Hanging Art 101: 9 Things to Consider Before Driving a Nail | Home & Garden
A room’s decor includes many elements, from wall color and window treatments to furniture and flooring.
For many people, a room isn’t complete without artwork, and that can mean more than just paintings and photographs, says Sherry Bowman, co-owner of The Framery Etc. in Lancaster. It may include concert posters and other posters as well as memorabilia and keepsakes.
“We framed a variety of items, including christening gowns, needlework, jewelry, a seashell collection, concert tickets, and even a golf club,” Bowman says. “These articles are more about memories.”
Artwork and where it hangs on the wall is very personal, says Kathy Shenk, director, creative director and interior designer at Interior Fancies in Lancaster. There’s usually a story behind a particular piece of art, she says. It could be a keepsake or something sentimental. People sometimes place family photos or keepsakes in private areas of their home (a bedroom or a hallway between bedrooms), rather than in public spaces like a living room or dining room. But some people want to show off their family photos or memories for all to see.
Whatever your artistic preferences, Bowman and Shenk offer these tips to consider before hammering a nail in the wall.
look at the wall
“Art should relate to its environment,” Shenk says. “When considering what artwork to place on a particular wall, look at the size and shape of the wall.”
On a stairwell wall, for example, the biggest issue is the slope, she says. Using vertical rather than horizontal illustrations is often more aesthetic. But horizontals can be used if they are the same size and height and can be stacked to create a vertical look.
Consider a merger
“If you don’t have a lot of artwork, rather than smearing it all over the walls of a room and creating a somewhat sparse look, you can create a gallery wall,” says Bowman. “It can serve as a focal point for the room.”
Grouping is also a good idea for small rooms, as long as they share a common element, Shenk says.
Small pieces also work well between windows and doors, where they’re less likely to look lost, according to Better Homes & Gardens.
To create a gallery wall, Shenk and Bowman say the artwork should have something in common and it’s okay to mix media. It could be a series of pieces or the common element could be that they are all landscapes or floral pieces.
Shenk made a gallery wall for a client that featured black and white photos of Old Town Annapolis, with each photo in the same frame. Another wall in the gallery featured artwork from the family’s children as well as artwork the parents had found on their travels. “The common element of this gallery wall was that each piece was brightly colored,” she says.
A gallery wall is all about balance, says Bowman.
“When doing groupings of artwork, be sure to look at the overall effect of the grouping,” she says.
use the ground
Shenk’s advice for creating a gallery wall or hanging multiple pieces of art together is to lay out the grouping on the floor and create a model of each piece. Then use painters tape to spread it on the wall.
“It lets you make adjustments to your layout before you hang it up and punch a hole in the wall,” Shenk says, adding that in the office she uses software to do the layout.
Meet the eye
When hanging an artwork above a sofa, Shenk says not to hang the piece too high. “It should be closer to the couch than the ceiling,” she says.
“The #1 mistake people make when hanging art is hanging it too high on the wall,” says Bowman. “The middle of your artwork should be at eye level, regardless of the height of the walls.”
see the light
Another factor to consider is lighting.
“Lighting is important,” says Shenk. “Take a look at the area you’re considering and notice how the light changes throughout the day.”
If you’re considering having a piece of art framed, be sure to invest in quality materials, including UV-protective glass, Shenk says.
Bowman says glass isn’t used for oil paintings, so if it’s a work of art that has monetary or sentimental value, it may be best placed away from home. an area that receives a lot of sun.
Match your style
If you’re having artwork framed, the mat and frame should show off the artwork, she says. They must also adapt to everyone’s style and to the style of the house, whether classic or contemporary.
Hang it tight
Another mistake people make is not using the proper materials to hang artwork.
“We do a lot of repairs to frames and/or artwork because people use tape instead of nails and hooks to hang artwork,” Bowman says. “People are reluctant to put holes in their walls, but making sure the artwork hangs securely on the wall is important, and a nail and a picture hanger are the answer.” The use of wall protectors is also good; they help protect the wall.
keep it straight
And make sure the artwork, whether hung in a group or as an individual piece, hangs straight. Artwork that is not straight can distract from the overall look of the room.
Consider the size of the sofa
Whether you’re hanging a large piece of art or a group on a sofa, Better Homes & Gardens suggests making sure the piece of art is at least two-thirds the size of the sofa.