How to Hang Wall Art: My 5 Top Tips
When Spring arrives, some people feel an almost elemental urge to rejig, reorder, revamp and rearrange their spaces, mirroring the new life and regeneration that can be witnessed in nature. Whether hanging wildflower paintings, displaying vases of fresh flowers or burning candles which evoke memories of the seaside, I believe that bringing nature into the home is so very important to create a feeling of well-being.
Our home is an ever-changing eclectic gallery of artwork from friends and family, as well as my own paintings, photography and sketches from our regular travels. We have many artists in our lives and our walls celebrate this. Adding artwork to our walls is undoubtedly one of the best ways to add colour, personality and interest to a space; figuring out what size of art to choose – and how high to hang it! – is the tricky part. How to hang wall art, and which room should we hang paintings to give them the light and attention that they deserve? People often ask me these questions, so I thought I’d put together this guide of how to hang wall art, enjoy!
5 Easy Tips on How to Hang Wall Art
#1 Decide Where to Hang Your Artwork
Firstly, it’s important to think of the artwork you are hanging in relation to everything which surrounds it. Whether you hang a framed picture over your sofa, on a stairway wall, or in the hall, each of these spaces will have elements to consider. Above a mantel or fireplace is the perfect place to layer pieces, a house looks like a home when you can see layers of artwork and accessories which translate the fabric of your world. In the kitchen, hang art in a place where it won’t get damaged by water or heat. Consider placing art above an office space, near the dining table, or above open worktop space.
The colours of the painting and the subject (and mood) of the artwork will all have to be considered in relation to the room’s current design and what that room is used for. It’s widely believed that you should hang artwork so the centre of the painting is at eye level, but how does this work for people whose households consist of a mixture of tall and short people? Hanging artwork should be a personal choice and should work for you and your family. Sometimes hanging your artwork in a surprising or unexpected way can create something of a talking point and draws the viewer’s attention more so than if it were hung in a more ‘usual’ position.
Will you mainly be standing in the room (as in an entryway or hallway), or will it be a room in which you are mainly sat (dining room/lounge/office)? If it is a room in which people are often stood, hang your wall art a bit higher than eye level –especially if the ceilings are high. In a room where you generally sit down, hang pictures a bit lower, so they can be enjoyed at a lower viewing angle. Sit in a chair and ask someone to hold the picture against the wall, moving it up and down so you can evaluate the look so that it works for you and your family.
#2 Carefully Consider the Light
Beautiful artwork can enliven your home and of course, good lighting will only enhance the effect. My paintings dance and sing thanks to the glitter and gold leaf and diamond dust I use. The way in which my glittery paintings sparkle with an iridescent sheen is something very unique, giving them an ethereal depth. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when lighting art — and there are several potential pitfalls to consider.
Firstly, you’ll need to decide whether you want to directly illuminate the art itself, or just let the wall art hang in a room which is beautifully lit. A ceiling spotlight (such as those used in galleries) which shines down upon your painting is a great way of illuminating your artwork, but equally so a table lamp nearby can create a subtle effect. If lighting from above, be sure that the light beam is adjusted to a 30-degree angle – anything less than that will cast long shadows below the frame. Likewise, if you point too directly you’ll get a reflective flare which detracts from the painting itself. I recommend when considering how to hang wall art, that you ensure that as much natural light is used available as possible – a bright corner with lots of natural (non-direct) light allows the painting to breathe and dance in the sunbeams, revealing the true colours and forms which the artist created.
#3 Consider the Size of The Artwork to Hang
I am frequently asked “What size painting should I choose for my wall?” Sometimes this decision is made according to budget, but very often people are overly cautious about over- (or under-) whelming their rooms with the artwork they choose to buy. I would advise to just go with your heart! If a piece of artwork connects with you on a personal level, then it will work in your home and you’ll love it forever.
That said, for your new artwork to fit perfectly in your home, then make sure you consider the wall space available and the arrangement of the room. Using small pieces (such as my miniature originals) between windows and doors is a good tip because if small artwork is placed in a space which is too vast, the pieces can sometimes look lost. If you are investing in art, you certainly don’t want to buy it and hang it, only to discover your room still feels barren. Larger pieces make a statement but remember to allow adequate space in the room for people to step back and admire the work. A problem I’ve sometimes encountered when hanging artwork in relation to furniture (such as above a sofa or sideboard) is that it’s not in scale. Hanging artwork which is too small or too large will make the whole room design look a bit off-kilter and eschew attention away from the painting. If you ensure artwork is at least two-thirds the size of the sofa or sideboard, it will be easier on the eye and really ‘work’ with the room and its components.
#4 Gallery Walls or Single Statement Piece?
Gallery walls where lots of different sizes and shapes of painting dance across the wall are a fun, eye-catching way to fill a large space in your home when you are drawn to more than one piece by the same artist, or when you find several prints or original paintings which you’d like to group together. Some people like to collate their gallery wall according to colour theme, or scatter the frames across the wall in a kaleidoscopic explosion radiating out from the central focus piece. Gallery walls are a great, inexpensive way to fill your home with your favourite pieces. Though a gallery wall can be placed anywhere, one of the best spots is on a large, empty wall. Having enough blank space around the artwork ensures the arrangement does not look cluttered.
Variety is the spice of life however, and others prefer to invest in a bold statement piece to strike a dominant pose on the wall on its own. A standalone piece makes a grand gesture and can be a real eye-catching way of showcasing a piece of art which has moved and inspired you. If your room is sparsely decorated with a clean contemporary style, then a large piece of artwork will fill up the visual field as furniture might. Whatever colour scheme you choose for your living spaces, if your room is in need of an injection of colour, then adding wall art to your home decor will enhance your room and bring you endless joy.
#5 Don’t Hang It, Use It!
Who decreed that art should solely be reserved for canvas, walls and galleries? I have always adored interiors and working with fabric, so I knew that one day I would explore the world of interior design products. My interiors collection flaunts a marriage of two of my oil paintings; ‘Honey Kisses’ and ‘Cornflower Dreams’. Translating my artwork into a collection of beautiful interiors products has been exciting as I love to explore new ways of incorporating happiness and joy into living spaces. Vibrant and popping with colour, my interior products add a peek of personality to any room with their bold rainbow-strewn hues and inspirational fine art designs. Displaying artwork throughout your living spaces on lampshades, cushions or via ceramics helps to incorporate artwork into your day-to-day living, and that is exactly how it should be.
Art, especially original art, is an investment that can last a lifetime, it can make or break a room and is essential to a finished look for your living space. Now comes the fun part… explore artwork which stirs your heart and select a gorgeous piece of art that is the best fit for your home and life. I hope you enjoy it as much as I love creating it for you!
Love and Blessings,