Great art will add colour and personality to a room – so long as you get it right, says interior designer James Treble.
Whether it’s a large mirror, a collection of prints or that ‘Picasso’ you picked up for a bargain, artworks are an integral part of any interior and can make or break a space. Hanging artworks and pictures correctly, however, is a whole different ball game, and when done wrong can do a lot more breaking than making.
First, there’s the need to get the right style and size of work for the right wall. Then, there are the design aspects to take into consideration, such as getting the height and positioning right. Finally, there’s the step where you actually have to hang the artwork on the wall…and get it level…and make sure it stays there.
Here are three things to consider to make sure you hang your artwork correctly.
1. PICK THE RIGHT LOCATION
The first thing to do is work out where you want to hang the art. For example, a large mirror with an ornate frame near an entry can make a big impact.
For the lounge room, a collection of artworks may be the solution. In the hallway, small works in a row are a great way to show family photos, and for the dining room an oversized statement piece is sure to be a conversation starter.
HOOKS: DRILLING VS STICK-ON
You need to consider the weight of the picture and then select the right hook for hanging the art. You’ll need to drill for a large piece, however, stick-on hooks are great for smaller, lighter works. They won’t damage the wall, making them perfect for renters or people who like to switch up their interiors regularly.
Weigh the artwork before you choose the suitable size of stick-on hook, and always allow for a little extra weight.
2. HANG ART IN GROUPS
Artworks grouped in four, six or more can really make a statement, and create the same ‘wow’ factor of a much larger artwork for a fraction of the cost.
To get the look just right, try drawing up a grid on graph paper to confirm the perfect distance between each piece of art before you start hanging. Or, you may also like to lay them out on the floor to get the right arrangement and then measure between them before you hang them on the wall.
TIPS FOR HANGING ART LIKE A PRO
- Artworks should be hung with the centre point at eye level. Generally this is about 1.5m off the floor.
- When hanging multiple artworks together, consider them as one large work and centre them with appropriate spacing between.
- If you have a dark hallway, a glass-fronted artwork can help bounce light around.
- The frame colour and type can be just as important as the artwork itself, so think about what works best in your room.
- A grid of smaller works can be a cost-effective way to fill a wall instead of one large piece.
3. KNOW THE IMPORTANCE OF SCALE
When hanging art over a sideboard or console, the picture should not be larger than the piece of furniture. About 3/4 the width of the furniture is a good guide.
For large walls, go for one big artwork or a grid of smaller ones – a single small artwork can look a bit stingy by itself on a large wall.