Art Post II.

Monday, June 7, 2010

One of the first "problems" I see in a clients home is the placement of art work/photos, etc... It is often too high on the wall. Now there are a variety of circumstances to take into account when placing art. Lighting, furniture, wall color, existing nails or holes in the wall that you want to cover up but are too lazy to do it the proper way, ie...putty, sand, paint. I am guilty of that last one, many times over! But, I'll keep it basic. If you have a problem area that you just can't figure out then shoot me a picture and I'll help. Otherwise, keep in mind these basic "rules." Your artwork is part of a bigger picture. You want to make sure that the wall color behind the art piece won't clash or overwhelm the art you are trying to highlight. Next, you need to take into account what this art relates to. If you have a reading chair, small table, and a floor lamp then you must place your art in relation to those objects. In this case you'd hang the art piece low enough to step down from the lamp and relate it to the chair and table. Make sense? Normally, when hanging art over a sofa or just on a lone wall, you want the art work to hang at your eye level. In my home, my eye level is at about 5 feet. My tall husband's eye level would be at close to 6 feet. When hanging a piece, just using the eye level rule, I split the difference and hang the art there. So much of the time the art is super high on the wall. It ends up looking disjointed and unrelated to anything else in the room. You have to crane your neck to look. Of course, there are extenuating circumstances that may lead you to hang a large piece high on a vaulted wall or something. But, in most cases, this basic rule of eye level is what you should shoot for. Sometimes you want eye level for standing and sometimes you want eye level for sitting. That earlier example of the floor lamp, reading chair, and table would look silly if I were to hang the art work higher than the floor lamp.

The next problem is "scale." I see a lot of teeny tiny framed photos above a sofa. The scale of the photos looks outlandish next to the biggest piece of furniture in the room. Then, on top of that, the photos are hung 5 feet above the sofa! You must make sure that people can SEE what it is you have taken the time to frame and hang. If the art work is small, put it next a smaller furniture grouping or on a smaller, more intimate wall, like in a hallway.

Sometimes necessity forces you to hang something higher than you should. If you have toddlers like mine at home then you understand this completely! But, these rules should apply to most conditions. If you can think of any other picture hanging concern you have, please leave me a comment or send me a photo. I have friends that shy away from hanging anything because they either don't want to do it wrong or they are "afraid" of putting holes in the wall. Seize the hammer! Don't be afraid! This is a quick way to change your space and add a lot of personality!


The Duckworth Family said...

I just came across your blog and love that you are so open for comments or questions! I know life is crazy busy for all. I just moved from a 3000 sq food home to an 1100 apartment and am finally ready to decorate. Since I can't paint and I don't want to spend money decorating this place, I'm pretty limited to what I have (which probalby is plenty) but I jsut have a hard time with placement I guess. It was helpful to read this post about things being eye level as I have a collage to go above my couch. I love what you have done here and I try to make things not symmetrical, but it seems to still catch up to me to be that way! I want this apartment to feel like my home, but I'm not sure the best way to go about it....why do I get so nervous to start nailing holes in my walls!?
Camille Duckworth

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