Artwork in the home helps distinguish the personality of a homeowner. It sets a stage in each space for the “theater” we call life! It also represents a VERY real investment, so before we get down to details of selecting and hanging art, let me be clear:
FIND ART YOU LOVE!
There are plenty of design ideas and tips I can give you, but at the end of the day this core mantra is one you should carry with you during every minute of your search. The investment is NOT worth it otherwise.
Ensure the art you acquire evokes a reaction that you WANT to feel every time you’re in a room…it’s as though you can engineer your mood with your wall hangings!
That said, there are design considerations you can use to get additional direction. If you do find pieces that you love, and you want to know where to hang them in your home, these are the TWO steps I recommend to get started…
TWO STEPS FOR SELECTING ART
Maybe you already bought a great piece that evoked an AMAZING reaction. Great!!
Here’s how you decide where to put it in your home…
Step 1: Consider wall and art SIZE
The size of the artwork AND the wall will be the first thing determining what you can put where. If you match these two things wrong, it can throw off the balance of the whole room.
Here are some standard breakdowns of how we talk about art size…
- Oversized pieces are three feet or longer in length and are generally hung as the focal point of a room. Consider hanging them over a central piece of furniture like a couch or table…this is pretty standard.
- Large pieces are generally between two and three feet long. They aren’t usually hung alone, though they are the “key piece” in multi-frame displays.
- Medium pieces are between one and two feet long. This is definitely the most versatile size of artwork because you can fit it into just about any room or display!
- Small pieces are less than one foot in length. These are usually grouped together, or used to complement and fill in a wall with existing frames and art…
When you do look at the available wall space, start by keeping PROPORTIONS in mind. No one focal piece should be more than two-thirds the length of a sofa under it, for example. And you shouldn’t pair a bunch of small pieces with an oversized one! The bottom edge of hanging art should be at least eight inches above the top of nearby furniture, too.
Step 2: Consider style
Once you have size figured out, next comes style.
Each room ALREADY has an established style, so when you do hang artwork, you can compare the styles and decide of they’re the same (or at least compatible).
Not sure what YOUR style is? Take our interior design style quiz for instant results!
Some of the typical interior design styles you’ll see and read about include traditional, modern, farmhouse and eclectic. These vary a LOT, so pair wisely!!
3: The hidden step…COLOR
OK, I KNOW I said there were two steps! And if you follow those two, you’ll pair the right art with the right rooms without a doubt.
There is, however, a third step you can pass your art selections through…and that is COLOR.
Selecting art by color is rather bold, so you want to do this sparingly. It still has to be a piece you LOVE, too, or it’s just a bad investment.
One reason why people do like to pair rooms with art using color is because artwork is one of the ONLY places you can opt for bold, bright colors in design. This means you can make the most of a daring color in specific spaces…
For example, do you have a room with navy blue walls? But you’re hungry to make a statement? Maybe that stunning piece of artwork with BRIGHT yellow belongs there…the contrast would be stunning!
Speaking of color, if you’re looking for a timeless color selection, here are the 3 paint colors that will NEVER go out of style.
4 WAYS TO HANG WALL ART
Here we are at last!
Once you know WHAT artwork is going WHERE, it’s time to decide how you’ll hang it.
Do you want a wall that looks like an art gallery? Or one that focuses on a single piece?
Here are my favorite ways to hang wall art…and they tend to be the most versatile…there are plenty of other options, though, so for specific advice around the artwork you have, get in touch with our interior designers.
Option 1: Eye-Level
For some reason, most people hang frames too high. There is, however, a magic number you can remember to avoid this: 57.
Exactly 57 inches up from your floor, you should see the center of your art piece. The average human eye is 57 inches off the floor, so that puts your artwork RIGHT in the line of sight.
Don’t overthink this or tell me how tall your brother is…this standard works for galleries, so why shouldn’t it work for you?!
Option 2: Symmetrical
Then, of course, there’s the question of how to hang multiple frames. If you have one art piece made with three parts—say, a triptych with one smaller frame and two larger ones—you can favor the symmetrical hanging pattern to give the artwork some added visual appeal.
If you have multiple unrelated pieces (that simply look nice together), you can favor symmetry in those cases, too!
That is, you can hang artwork this way IF you like the look…there are still two other hanging options to check out!
Option 3: Wall-Shape
Imagine you’re climbing up a flight of stairs with the wall to your left. It’s covered in beautiful artwork. Do the frames follow the diagonal climb of the wall? They probably do! This is what we call “following the shape of a wall,” and it can be done in any room where you have something like vaulted ceilings or a rise or fall in the floor…
It can even be done to follow your interior molding!
Option 4: Salon Style
We call it “salon style” when a wall is COMPLETELY filled with artwork and frames. Most people either love this or can’t stand it…
Salon style hanging does look best with multiple types of artwork, so if you have a BIG collection, this might be your go-to option. You can mix photos in with the artwork, too.
EXPERT TIP: Use painters tape to plan what you’ll hang where. That way, you can play with placement without putting even more holes in your walls. (Because, believe me, salon style will already require enough!)
HOW TO HANG ARTWORK RIGHT…
Yes, then there’s the actual hanging of art pieces. We’ve ALL put frames up before…no one here is a stranger to a hammer and a nail.
But wait—you shouldn’t use nails?!
If that’s news to you, check out this simple infographic outlining the simples (and safest) way to hang frames quickly. These steps are ESPECIALLY important for large pieces of artwork.
- Determine your surface
- Use a pencil and a level to draw a line between the top two corners
- Double-check the leveling of that line
- Find the studs, ducts, pipes and wires before placing the final holes
- Carefully screw into the wall
Any of that look complicated? Don’t sweat it! Just call our handyman division and we can hang artwork for you.
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