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home decor : displaying artwork

Displaying Artwork



You have just found a beautiful painting that you know would look wonderful in the living room. So now you have it at home and you hammer a nail into the wall above the couch and hook the painting over it. Easy!

Pleased with your purchase you stand back. You tip your head to one side and then the other. Then you squint at the picture. Something is definitely not right but you can't put your finger on it.

If you've ever found yourself dissatisfied with the appearance of the art or family photos on your walls you're not alone. Many people make the same common mistakes that the eye can read as awkward but the individual does not know how to fix. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when arranging art on a wall:


Large artwork will be a focal point so you should be careful to place it in an appropriate area. Where does large artwork look best? Try over a couch, behind the dining set, over a fireplace or on a feature wall. A feature wall is where the placement of furniture or the layout of the home naturally guides the eye to a wall - a great place to feature art.


Try to group small pieces if possible. Using similar or matching frames and matting make this look more pleasing. Otherwise anchor the small piece visually by hanging it low and close to furnishings so it doesn't appear to be floating on the wall.   


Whether you're creating a grid of equal sized frames or composing a collection of various sizes the rule of spacing is the same. Try to have them spaced approximately 3 inches apart. Try positioning them on the floor or a table to get a pleasing arrangement before placing the nails and measure carefully before making any holes.


Artwork should be hung with the center of the picture at eye level. That means the center should be about 60 to 66 inches from the floor. If you've visited a gallery you will see that the frames are not lined up by their top or bottom edges but that the pictures are all centered at the same height.

If the artwork is usually going to be viewed sitting down (as at a dining table or when viewed beside a couch) you would hang them at the sitter's eye level instead.

Artwork behind a couch should be no more than 8 to 10 inches above the back of the couch.

With these easy tips you should have no problem creating wonderful arrangements that will have designer appeal.


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