How to hang your wall art

HTW 1

In the Design Dilemma series, we’re asking that doyen of home-making James Treble all our interior decorating questions.

This week we’re looking at wall art. Whether you’re into framing your screen-printed tea towels, installing your fave expressionist artwork in your dining nook or mounting Japanese wallpaper for Eastern flair, JT gives you the jump on getting the logistics right!

From old-school Bally posters and Vogue covers to fanciful illustrations, quirky quotes, landscapes, geometric prints, decals and more, there’s something to suit every taste. Massive or miniature, brazen or serene, subdued or striking in palette – the options are almost (almost!) infinite.

Keen to create a more individual look? There are loads of inspired DIY options from scouring your local thrift shop for forgotten treasures to framing your kids’ art, creating a photo montage or even installing a vertical garden.

Image sources, from left: smileandwave.typepad.com, somethingturquoise.com and laurelberninteriors.com

THINK ABOUT THE JOURNEY OF THE GAZE

Planning is the key when you’re thinking about adorning your space. Put down your hammer + nails and pause to consider your overall aesthetic…

When someone enters the room, what are the focal points that draw the eye? For example, windows, mirrors, mantlepieces or featured furniture pieces. Your wall art needs to work in harmony with these elements. It should work to support the room’s positive points and introduce visual interest in its voids.

From left: Turquoise Water Painted Canvas Wall Art by Glorious Artwork, available online at Zanui and a glorious vertical garden as seen on countryliving.com

CONSIDER YOUR AESTHETIC

Creating a cohesive look is essential – even if the look you’re going for is boho-eclectic. Consider how the colour palettes of the pieces you have chosen work together. Try to select pieces that pick up each other’s accent colours to create a counter-reference.

Are the styles complimentary? Pair together some floral tapestries for a feminine vintage aesthetic or whimsical artwork for a fairy-tale touch.

If you’re working with opposing styles, picking up accent colours helps to draw them together.

Make use of void space, hide light switches and thermostats with a striking photo wall. A little planning makes success more reachable! Image sources, from left: jenniferjohner.typepad.com, laurenconrad.com and mrshowardpersonalshopper.com

PLACING WORKS TOGETHER ON THE WALL

We’re a bit of a fan of butcher’s paper. Tape several sheets together to create a base for drafting your cluster of artwork. Arrange and re-arrange the different pieces on your sheet of paper, exploring all the combinations. There are plenty of templates for what looks good, but at the end of the day, it’s your home and you are the ultimate arbiter of taste!

Once you’ve found the perfect combo, trace around the frames and blu-tack your butcher’s paper to the wall. This allows you to explore different heights and arrangements before you get happy with your hammer.

Image sources, from left: mmmcrafts.blogspot.com and smileandwave.typepad.com

HOW HIGH IS TOO HIGH?

HALLWAYS

James says, “In hallways, hang the art so that your eye-level is a third from the top of the piece.”

The average eye-level is 57″ – used by most galleries when exhibiting art. So, if in doubt, hang your wall art so that its centre is 57″ from the floor. If you’re opting to cluster your wall art, it should be the centre of the cluster that is 57″ from the floor. 😀

If you’re going for the floor-to-ceiling look of course, this becomes irrelevant. 😉 Then it becomes about creating a balanced effect. You’ll know if it’s not – you’ll feel lopsided when you stand back and look at it!

From left: NYC – Liberty Skyline Anderson Design Travel Print Art by Americanflat and Gramophone Print Art by Americanflat, available online at Zanui, sandwiching Kate Spade’s apartment via apartmenttherapy.com

LIVING / DINING SPACES

If you’re hanging artwork above a sofa, console table or your dining chairs, the general rule of thumb is that it should be around 4-6″ above it.

JT’s tip: “Just make sure it’s high enough so that you can’t lean back and knock into it. (!) If you hang it too high, it looks like it’s floating.”

That’s it! Thanks, James. You’re the schizz. Happy hanging, peoples!

Featured images from laurelberninteriors.com and engelta.hubpages.com

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.