14 Tips on How to Hang Art from Interior Designers
Our San Antonio Interior Designers Share Expert Tips for Hanging Artwork
For many homeowners, curating an art collection is a fun pastime where they can express their personal style, explore inspiring galleries, and reminisce on past travels. Hanging artwork, however, is a different story. Many collectors don’t know how to properly hang artwork in a way that effectively shows off the piece, coordinates with existing furnishings, and feels balanced in the home. The job of hanging an art piece often results in dozens of holes in the wall and a stressful afternoon. Our San Antonio interior designers share 14 tips on how to hang art, as well as a few creative design ideas that will showcase your collection better than an NYC gallery.
1. Hang Artwork at the Right Height (Our #1 Tip for Hanging Art)
The biggest mistake homeowners tend to make when hanging art is placement. Far too often, our interior designers encounter spaces where artwork is hung too high on the wall for proper viewing. As a general rule, art should be hung at eye level depending on how one will view the piece. For example, artwork in a hallway should be hung at eye level while standing, and art in a dining room should be hung at eye level while sitting. Consider how the space is used and make it easy for people to view the collection.
More often than not, art should be hung with a span of 57 inches from the center of the artwork to the floor or four to six inches above furniture. Like all rules, these measurements are just a guide and can be broken. The interior designers at our San Antonio studio prefer to hang artwork lower because it makes ceiling heights appear taller.
2. Treat Groupings of Art as One Piece
Another technical tip on how to hang wall art is to treat groupings of art as one piece. Rarely is one canvas large enough to fill an entire wall. Instead, interior designers often group two or more works together in one arrangement. Make sure these pieces coordinate and make sense when being viewed at the same time. When hanging artwork on the wall, measure from the center of the group rather than individual items to find the proper placement.
3. Keep Consistent Spacing When Hanging Art
When hanging a grouping of art, make sure to measure and keep consistent spacing between pieces. Typically, two to three inches will look the most appealing.
4. Show Off Your Complete Collection
One of the biggest trends in interior design right now is personalization. So don’t be afraid to show off your entire collection of art! To display personal collections without looking cluttered, try arranging pieces in groups, creating a focal point, and sorting artwork by color.
5. Create a Stunning Free-form Gallery Wall
Gallery walls are a great way to hang many pieces of art at home. When it comes to a gallery wall, let creativity lead the way. Feel free to incorporate a mix of items and follow a free-form layout. We recommend echoing the shape of the wall and even going floor to ceiling to create a cozy and interesting space. It is a good idea to test arrangements on the floor and lay your wall out with painter’s tape before reaching for the hammer and nails.
6. Rely on a Grid Pattern
If you consider yourself to be orderly rather than a free spirit, a grid pattern may be the right arrangement for you. Hanging artwork on a line or grid pattern will achieve a sense of uniformity and balance, even when the art pieces are diverse. In addition, grid arrangements look great in modern and contemporary spaces.
7. Use Uniform Frames
Matching uniform frames are one strategy the experts use to hang art. When homeowners have a diverse collection of artwork from all over the world, uniform frames can help bring all the pieces together and create a gallery-like feel.
8. Or Use Mismatch Frames!
Just because galleries use matching black frames doesn’t mean you have to. Using mismatched frames can create a fun, eclectic, and cozy look, making a new art collection feel like it’s taken generations to curate. Mismatch frames are regularly used in the trendy cottage style that is taking 2020s interior design by storm.
9. Strive for Balance
Professionals strive for balance when hanging artwork. Balance can be symmetrical or asymmetrical and should be applied to both individual art groupings and art placement throughout the room as a whole. Different spaces require different strategies to create balance. For example, if a room has a large window on one side, the other side could be grounded with a large piece of art. Analyze your space and try a few options to find what’s best.
10. Consider the Background
White walls will go with any piece of artwork. However, decorative wall coverings, wallpapers, and bold colors have the potential to clash. Before you hang your favorite painting, consider how it will look on the wall.
11. Do Something “Off the Wall”
Design trends in the 2020s are all about embracing the unexpected. Before you hang a piece of art, consider other ways to display it. Artwork can be placed on shelves and propped up on furniture pieces, and larger canvasses can even rest on the floor and lean against the wall.
12. Use Picture Rails
Picture rails are a type of millwork that allows pictures to be hung without nailing directly into the wall. They are typically placed below the crown molding, adding another architectural detail and providing a way to change art arrangements without damaging walls. (Picture rails are an excellent option for avid art collectors who are constantly expanding their collections.)
13. Install Gallery Lights
Highlight important art pieces with gallery lights. Gallery lights will showcase your favorite artwork in the evenings and add that extra air of importance seen in gallery settings.
14. Consider Furniture and Decor
When hanging artwork, it is essential to consider the accompanying furniture and decor in a room. Place the main furnishings in the room first to see how people will use the space and engage with the art. For example, a low-set sofa may dictate that art is hung at a lower height to be easily viewed, and a credenza may provide the perfect spot to highlight your favorite piece. In addition, make sure to consider colors used in decor items. The last thing you want is for an accent pillow to clash with your prized art collection!