Nailed It The Art Of Hanging Wall Art
by melissa davis | Finding the perfect art piece can be a romantic encounter, your eyes catch glimpse of the most spectacular painting while wondering the streets of Paris.
It’s fate and it must be yours! It’s true that does happen, but I’m going to give you a few tips for the other 364 days when you’re staring at your blank walls in dismay. Typically my clients call while experiencing the latter.
All things being equal, if given the option I prefer to select my client’s art, near last. That is after the hard surfaces, after the furniture, the fixtures and around the same time as the paint.
Art can offer a very bold statement, or simply be the finishing detail that softens and connects the overall design and it’s difficult to pinpoint the perfect scale, visual weight and colours without the lion’s share of the room already complete.
I will however make note which walls offer the best vantage point for a feature piece and allow my furnishings to accentuate those areas.
Here are my top 4 considerations before taking hammer to nail:
Feature Or Filler
Art can be a bold statement, striking up conversation and demanding attention. Large-scale canvases, graphic imagery and dark or bold colours will ensure the piece commands the attention you intended. On the other hand a photograph framed to blend with the adjacent wall or a soft watery landscape will provide some relief from the vast blank walls but for the most part blend quietly with the overall palette. Spend a bit of time in the room beforehand and decide what your message and overall intent is for the piece.
As a general rule of thumb take your cues from what is happening around the piece. If it’s a tall narrow wall without any furniture to worry about, then look to mimic the wall area by choosing a tall skinny piece that fills the area with a nice bit of relief around it of 6″ or so. You can also opt for two smaller pieces that when stacked visually fill the same tall thin area.
If the piece or pieces are going over furniture, use the outside limits of the bed, credenza or couch as your guide. Don’t extend the art beyond those outside edges. So if the sofa is 6′, your art should be under 6′ in width. Anything bigger will look and feel too top-heavy. Again the same rule applies for multiples. Plan groupings of art to fit within the overall boundaries a single larger piece might.
This is where there really are no rules. Art when done well expresses the journey and personality of the homeowners. A traditional piece can as easily live in a contemporary home as an abstract might in the den of a traditional home.
A great tip to bridge the styles is the choice of frame. Selecting a frame that is in keeping with the overall design style and materials will easily connect the pieces. Like framing an old oil painting in a clean unadorned black frame.
Farm girl, urbanite and eternal optimist, Melissa Davis is a creator of physical spaces and all that is required for existing within them.
Melissa has more than 18 years’ experience in design, construction and real estate as well as holding the position of Art Director & Series Designer for 8 consecutive seasons on the award-winning series Income Property, airing in more than 40+ countries on HGTV and DIY networks. www.melissadavis.com