line is sometimes overlooked by home decorators, yet proper use of line can set the mood in a room.
Horizontal lines tend to elongate, widen, and emphasize a casual decorating scheme.
Vertical lines however, tend to be more formal, add to the illusion of height, and can seem more elegant and refined.
Strong horizontal lines in artwork, or in the way artwork is framed or hung, tend to be calming and can give the illusion of width in a narrow room
While artwork generally shouldn't be hung in offset arrangements, it is a useful technique in a stairwell as the floor levels change.
Hanging Art in Symmetrical Arrangements
Use symmetrical or asymmetrical arrangements of art to create either a formal or a casual feeling.
Symmetry simply means that when an arrangement is divided in half, each half is a mirror image of the other.
In the photo on this page the center line is through the platter, down the center of the mirror, and through the center of the dresser. The elements of either side of this imaginary center line are perfectly balanced.
Tips for Hanging Artwork
Do you have some smaller pictures or artwork that you'd like to hang together? The two tips on this page illustrate a few of the ways to create a cohesive art arrangement.
Collect and Hang Themed Art
Nothing ruins a carefully planned arrangement of art faster than if the pictures pull away from the wall because they weren't hung securely.
Always use picture hooks rated for the weight of the artwork or object, and attach heavy pictures to hooks that have been installed into wall studs or with specialized drywall hangers.
A group of pictures framed alike and hung together can have big impact. This display uses dozens of smaller pieces of art. Use this random technique for hanging a collection in a contemporary space. In your own home you might also consider more traditional collections of items such as movie posters, Ansel Adams prints, or Georgia O'Keefe florals.
Hanging Wreaths and Hanging Art Low
Get the feeling of art with other objects
Hang It Low
Whenever possible relate artwork to the furniture below it. When hanging a large picture over a table for instance, the bottom of the frame should sit within 4-8" of the tabletop.
In this room the picture has been placed at about eye level for the twin girls who live here, which also allows it to relate comfortably to the low chest underneath.
Contrast adds impact
Bring unity and focus to an arrangement by choosing frame colors and styles that match the style of your home.
Underscore your room theme with art
Perk up your interiors by using wall art that emphasizes the themed elements in the rest of the room.
Hanging artwork baffles many home decorators. The questions always center around subjects like ---How high should a picture be hung on the wall, what color should the matting be, and how can you decide what goes where?
In general, artwork should be hung so that the center point of the picture or grouping is at about eye level for the average person. While this won't be possible in every situation, it's a good guideline to keep in mind.
Another technique to remember is that a grouping of pictures should be thought of as one unit. Test an arrangement of pictures by laying everything out on a large table (or on the floor), playing with combinations until you hit upon one that works. Laying them out on paper is even better since you'll be able to trace around each object and determine where picture hangers should be installed. Tape the paper up on the wall as a template for picture hangers and you'll be done in no time.
You can also lay out pieces of scrap molding (or tape) onto the floor to form the "outside" border of a picture grouping -- the measurements within which the smaller pieces of art will be set. This is useful when a particular wall has certain boundaries that must be observed (such as a chair rail, windows, heating vents, and the like) and helps keep your arrangement the proper size.
In the pages that follow you'll find lots of photographs to illustrate a principle or tip for hanging artwork. Read brief explanations of symmetry, line, and balance, and observe how they relate to the pictures shown. Next, evaluate the artwork in your own home. You may find ways to accomplish an "art makeover" to better showcase your artwork.
The Starving Artist
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