Lisa Diamond came by to show us some tips and tricks for hanging art in your home.
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT HANGS WHERE?
HANG ART AT EYE LEVEL
When you finally decide 'what goes where' - the first and most fundamental rule is hang art at eye level. You want to enjoy it, so hang it where you can see it, without craning your neck - too high looks horrible and too low can make the piece sink.
Think too of how you will be looking at it, what WILL eye level be? what position will you be in? - Sitting down? Coming down the stairs? Walking past the room, Standing in front of it?
Creating a vignette is another way to draw your eye to a piece of art... and it sets the painting in a context, or tells a story!
SOMETIMES HANGING YOUR ART CAN MEAN GETTING IT OFF THE WALL
Lean art: small works look fabulous and lend interest to bookshelves, window sills, and mantels. On the mantle, Lisa used a plate stand to show a small oil painting .
COMPARTMENTALIZE your artwork, on a small wall or a large one
Large expanses of wall can be hard, but broken up with art and furniture - compartmentalize the vastness, by offsetting a chair/ table artwork on one side, with a large oil or a grouping on the other side - but keep it balanced of course.
Hang groupings of artwork to create interest, to tell a story, or be provocative, whether it's two, three, or six different pieces of all from the same series (if you like that symmetry)
Some people like to hang a unified wall of art by the same artist or just black and white photographs, but be brave and mix your mediums - prints with paintings with photographs and by different artists, and mix your frames and colours in the art. pull artwork from other areas of your home, mix serious with fun.
You may like to work a common theme or thread that links them. The important thing is to experiment and achieve a balance that feels right and that you can enjoy from various points in the room.
HOW TO GROUP ART
Lay out the grouping on the floor in front of the wall space, so that your composition is well balanced. Experiment, move things around, play with the content, the colours, the frames etc.
Always use the 'heavier' work (visually, not literally), on the lower part to anchor the bottom of the grouping. (i.e. thick frames, or a dark oil painting) on the bottom - it never looks right to have a top heavy group. Or - disperse the heavier ones to balance their weight.
You can start on the outsides and work in, or start in the middle (preferable) with a larger/ heavier piece and work out from there.
Take a picture or make an illustration to remind yourself of what goes where.
Next, trace the framed pieces onto manilla paper, or even newspaper or craft paper. You will tape these on to the wall to get a sense of the layout and spacing and so you know where to put the nails (or good picture hangers!)
Measure the height and length of the sofa (taped outline on flat) and measure 4 - 6 inches up to where the bottom edge of the frame of your lowest piece, and then build out from there.
This applies if it is a single piece or a grouping.
The grouping should typically be within the width of the couch - but if you're comfortable that it looks balanced and lovely if it hangs either side - that can work too.
Are there hard and fast rules for the scale of the art to the scale of the wall?
Traditionally, the grouping above the couch should fall within the boundary of either end, but if it extends over, and still feels balanced, it's fine!
Lisa would also put a large piece on a small wall as she did in her dining room - It can look interesting and shakes things up - less expected. But it still appears balanced if you anchor it with a piece of furniture.
Compartmentalize the art on a large wall to highlight the art and furniture and to create different 'zones'
How should lighting play a role in where you hang a piece?
Eyeball halogens are great - they make everything look great - but - if you have an older home, and wish to maintain the integrity of it by not potlighting the ceilings, then just put the artwork where you want, and find ways to light it after (track lighting or individual picture lights).
A dimly lit cozy corner with an old oil on a shelf can look effective too.
Remember - art will fade or damage if it is in direct sunlight!
Artwork from Art Interiors: