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Tips On How To Hang Art

by Louise Lambert, Wine Country Studios, Kelowna, BC

How to hang your artwork?

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.

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.

If you cannot find the right size of artwork or a style or subject that you like, why not consider commissioning art for that wall.  It’s the natural solutions in getting the size, theme and colour palate of your choice.  Find an experienced artist whom specializes in creating commission art for home owners. Working directly with the artist is fun and valuable experience.

How do I light up my artwork?

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.

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.

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.

How can artwork de stress my environment?

Horizontal lines in artwork tend to be calming and can give the illusion of widening a small room.

Try not to make the mistake by offsetting your arrangement with one up one down.  The human eye seeks a straight horizontal line and does not appreciate the one up and one down layout.

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 artwork, 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.