Even the most beautiful pieces of framed art can still look awkward if they are not hung logically. Some of the key considerations are:
- Choosing framed art that fits the space where it will hang
- Hang frames in reasonably close proximity to the furniture below it to create unison
- Hang frames at eye level for maximum viewing pleasure, keeping in mind people stand in foyers and halls and sit in many other spaces so that height can vary
Single pieces offer a lot of flexibility, but there are still general guidelines that will help your presentations. Typically the frame should not be longer than the furniture piece below it, although this is not a firm rule. Avoid heavy frames over dainty furniture or petite framing over massive furniture to create balance. In small spaces avoid overly dramatic art that is best viewed from a distance and in a large space choose a piece that can be seen and enjoyed from across the room.
Pairs can be hung side by side or one over the other. Consider the wall space when making your decision. In rooms with long walls and low ceilings, hang them beside each other. In a two story room to fill some of the vertical space, hang one on top of the other. Pairs do not have to be placed immediately adjacent to one another. You can hang one piece on each side of a mirror or tall piece of furniture. Pairs can also be split to become the outermost pieces of a grouping.
Matched sets of framed art are usually framed identically and hung in an organized fashion on the wall. These types of groupings often end up in a grid with perfect spacing. Stairway walls are wonderful for displaying sets. Simply shift your rows so they progress up the wall at the same angle as the stairs. You can also divide sets. For example, hang half on each side of an armoire.
Unlike matched sets of art, this might be something like a collection of landscape paintings, family photos, etc. In this case, frame them to suit each piece of art and hang them in a less structured way. If you may want to add to your collection, this type of arrangement makes it easier to add pieces in the future. Whether you prefer symmetry or choose an asymmetrical arrangement, it pays to create a pleasing balance of colors, sizes, styles, and textures so one side doesn’t overpower the other.
It has become highly fashionable to lean framed art. This can be done for functional or purely aesthetic reasons. If you are downsizing and have more framed art than wall space, you can lean one piece in front of another to consolidate your collection. Overlapping framed art adds dimension and interest, as well as bringing a new look to the art itself.
When hanging art you can get a good idea of how it will look by cutting out a piece of paper the same size as the outer edge of the frame and taping it to the wall. It is much easier to move the paper around than to change the positioning of the actual frame. On that same paper, you can make marks where you want to place your wall hooks. Then install the hooks over the paper and then tear the paper away.