We all have pictures of some kind on our walls, but do we know how to hang them properly? Some of us may just jam a nail in the wall, cock our heads, straighten the picture and say ‘job done’. But when it comes to pieces we really care about, we want them to look just right. You might want to create a vignette – an area with a few pieces put together, with perhaps some other decor tying in to a theme, or perhaps you have one great piece that you want to be a focal point of the room. Whatever your preferences, here are some tips to getting your artwork looking the best it can.
1. Hang it at eye-level
We are of course all different heights, but many feel the need to hang a picture ‘out of the way’ or at a height where only giants can appreciate it. Your art is there to bring you joy so find a height where you can look at it and pass it by with the piece still in your peripheral vision.
2. Make patterns
When we hang a collection of pictures together, it’s easy to think it’s enough to just have them all at the same top line height. Not so! Our brains love patterns – it makes us feel that we are making sense of the world. Even if you decide to have all different types of pictures in a collection, make sure that they are all the same distance from each other and match each other on at least one line. It could the bottom or the top, or even a direct diagonal if you are placing another piece around it. Different heights make a collection of artworks interesting, but the difference between a cleverly placed cluster is that there appears to be a lot of thought and reason behind the placing of each piece.
3. Start from off-centre
We all instinctively look to the middle of the wall for placing a picture. However, with the same logic in mind as above, by starting at the side of a wall, you create more a thoughtful ensemble of artworks. If it’s well done, you won’t instantly be able to tell which was the first picture placed.
4. Be daring!
Pictures are often placed where we think they should be. It might come from a lifetime of seeing pictures placed in a traditionally symmetrical and boring way. However, place an artwork in an unusual place and the interest it creates aesthetically will increase significantly. You might also want to root around the charity shops to find some unusual looking frames, which can create a whole new feel for a piece you may have had for a long time.
Remember too that not all wall-hangings are art, and not all framed art has to go on a wall. You can have pictures aligned along a small shelf, or ornaments cleverly affixed to a wall to create a further point of interest.
The art you buy may show your preferences or even some of your personality, but how you display them can say just as much!