Adding personal artwork is a wonderful way to make your new home feel warm and inviting while personalizing your space. Photographs, collectibles and art add drama and personality to each space; however, you must know the proper way to do this to avoid making your home look cluttered.
When determining which pieces to display, choose the most important pieces and group them together. Instead of trying to display everything, opt for just a few pieces in each room. Using this technique will also allow you to switch out artwork with the seasons or when you want something new.
Once you have determined which art pieces will go in each room, it is important to lay them out on the floor before hanging them. This will give you the opportunity to experiment with placement. Most people respond best to order. Design your layout in a square or rectangle design using a variety of shapes and sizes. If you will be hanging your artwork on your stairs, the design will be different. In this case, you should stair step them down the stairs.
If you will be placing your grouping above a couch or other piece of large furniture, place your smaller items along the side or at the bottom of the arrangement to help add value. Your largest piece will be your focal point and the eyes should naturally travel around the other items in your grouping.
If your artwork will be hung on a blank wall, the largest piece should be at the bottom of the layout to help anchor it. The smaller items should be located along the sides and the top of the artwork.
In addition to the layout of your artwork, you will need to determine the proper height to hang your artwork. If you place it too high above a piece of furniture, it can make the two segments feel disconnected. You should hang the artwork approximately 6-8 inches above your furniture. If the artwork will be hung on a blank wall, the lowest portion of the artwork should be 58 inches from the floor. This measurement will help ensure your artwork is hung at eye level. There are exceptions to this rule. For example, if the artwork is small, you may need to hang it higher. If the artwork will be viewed from a seated position, the artwork will need to be hung a little lower.
Another thing to consider is the spacing of your artwork. When you are grouping multiple pieces of art together, you should leave a minimum of two inches around each piece of art. Furthermore, the open space should be consistent between all pieces of your grouping. When choosing artwork, you want to ensure there is a balance between your artwork, furnishings and other items, such as lamps and tables, in the room.
The hardware you choose to hang your artwork can affect the overall design and stability of the grouping. Choose picture hooks rather than nails to help evenly distribute the weight of the artwork. These hooks are sold by the amount of weight they can support. Space two hooks equal distance apart to help distribute the weight. Finally, if an item weighs more than 60 pounds, you will need to use wall anchors to support the artwork and prevent it from falling.
When you have your artwork framed, ask that only acid-free products and UV protected glass be used. This will help keep it looking great for years to come.
Never place your artwork in direct sunlight as it can fade and damage the art and the frame. If you are hanging artwork above a fireplace, be careful as the heat can destroy your pieces.