Saturday, August 28, 2010

Perfect Picture Hanging

Photograph ©2000-2003 by Glenna J. Morton, About's Interior Decorating Guide
NSO Decorator's Show house

I get asked this all the time... How do I hang a picture correctly? While there are standard "rules", it truly does just have to look alright. It's not a game of  perfection, if it feels good when you look at it, it's probably ok.

Here's some thoughts to get you started:

If the space includes a large wall and a lot of floor space, start by arranging the artwork on the floor first. Measure how far they need to be from one another. Then take one at a time and put them up on the wall.

Another option is to make a template of each piece to be hung. Just trace around the outside of the frame on kraft paper or newspaper and cut out the shape.
Secure the templates to the wall with reusable adhesive, which looks a bit like putty or chewing gum. It won't tear pieces from the wall or the paper patterns. You can also carefully use scotch tape in a pinch. :)
Consider grouping four small same-size pictures together in a four-square, to give the illusion of a larger picture.
There doesn't always have to be four in a group. Consider using a larger picture in the center. Then place two smaller pictures on either side of the large picture, spaced vertically to about equal the length of the larger frame. Or, in place of the larger picture, use a large mirror.
Not all frames will always be matching sizes, so approximate and just try to balance the impact of the frames -- not match them perfectly.
Always hang pictures at about eye level for an average height person.
If hanging a picture over a sofa, don't leave a lot of wall space between sofa and picture. Try for three to six inches. If you go any higher, the viewer's eye will just go to the wall, not the picture.
Photograph ©2000-2003 by Glenna J. Morton, About's Interior Decorating Guide
Don't put one little picture on a large wall, it looks ridiculous. If there's not enough artwork to fill up more space on a large wall, consider putting mirrors or a shadowbox in the grouping. On that note, don't overload a small wall with a large picture. So to be clear, choose smaller pictures for narrow walls and larger pieces for larger walls. :)
In general, when hanging art over furniture it should never be longer than the width of the furniture. The rule is typically never larger than 75% of the furniture width.
More tips to come! Hope you're having an awesome weekend!
Julie xoxo

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