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Hanging Art In The Home – 20 Top Tips

First decide what sort of impression you want to make with “pictures”. Do you want to be fashionable and arty or do you want to display family photos, nostalgia or personal interests? If you wish you can include all of the above, but you may make a better job of it if you have designated areas for each. For example you may want to make a statement with an impressive single abstract piece in your living room, while in the hall or dining room you could display more personal items. There are no rules as such, but try to harmonise your displays so that they do not compete for the viewer’s attention. If you can try and rationalise where and why you hang each item.

Ultimately you will get more out of each piece and your guests will sense yours to be an organised and methodical household. 2. Keep your choice of art in proportion to where you will hang it. If a picture is too large it will look cramped and suffocated, if it is too small it will look lost and insignificant. Many people think that if there is room for a picture to squeeze in between the mantelpiece and the ceiling it will work there.

Not so, you must allow the space around the picture to become part of the framing too. All surrounding space must be balanced and equal. 3. Never try to save money by forcing a picture into a frame that neither suits it, fits it or displays it to the best advantage. A cheap frame is a false economy for you can end up with a dreadful result that simply looks “make-do”. Compared to furniture and flooring, pictures can often be thought of as of minor importance in the grand scheme of the room. This is not so at all. Think of a picture as the Tiara on the Bride or the Cream on the Cake. It is the finishing touch that will often turn into the major focal point of the room. If it looks denied its full potential splendour – so will the room.

4. Always consider the picture first when framing it and not the décor of the room. The picture will always stay the same and is a complete entity in its own right. Its position in the house or the décor of the room may change many times in its life with you, so make sure the picture is “right” in itself and is not dictated to by the colour of the curtains it hangs next to. Such influences can ensure the picture is actually diminished in stature by forcing it to conform with its surroundings. 5. Always choose images “you” like and not what “Mavis across the road” considers to be good taste. Certainly never take the advice of anyone likely to say something like “Well I think it will look good in your place but, of course, I’d never hang it in my house”. Have the courage to be guided by your own taste. Other people not liking it does not make it bad.

Art is very personal and you should never set out to please others outside your own family. 6. If you buy a print or painting for a good price don’t allow the fact to convince you it only deserves a cheap frame. If you got a bargain – great! Now invest the money you saved on a frame that will really make it look fantastic. The value of a good picture is not necessarily determined by how much you paid for it, but much more by how it looks and what it does for your home. 7. If you have short or narrow rooms you can make them look longer by displaying long panoramic pieces that carry the eye along the wall. This works especially well along the length of a dining table or across the back of a settee. Alternatively you can use three to six smaller square pieces hanging in a balanced, evenly spaced line. 8.

Another space illusion can be achieved by matching your framed art with a similarly treated mirror. Not only will this give the illusion of more space, it will also help to spread more light around the room. 9. Picture rails seem to be coming back into fashion, but think long and hard before you decide to actually use them to support your pictures. Long wires required to suspend pictures at the proper height can introduce ugly lines to otherwise clear walls and can complicate the overall effect. The best way to hang a picture is as if “by magic” with no apparent evidence for its maintained position. 10. Always insist your pictures are strung for hanging with a good quality wire and not cord. The use of cord can often ensure a future trip to the framer to repair a picture that “suddenly fell off the wall for no reason”.


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