As an Interior Designer I have a lot of opportunity to work with art. Not surprisingly, for every different piece of art – from original paintings and photographs to posters and giclees, there is a different level of appreciation for the art. And, along with this varied appreciation is a great difference in opinion on just how to hang and display each piece. One thing you can be sure of, the final placement result and how good your artwork looks really is in the eye of the beholder. But keeping in mind some elements of design, such as scale, balance and harmony, there are some definite guidelines that will keep you on the right track.

1. Have a Plan

Artwork in a traditional setting is often symmetrical and a cozy feeling can be established with close groupings. Contemporary pieces often hang alone for a sleek, finished feel. When it comes to grouping framed pieces, don’t guess. Map out the wall space on the floor and play with placement there, or cut out newspaper in the size of your pieces and try them in different places on the wall.


2. Place Artwork Last

It is much easier to place artwork after the other elements of a room have been placed, such as furniture and light fixtures. Having these objects placed first will help dictate the location for your artwork.

3. Consider Spacing

Try closer together rather than farther apart. You can often determin the amount of space that is needed between pictures by taking a cue from the width of the frame. You may even want to hag the pictures so that the frames are actually touching.

4. Consider, or Don’t, Eye Level

What is eye level? For someone who is 5’5″ or someone who is 6’5″? You can guarantee the eye level in my home is seldom the same for a client I am working with. Rather than eye level, consider the wall and its surroundings. If you have a spot in the living room that is always used for reading, consider placing a picture where you can easily see it while relaxing with a good book. When working with a group of pictures try to relate them in some manner. All black and white, or all color photos. All framed in the same size and style frame, regardless of the size of the picture. Or all framed in the same color frame. This relationship will help unify the group.

5. Hanging One Piece

When hanging one piece of art on a wall all on its own, it is important to think of the wall in terms of proportions. Divide the wall into thirds or fifths. Then, pick one of those lines on which to center the piece of art. To give an important piece the right impact, be sure to use negative space. Make sure that there is enough blank space around the artwork so your eyes can focus on the piece. Also be sure to light the piece properly.

If you would like additional assistance with your picture hanging project, please feel free to contact me or give me a call at 914-234-7066.

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