Other than quality or cost what makes the difference between a home hung with million dollar contemporary art vs. art for us normal people? It is not the money. Now it is true, people with an important art collection rarely are the ones standing on a ladder with their spouse yipping at them to “move it to the left a little.” They hire a professional to hang and place their art. However, you can easily hang and place your own art in your home. If you follow a few simple guidelines.To get a professional opinion, I spoke with BB, she’s like Madonna, single name only. She has been framing and installing corporate collections as well as art in private homes for over 35 years. Her calm and quiet demeanor will put anyone at ease, though her passion for her profession is infectious.
Artwork – It is important to have a mix of artwork in a home or room. “Mix in sculpture with flat works.” Room after room of pictures or paintings becomes very boring.
Relationships – Group together like items or have a “common denominator” or theme. This creates drama and impact. It’s not just filler, if an item is on display it should have some type of impact.
Scale – Size matters. “Artwork should be scaled to fit the space.” This can be handled two ways:
- Use large pieces in a large room with lots of wall space like those shown above
- Or, group items together to form the spacial illusion of one large piece.
Photo via Elizabeth Lyons Glass (a phenomenal glass artist.)
Rhythm or Flow – One can use repetition or contrast to create this movement. This is what allows the eye to travel around and through a space. If this bedroom below had only one picture over the headboard as the lone piece of art in the room it would have the effect of a big stop sign, removing any life from the room. Repetition creates comfort while contrast creates visual stimulation.
Budget – Money can be an issue especially after someone has just re-done a room. “Always budget for artwork to finish a room.” The problem is further complicated by purchasing a lot of miscellaneous little items. Buy enough similar items to make a whole grouping or buy less items but larger.
Photo via Ballard Designs
The key to buying art for the home and displaying artwork properly is placement. Know your space and what is needed to fill it. Placement is an artsy/designer word for location, but it also encompasses what the particular piece is; a painting, print, or sculpture. This applies to contemporary art, traditional artworks, everything right on down to posters. In my next installment BB offers the most common mistakes she experiences when it comes to hanging artwork in a home.