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Best Practices for Wall Hanging Images and Art

26 September 2018
Kevin Hartley

Art is a vital part of a home. It makes a space extraordinary and personal. Displaying your fine art for guests to enjoy, and for you to cherish, is an art form in itself. The wrong placement or framing not only buries the beauty of a piece, it ruins the refinement of a room. When it’s time to consider wall-hanging images, or placing precious prints or paintings, consider showing them off with some best practices in mind.

Hang Art at Eye Level
Depending on the piece and your unique approach to design, you might be able to break this rule, but generally, hang art at eye level. And, while you’re at it, take the time to make sure your art is straight.

Fine art deserves the most beautiful display, so take care that each work is in the right place to be admired. Whether art is placed over a bed, above the mantle, across a long wall or as a focal point behind the sofa, it should sit positioned where a person’s natural line of sight meets the piece’s point of attention.

Don’t Worry About Matching Color Schemes
Fine art isn’t made to match a certain color of sofa or go with a particular shade of paint. It’s art and it’s meant to stand out on its own. Don’t worry about your favorite works fitting in with your color palette.

Break any rules you’ve heard of or made up, and simply display your art in all its glorious colors (or muted hues if that’s the beauty of the piece). Fine art is a perfect vehicle for expression, so let it say what it needs say without conforming.

Use Appropriate Scale
When wall hanging an image or fine painting, pay attention to scale. A beautiful small picture or drawing is best placed on a small wall. Go bold with larger landscapes or designs arranged on lengthy walls or in vaulted spaces.

Sometimes, you can get away with putting a wide frame and mat on a piece to make it take up more space and fit better within a large area. Keep in mind, however, that you don’t need to achieve perfect proportion all of the time. Often, an obviously out-of-scale composition looks brilliant, like something way-too-big or too small.

Include a Variety of Pieces
Do you place the same kind of art on each wall in your house? Displaying fine art in your home is not the same as curating an exhibit in a gallery. You don’t need cohesion between works.

Searching for just the right piece is a great way to get a variety of art to enliven a room, and your entire home. Don’t be scared of walls being bare until you’ve found what brings the perfect energy to your room. Wall hanging images simply to hang something, and failing to treat your house as a canvas for expressing various parts of you, leads to a dull environment.

Find an Appreciation for Negative Space
The fact that you have walls in every room (unless you live in a gorgeous glass house) doesn’t mean you have to fill every inch of each of them with art. Fine art often looks more stunning as the sole focus point of a wall or even an entire room.

If you collect art, consider rotating pieces to give each the space and attention it warrants. Restricting the artwork you display can produce a more impressive look overall.

Layering to Connect Art with Your Décor
Layer your furnishings, flora and fine art to connect a space. Placing a lamp in front of a large painting is okay, as is letting a bit of a palm fan out in front of a framed photograph.

Connection through layering ties together areas of a room, without the need for following strict color rules. It creates sophistication, depth and interest in a bedroom, great room, parlor or any area of a home.

Securing Your Art Properly
When you have an extraordinary piece of art to display, you must take care to secure it properly and keep it safe. A swiftly closed door, accidental bump or act of nature could cause your art to unattractively shift or even fall.

Spend the necessary amount of time choosing the right hardware for displaying your fine art. You might be anxious to get a piece up. But, slowing down to find ways to affix your treasures suitably can extend your enjoyment of them.

Fine art lends to a home’s atmosphere. Take the time to create exactly the atmosphere you want, one that will best tell your home’s story and yours.

Thanks for reading. Questions or ideas for a future blog? Feel free to contact me here. 

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Kevin Hartley, Broker is a Toronto based real estate Broker with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate | Signature Service, Brokerage. @Home is his lifestyle blog, an expression of his passion for home keeping though MAKING (Recipes), DOING (DIY), BEING (Health/Wellness) and DWELLING (Home Ownership, Sales & Maintenance).  Content not intended to solicit clients under contract.

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