The art of hanging pictures
How high? What size frames? What size matting? How do you group them? What techniques can you use to ensure a minimal swiss cheese affect on your walls?
Let's start with some basic guidelines on how to position your art or framed photos.
Now let's smash those guidelines to pieces! Okay, maybe not smash, but let's consider some times when you may want to stray from gallery rules. If you have a space for children, some art can certainly be brought down to a level where they can enjoy it. Or let's say you want to hang some pictures above a headboard that is 57 inches tall. Consider other items in the room like door frames, or shelving. You may be able to consider the difference between the top of the headboard and the top of the door frame as the center point to use for your new center measurement. If your ceilings are not that high the art can be centered between the ceiling and the item above which you are hanging your pictures.
What size should your picture frame(s) be? For drama - as large as you can afford. For collages, you can either vary the sizes of individual frames for added interest or keep the frame size consistent and limit the number to at least 3 but no more than 9 for a more formal, classic look. You can mat your pictures with a standard 3 inch border (put a 5x7 picture in an 8x10 frame, for example). If you have great photos that you don't want to blow up larger or can't due to pixilation, have a frame shop custom cut some matting that will allow you to use much larger frames with your smaller pictures..
If you have more than a few pieces of art or photos to display, grouping them can help you keep your walls from looking cluttered. Think of the space you have for your collage as a large shape within which to arrange your pictures whether that be a square or rectangle. You can play with your designs by arranging the frames on the floor or other large surface. Try aligning the outside edges to form a rectangle within a rectangle (or square within a square). For a long horizontal display, centering varying size frames along one horizontal line and attempting to use the same size frames on each end and in the middle will help give the collage a balanced look. If you have a couple of rows of different size frames, align the bottoms of the top row with the tops of the bottom row to bring your eye pleasingly along the length of the grouping.. Are you arranging pictures along a stairwell? Align the bottom corner of each frame the same distance from the handrail to give a diagonal line that follows along as you go up or down.
Here are a few recommendations to help keep you from creating multiple nail holes in your walls.
I hope this helps give you confidence to hang your art and/or photos of loved ones. Our spaces are meant to house the things we love and those things are meant to be seen and enjoyed. Have fun and, as usual, let me know how it goes!
I, Brenda Szarek, am the founder of Autumn Light Interiors. I have immersed myself in home design and problem solving for years and have creative solutions for all kinds of interior design dilemmas. I hope you enjoy my tips, tricks, trends, and inspiration to help you find your way to a well-designed, comfortable, and functional home you can be excited to live in and welcome others within.