Tips for Arranging Art
We all know that artwork is a great way to add interest to a room, but do you get anxiety when thinking about how to incorporate and arrange art in your home? Well, stress no more. Here are some tips on how to hang art, where, and how much to hang.
Above the Sofa
As a general rule, the center of an image should be hung at eye level. So, since people are usually sitting when they’re in the living room, artwork should generally be hung lower. A good way to ensure artwork is placed at the right height is to hang it one hand width above the sofa.
Keep Artwork in Scale
One issue often seen when hanging artwork above a sofa or sideboard is it not being in scale, making the entire presentation look “off.” To avoid this, simply remember that the art should be at least two-thirds the size of your sofa or sideboard. For example, a 6-foot-long sofa requires a 4-foot-long expanse of art to be displayed above it, whether it is one piece or an arrangement of several pieces.
Arranging multiple pieces in a group can be tricky, especially if they’re all different sizes. If you have an even arrangement, it’s easy – put the heaviest piece in the middle to achieve visual balance. But if it’s not an even arrangement, try keeping heavy pieces to the bottom left. This tends to balance the weight of the items because the eye typically starts on the left.
TIP: If you’re unsure of how to arrange a group of art, save yourself some frustration by tracing each piece on kraft paper. Label and cut them out, then use painter’s tape to try out arrangements on your wall without covering the wall in holes. Also, consider making things easier on yourself by choosing an odd number of pieces in your arrangement so there is always a middle image.
In the Bedroom
Personal art, such as family photos or your own photography, is a great fit for the bedroom. If you choose to arrange the pieces in groups, try sticking with all black and white or all color images.
Have an open wall to fill? One easy solution is a gallery arrangement. It can be made up of just framed art, or mix it up a bit by adding figural art pieces like vases and plates. Start by defining the dimensions of your intended display, and then position the most prominent piece at eye level in the center. Work out from there, allowing a bit of breathing room between each piece.
Art on Shelves and Surfaces
Walls are not the only place to display art. Try layering smaller art pieces on a tabletop or above a mantel or fireplace. Propping artwork against a wall or piece of furniture makes a great casual display.
In the Kitchen
Incorporating art in the kitchen can be tricky because you don’t want it to get damaged by water or heat. Consider placing art near the dining table or above open counter space. Vintage art with traditional framing works well in a more traditional kitchen, while in a modern kitchen bright colors with simple frames work best.
This might go without saying, but consider the wall space available and the arrangement of the room when deciding where to hang images. For instance, small pieces of art should be hung in the small space between windows and doors. What you don’t want is small items hung in a space too large, as they’ll look lost. And with larger pieces, make sure there is ample room for people to step back and admire the artwork.
Leveling an Arrangement
It can be a challenge trying to hang multiple pieces of art around a room, especially when doorways or windows separate the pieces. Instead of trying to level the tops or bottoms of the frames, level the middles.
Maintain Your Style
What is the overall decorating style of your home? Whatever it is, stick with it. As a rule, symmetrical arrangements are more traditional or formal, while asymmetrical is modern. In addition, it’s important to look at the image and style of the frame to be sure it’s a good fit. For instance, large, abstract pieces are a perfect choice for modern rooms, while vintage images or botanicals complement cottage-style rooms.