by Louise Lambert, Wine Country Studios - on Mission Hill, Kelowna, BC
Tips on how to hang art:
Congratulations you are acquiring an art collection. As you know, a good piece of artwork will outlast interior decorating trends and survive your sofa. Buy the art you love and you will enjoy it forever. Buy original art if you can afford it. Finding the perfect place for your cherished artwork in your home or office, should not be difficult. These placement tips are intended to be guidelines, although as the saying goes, rules are meant to be broken.
Where to hang it?
Eye level is the right level.
Hang art in the hall or passage way at standing eye level. Art is best viewed at eye level about 5 ½ ft. from the floor. If you are unsure on the proper height for your piece, it is usually better to hang art lower than higher. If you are arranging art in a group, the middle of the main picture should be just about 5 1/2 ft. above the floor with other pictures around it.
For the living room or dining room hang your painting at sitting eye level.
You do not want to have to crane your neck to view the art.
There should be a minimum of six inches of clear wall space all around the art, a foot or more would be even better, if you are not hanging your artwork in a group.
Relate Art to the Wall Size
Choose smaller works of art for narrow walls and larger works for big wall spaces.
Relate Art to the Furniture Size
In general, when hanging art over a piece of furniture it should not be longer than the length of the furniture underneath it. Large pieces work well with large furniture such as sofas or solid case pieces. The designer’s rule of thumb is to make sure that the art is about 2/3 to ¾ the length of the furniture. The bottom of the frame should sit 4-8 inches above the tabletop.
Light up your artwork
Fluorescent bulbs tend to fade images. Use incandescent bulbs to light your artwork instead or 50-watt halogen light.
Do not hang your valuable artwork in direct sunlight. Even with protective UV-blocking glass, prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays and heat can damage your art.
Aim track lighting at the art. You may need to adjust the light’s angle a few times to place it in the optimum, glare-free position.
If you do not have track lighting, set an inexpensive upright lamp on the floor and aim its beam at the artwork.
We know that artwork enhances your home, but did you know it can also make it more spacious, while creating a calming atmosphere?
Landscapes open up a space. Add the look of a window to a small or windowless room by hanging a landscape.
A painting that has prospective will give you the illusion of depth, which visually pushes back the wall.
Horizontal lines in artwork or frames tend to be calming and can give the illusion of widening a small room.
Do not offset your arrangement , one up one down, a common decorator mistake, because the human eye seeks a straight horizontal line. The only exception of this is when hanging artwork in a stairwell. As the floor level changes so can your art.
It is useful to recruit a friend to help you hang art. One can hold the piece, while the other can step back and view its position. If you are working, alone you may wish to lay the pieces out on the floor and move them around until your find an arrangement that works.