Dec 28, 2015

Hang Artwork Like A Pro

Hanging artwork is never as easy as it seems. It is truly a balancing act between the size of the art, the scale of the room, and all of the furnishings within. The color and proportion of the space absolutely affect the feeling of the piece of art. 

It doesn't matter whether you're hanging works by a master, poster art, or something drawn by your child; virtually anything looks fabulous when framed and hung properly. Hope these five tips help you find the best placement for anything you'd like to hang.

1. It's quite common to hang artwork and mirrors too high.  The ideal height of the center of art depends upon whether there is furniture below it, the height of the ceiling, and the height of the viewers. I generally like to hang pieces that are above credenzas and buffets – those are typically 32 to 36 inches in height – 8 to 10 inches above the surface. For sofas, it does depend upon the height of the back but that distance is typically 1 1/2 or 2 times more. For free hanging artwork in rooms with 8' ceilings, it looks best when the center of the piece is approximately 65" from the floor. 

2. Consider proportion and balance with other architectural elements.  For example, when hanging pieces over a fireplace mantle, don't leave too much space underneath unless that space will be filled visually with other items like clocks or accessories.  Placing it nearer to, or even on, the mantle will provide cohesiveness so the art won't look disjointed. 

3. When hanging art in patterns, arrange the display on the floor first so you can determine distances between frames. That's particularly important if they are different sizes and styles. It helps you create balance and makes it easier to  intersperse horizontal and vertical elements so the arrangement is pleasing.

4. It's actually best to hang art from two points rather than a single point like a picture wire. That means installing "D" rings on the left and right sides of the frame.  It's much safer for heavy art and mirrors and absolutely prevents pieces from shifting and moving out of alignment over time.

5. Check straightness using a torpedo level held against the top and sides of the  frame. In the end, trust your eye since moldings, doorways, railings, and ceilings, etc. are not always level themselves and you can 'cheat' the position so it feels right.