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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Toni Berry, Hanging Art

Hang things closer together rather than farther apart. I often use the width of the frames as the spacing between pieces, and very rarely hang pictures more than two inches apart.

Use symmetrical or asymmetrical arrangements of art to create either a formal or a casual feeling. Symmetry adds balance and formality to an arrangement and is generally pleasing and calming to the observer. Or do something unexpected by hanging pictures in an asymmetrical arrangement, which can be a casual, fun look for informal settings.

Consider hanging a set of pictures with similar subject matter and frame style in a tight grouping with almost no space at all between the frames, like the photo above. Note the frames and the art itself support the color of the decor, driving the purity of the color as the focal point.

Hang things lower rather than higher. In general, artwork should be hung so that the center point of the picture, or grouping, is at eye level for the average person. (5 1/2 feet from the floor is the "universal" eye- level height).

Don't get stuck in the rut of hanging all of your art in a predominately horizontal arrangement. Create interest and visual excitement by hanging several pieces in a vertical "stack". When hanging 2 pieces one under the other, go for the unexpected - hang the larger piece above the smaller one to avoid a "bottom heavy" look. Or try propping a piece against a wall or mantel, not hanging it at all, this works great for mirrors too!

A grouping of pictures should be thought of as one unit. Test an arrangement of art by laying everything out on the floor, seeing how they relate in size, color and subject matter. Play with combinations until you hit upon one that works, then transfer your final arrangement to the wall.

Relate artwork to the furniture below it. When hanging art over a table or sofa, for instance, the bottom of the frame should sit within 4-8" of the furniture below and its width should be less than that of the furniture.

Bigger is often better even in small spaces. One large painting can make a real statement, keep things simple, and draw attention to a room's focal point, like a fireplace or sofa.

Still need help hanging your art creatively? Marie Antoinette Interiors offers art placement and hanging services - give Toni a call at 925 862-9064.

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