Don’t get hung up over Where to Hang Art
Part of a designer’s job is to select the art and accessories that will complete a space. What hangs on the walls can sometimes be the elements that take the space from nice to dynamic, and can be one of the most important ways of saying something about the owner, and expressing their personality.
When we are selecting art for a client’s home, we want the person with us. Things that speak to us may say something completely different to a client. Art speaks to everyone differently and provides a different emotional reaction to each viewer. Buy what you like regardless of ‘style’. Department store images are generally pleasing to a large group of people and need to be more carefully selected to avoid getting something that will “match the rug” which should never be the focus of art.
Reproductions of more famous pieces are less appealing to us as a design firm, largely because they are so obviously reproductions. Unfortunately, these images, while they may be stunning in their original form, have become banal because they are so ubiquitous.
The process can be overwhelming, so getting professional help makes good sense as well as good cents!
Once you have selected the images that appeal to you, there are a couple of rules to keep in mind so that you will be able to appreciate the work of the artist you choose. Generally, great art, hung badly, doesn’t serve the art or the space it is hung in. The centre of the image should be approximately 54 to 58 inches from the floor. This makes it possible for the average person to enjoy the image without having to look up uncomfortably high. Although people’s heights vary, as a general rule of thumb, your eyes should hit the top third of the image when hung. When you’re hanging a piece over furniture, the bottom of the image should be about three to four inches above the furniture. Remember that the art relates to the furniture, not to the ceiling as we sometimes see it! As a general rule, try to fill in two thirds of the horizontal space over the sofa or the bed with image.
If there are many images in a row (gallery style) then either the tops or the bottoms of the images should be lined up. If you are doing a grouping of images (smaller with larger, or all small), then imagine that all the art needs to fit into a square or rectangle. We call it a group because it works as one, not several small pieces.
Try not to let the upper portion of an image lean too far from the wall. This sometimes happens when the hanging wire is too far down the frame. If possible, move the wire to the top third of the frame. If you can’t do that, take a small block of foam or wood and place it at the bottom of the frame so that the image is parallel to the wall.
We understand that choosing art for your home can be a daunting task, both aesthetically and financially. Art is a very important element of your space, and your collection will change and evolve over time. Clearly art choices have a lot to do with personality. If it speaks to you, then it has a place in your home.