Getting the Hang of It… Picture This
By Sandra Nash | Hanging pictures and wall decor is by far one of the most important elements to pulling all the finishing touches together.
Pictures that are too small or hung too high are the number one mistake made by the untrained professional.
I see this all the time when entering a client’s home. As a rule of thumb, your wall decor (whether a group or single piece) should be hung so that the centre is at eye level or slightly lower (say two to three inches). Keep in mind whether it will be viewed from a standing or sitting position and how tall the average occupant of the space is.
Location of the picture should relate both proportionally and aesthetically to its surroundings, for example, artwork should be placed 5″ to 9″ above a sofa and 7″ to 10″ above a table.
As a guideline for proportion, one or more pictures, including mirrors, should cover about two-thirds of the wall space above the piece of furniture. So it you have a 6 foot wide sofa, plan on a single picture or an arrangement that is about 4 feet wide and centred above the sofa.
If you hang a small picture on its own over the sofa, it will look lost and out of balance.A vertical arrangement will make a room appear taller and a horizontal arrangement will make it appear wider.
Grouping pieces of different sizes, shapes, and colours create a relaxed, informal feel and are a designer secret to save money because collectively smaller pieces are less expensive than one large oversized piece.
Once we decide on an arrangement, we start from the centre or largest item and then, if there is more than one item, we continue out, hanging items from top-to-bottom, side-to-side until all of the pictures are hung. We keep the larger pieces on the bottom of the arrangement to anchor and keep it looking balanced.
We often use mirrors in our designs whenever possible, as they add dimension and light, and duplicates what it reflects. Often we hang artwork with a mirror as part of the group, keeping the proportion pleasing by adding pictures next to or around the mirror.
For a dramatic impact we use an oversized floor mirror, leaned against the wall.
So hang it up and experiment.
Sandra Nash is a Toronto-based award winning designer with twenty years of experience; she is Principal of Making-A-Scene. She designs residential and commercial projects tailored to the individual styles and needs of the clients throughout Toronto and the GTA. | www.making-a-scene.com