Spring is right around the corner (literally! - the first official day of the season is March 20th) and for many of us that means spring cleaning and organizing has begun. Often times, this leads to rearranging furniture and artwork…two of the simplest ways to freshen up a space. Many people dread having to rehang artwork, but it does not have to be a daunting task!
Hopefully, you have read our previous blog post that gives a Step-by-Step Guide to Hanging Art. Sometimes, a very precise measurement is just what you need to get the job done and looking professional. Not every circumstance, however, requires such precision. There are many instances when I like to go with the intuitive “I’ll know it when it’s right approach!” Here are a few more helpful tips to guide you when hanging artwork:
Does the piece you are hanging feel proportional in the space? Does it bring a sense of balance? For example, a painting should generally not be any wider than the couch or mantel it is hanging above…all too easily, the painting can end up feeling top-heavy and awkward. Artwork also needs a bit of breathing room for optimal viewing. Do not try to cram the largest piece possible onto a wall. Even if it theoretically “fits,” the space will most likely feel overwhelming and busy.
If the piece is going to be the only feature on a wall, it should be centered at eye-level for a great viewing experience. Is it going over a couch? Usually somewhere 5-10 in. higher works best in this scenario. I like sitting down to make sure that the back of a guest’s head will not bump into the artwork. Taller ceilings give you a little more wiggle room to hang a piece higher. Just don’t hang your artwork too high! It always ends up looking off and disconnected from the rest of the room.
What else is going on in the space? If artwork is already hanging on other walls in the same viewing area, I recommend matching the existing hanging height if possible. Are you hanging a series of pieces? Usually multiples in a grid look best spaced 2-3 in. apart…this keeps connectivity without feeling too tight. If you are hanging a row of work, perhaps in a hallway, spacing can depend more on the overall length of the wall. Also, keep in mind light fixtures and door frames. I do not like to see the top of a painting align perfectly with the top of a door frame. Either a few inches above or below will almost always look better. Similarly, don’t forget to consider a low hanging chandelier or the placement of a lamp, which can disrupt the line of site to your artwork.
Remember, there are no hard and fast rules to hanging artwork! Have fun and be creative in your space!