So many folks seem to be paralyzed with fear that they are going to do it "wrong" that they wait forever while their precious pieces collect dust in the corner. There ARE some helpful rules and tips to get you started but the main thing is to just get your art up on the wall where it belongs and where it can bring you joy.
To get you started, I've outlined four ways to hang art from traditional to eclectic. For additional information, check out the resources at the end of this article and you can see a ton of inspiring photographs on my pinterest board: how to hang art.
And my other advice? Have fun with it!
There is nothing like the drama of a single, bold piece of artwork hanging over the back of a couch.
It can pull a room together with color or provide a pop of color in an otherwise monochromatic room. My advice for what artwork to choose is simple: Forget what color your couch is or what style of furniture you have--pick a piece that your LOVE.
Pick a piece that speaks to you, that will bring you joy, that you will want to come back to time and again.
|a splash of color brings drama to a monochromatic living room|
A few rules: if you are hanging just one piece of art over a piece of furniture, make sure it is big enough. About 2/3 the width of the furniture is a good rule of thumb (but always there are exceptions). Most people hang artwork too high--usually 5 to 9 inches over the top of a couch is a good height. The 57 rule is a good thing to keep in mind, especially when you are hanging artwork throughout a room and you want it to be cohesive. The idea is that you hang the center of all artwork at eye level (57 inches being the average persons eye level). Apartment Therapy has a good how-to article here.
2. Salon Style
Salon Style refers to hanging art in groupings--from modern, geometric grids of artwork to paintings hung willy-nilly from floor to ceiling. My favorite example of this is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Stewart was an American socialite and major patron of the arts. Her home, now the museum, has hundreds of paintings and artworks that Stewart collected over her lifetime. One of the stipulations of her will was that nothing be changed--so when you visit you see the artwork just as she arranged it. She had a wonderful and sometimes eclectic way of arranging her collection. I highly recommend a visit when you're in the Boston area. The blog Design Formula has a great post with ideas on how to arrange art in groups.
The basic rule is to create some sort of visual order to the group. You can do this by picking a theme, a common color in all of the pieces, or by creating unity with the same color frames. See some photos here.
|a grouping of bachelor button paintings for a nursery|
3. Shelve it!
A good way to display a collection of small pieces of artwork is on bookshelves. For cohesiveness, pick a theme--say a collection of floral paintings or seashell artwork. Have it tie in with books and other items on your bookshelves.
In my studio, I like to display some of my tiny woodland and landscape paintings on a shelf with my collection of Louise Dickinson Rich's novels about living in the remote woods of northern Maine. This idea also works well on a fireplace mantel. Try layering smaller pieces in front of larger ones. See a lovely floral collection on shelves here.
|woodland paintings with Kristina's Louise Dickinson Rich collection|
My favorite way to display work because you can bring in the unexpected and a heavy dose of personality. Mix and match things you love and arrange them to tell a story.
I love to paint peonies every June--I now have a collection of my own peony paintings and vintage prints I have collected along the way. Peonies remind me of both my grandmothers. My maternal grandmother who lived with us when I was a child and with whom I spent many hours as a girl working in the gardens and my paternal grandmother whose stunning peony garden was a gift to her from my grandfather--a tough, hardworking woodsmen who lovingly tended flower gardens for decades as a gift for his bride. I created this art display in my home with a mixture of peony paintings, prints, photographs and vintage hats that also remind me of both grandmothers.
Put together a collection that tells a story.
How do you display your art? Does yours tell a story? I'd love to hear from you.
Pinterest board: How to Hang Art
Apartment Therapy: Salon Style Display
Design Formula: Make a Picture Collage
The Examiner: Why Art Galleries and Collectors Hang Works "Salon Style"
Apartment Therapy: How to Hang your Artwork and not screw it up
Apartment Therapy: How to Hang Art in Groups
Redbook: How to Create a Wall of Art
Modular Art: mix and match paintings to hang together
Services I offer
Help with hanging art: I'm happy to come to clients home (in my area) and assist in hanging/arranging artwork.
Unsure how a piece will look? Send me a photograph of your wall and a list of paintings you are interested in and I will arrange them in the photo (using Photoshop)--this is a great way to take a painting for a test drive. Try it!
Contact me here for more info.