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Interiors – Avoid The 7 Mistakes When Hanging Artwork


While interviewing BB, a professional framer and art installer, for an earlier post our conversation took a turn towards the mistakes she encounters when people hang artwork in their homes.   Art hung wrong

The Common Mistakes People Make When Hanging Artwork.  Artwork is as personal and emotionally charged as our choices in clothing, music and food.  Displaying artwork in our home is much less subjective though it is easy to stray off course.  

  1. Don’t use too small of piece for the scale of room or furniture.  BB reiterated more than once, “I don’t know why but people have this thing about buying artwork too small and then hanging it over mammoth pieces of furniture.”
  2. Mix it up a bit.  Don’t hang everything in a row around the room.  Use two dimensional (flat) pieces and three dimensional (sculpture) in the same room.Interior vignette by Lisa Smith
  3. Allow for negative space, not every wall needs artwork.
  4. Don’t be afraid to hang a picture or mirror by a lamp.  Layering is fine.  This enhances the textural experience of a room.
  5. Hang artwork using two hooks or hanging points so nothing shifts.  “I often go into homes where the cleaning crew has dusted the picture frames and left the artwork askew.”  Who wants to look at crooked pictures?

    How to hang artwork

  6. Don’t hang pictures over doorways or “up in the sky”where they can’t be appreciated.

  7. Too many family photos.  Designate a location on a wall for an impressive grouping and “switch out photos, rather than bunching more in.”

Let’s talk height. Height is the area people have the most trouble with but not if you remember the number 60.  The phrase eye-level can be too subjective.  What one wants to be concerned with is sight-line.  This is the area 60″ off the floor to the center of the piece or grouping where most people’s eyes rest comfortably.  This number used by professionals and museums will work just fine for any home owner.

Proper height for hanging artworkThe purpose of hanging or placing works of art is to showcase them to their best advantage.

Artwork is as personal and emotionally charged as our choices in clothing, music and food.  Displaying artwork in our home is much less subjective though it is easy to stray off course.  We’ve all seen artwork hung too high or too low.  We’ve seen items hung which just look wrong, yet we aren’t certain why.  If you avoid the 7 mistakes outlined above your artwork should look fabulous.Thank you lisa

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7 Responses to Interiors – Avoid The 7 Mistakes When Hanging Artwork

  1. abouttheframe

    RT @TheDecorGirl: New Post Interiors – Avoid The 7 Mistakes When Hanging Artwork http://decorgirl.net/2011/03/interiors-a

  2. savvyspaces

    RT @TheDecorGirl: New Post Interiors – Avoid The 7 Mistakes When Hanging Artwork http://decorgirl.net/2011/03/interiors-a

  3. cmlbrown

    RT @TheDecorGirl: New Post Interiors – Avoid The 7 Mistakes When Hanging Artwork http://decorgirl.net/2011/03/interiors-a

  4. tlatrice

    I just purchased a new bed and nightstand and they are off center. The bed has a very high headboard (approx 60 inches). 1. Should I hang artwork over it? 2> If I can, should I center the artwork over the bed or relative to the wall?

  5. If your ceilings are 8-9 ft not over the bed. You’ve already filled this space with the tall headboard.

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