Tips on how to hang artwork... properly
March 12, 2018
For many of us, placing artwork or any decoration on the walls of our home can be an intimidating and daunting task. Here are some simple concepts to help with the process.
Hang Your Art Last
The artwork for a room should be the last elements placed in your space. Wait to hang your pieces until your carpet, furniture, tables and lamps are all delivered and in place. See our blog “Mixing different styles of furniture” for tips on how to incorporate different furniture styles, shape, scale, colour & patterns.
Review your Options
Assemble the pieces you have for the space and review your selection. Watercolours, original prints and photographs should generally be located away from direct sunlight. Often these pieces are framed using a special glass which protects the image from sun damage. Fading caused by sun exposure cannot be completely controlled, however, so it is better to err on the side of caution for fragile or treasured pieces.
Analyze your Wall Space
Begin your process by analyzing your available wall space. Generally a smaller piece of art looks better when “contained” on a smaller wall. This could be a space between a door and a window or a small stem wall. Smaller pieces can be admired better when the viewer is able to place themselves close to the artwork.
How to Create a Gallery Wall
Your bigger expanse of wall will demand either a larger piece or a collection of smaller pieces that will read as a unit.
To create an assembly of artwork (or gallery wall) begin by measuring the space you would like to fill. If it’s going above a sofa or console, the piece should be approximately 2/3 width of the furniture. On the floor in front of the dedicated wall, place your chosen pieces. Arrange the pieces on the floor until you have a satisfying layout. We usually hang large and medium pieces 2-3 inches apart, and smaller pieces 1.5-2.5 inches apart. Keep in mind the concepts of balance and proportion.
Make it Your Own
Don’t be afraid to add mirrors and sculptural bits into the mix. Remember this is YOUR home. It is a reflection of you and your family. When grouping pieces of art or accessories, don’t forget the rule of three.
How High Should you Place Your Art?
When you are satisfied with the layout of your artwork, you will then need to attach each piece to the wall. One crucial element is the height at which the artwork should be displayed on the wall. Most artwork is best viewed at eye level, 58” from the floor to the centre of the piece or centre of the grouping of art. If it’s hung above furniture, it can be 4-6 inches above the piece. The exception to this rule is when the piece will be placed over a doorway, on a stairway, above your fireplace or in a cathedral area.
Now that you know which piece is going on which wall and how high each piece needs to be for optimum viewing, make sure you use a level to ensure your artwork is straight. A tool that may make your project easier is a laser level. These nifty tools can often be found for under $50 at a hardware store and will not only give you the horizontal and vertical levels but many include a stud finder.
Depending upon the size of your room, hanging your artwork can be accomplished in an afternoon. Enjoy the process and relax in your comfortable & stylish room!