Tips For Hanging Art

Published July 20, 2012

Are you an art lover? Do you find yourself wandering through art galleries or always stopping to really appreciate someone else’s choice in art?  It’s wonderful to showcase artistic works on your walls and many fabulous paintings can be found right here on the North Shore by our own local artists.

The trick is to find the right piece of art for the right wall. There are some tips that you may want to follow next time you plan to hang your favorite painting in your living room or bedroom space.

Firstly, not all walls require “something” on them. Too many times we find  ourselves searching for something to “fill the space”. One should not feel pressured to fill every wall in the home. Sometimes nothing is the right choice. Views of property or the ocean will act as focal points and need nothing more. So be careful not to overdo it and find your home looking more like an art gallery than your personal space.

All artwork should be “grounded”. Grounding the piece by hanging it over a table or sofa will eliminate the “floating” effect that may happen if the art is left all by itself in the middle of the wall. It’s best to think of

pairing the art with a piece of furniture and thereby visualizing it as a unit instead of two separate pieces.

Always hang a large work above a key piece in the space. For example, hang a large painting over a fireplace mantel or two separate small pieces of art over a couch or large dining table. This will anchor the artwork and help to center it in the room as well.

Centering pieces is important. As a general rule of thumb, 8″ over a couch or chair and 10″ above a table is ideal. Of course this is just a suggestion and it’s best to stand back and have a good look at the painting before committing it. Always lean the painting against the wall first and make sure  you are happy with the location and height. Hammering your nail through a piece of tape will help alleviate cracking in the wall.

Another great tip is to make sure your paintings are at the same height within the room. The last thing you need is to be moving your gaze up and down at the varying heights of your paintings.

A popular look right now is to hang a grouping of paintings together. This is fine as long as you make templates of the artwork first and then tape these templates to the wall. This exercise will allow you to play around with the sizes a little and be sure of the final artwork spots before hanging them.

The bottom line is to have some fun when hanging your art. Don’t be afraid to place the piece in various spots throughout the house… eventually it will land where it is supposed to be.

“Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it”

-Robert Motherwell