Wall Art: How To
Frame It, Hang It,
And Arrange It

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Wall art is a favorite and necessary accessory in home interior decorating. It can enliven a room and make a personal statement about who you are or where you've been, all at the same time. For example....

wall art

But if you want your wall art to be truly enjoyed by you and your loved ones, it must be properly framed (if it's a painting), hung and arranged. I'll give you the basic tools you need to properly show off your favorite pieces.

Framing

Have you taken a look at the number of framing options available? Mind boggling, isn't it? No worries, though…

While there are exceptions to every rule, keeping these tips in mind when selecting frames will help you steer clear of major pitfalls.

  • If your decorating style is Contemporary, your paintings will look best in thin metal or lacquered wood frames. These frames are minimal, which is an apt description for Contemporary décor.

  • If your decorating style is Traditional, you'll be happiest with wide, ornate frames. These frames typically have intricate and sometimes gothic designs and are best displayed in formal settings. The frames reflect old world European architecture from which Traditional design owes its heritage.

  • If your decorating style is Casual, frames are available in a variety of widths and are made of metal or wood. These frames typically have smooth surfaces and have little or no carvings. When in doubt, go with wooden frames of moderate widths for your Casual decor.

  • As always, if your decorating style is Eclectic, you'll probably select frames that are a mixture of the above. However, if your taste leans toward one style more than another, you'll probably want a few more of those frames to strengthen the look you want.
Finally, when framing your wall art, make sure that the width of the mats is correct. In general, the mats should be twice as wide as the frame...and always select your mats based on the art rather than the room's colors.

Hanging

All the experts say most wall art should be hung at eye level. This translates into about 60 inches from the floor.

In addition, when you hang a picture over your sofa or other furniture it should be about two-thirds the width of the furniture piece and positioned 6 to 10 inches above the lowest edge of the furniture.

For a quick tutorial on hanging pictures, check out this video.

I really liked the tips on displaying pictures in other ways, besides on walls.

Arranging

When it comes to arranging your wall art, remember that grouping pieces is good and sprinkling them is not good.

The reason that you don't want to sprinkle pieces around the room is because they will look insignificant in relation to the size of the wall. They probably won't even be noticed.

On the other hand, displaying wall art in groups captivates the eye. The viewer will be compelled to take in the collage of pattern and design. There will be a natural interest and curiosity.

The only exception that I would make to sprinkling wall art isn't really an exception when you think about it. If you have a weighty piece of art such as a large painting, it has enough presence to stand alone. No other pieces are needed to help drive attention to it.

Wall art can be arranged symmetrically or asymmetrically. Here's what you need to know:

  • Symmetrical arrangements - this involves arranging pieces in a mirrored fashion. For example, you place a large painting over the middle of your sofa. Then, on each side you position three smaller pieces that are similar to one another.

    For example, your smaller pictures might be of six different birds and they would have the same frames and mats. Symmetrical arrangements are common where the room is formal, such as with Traditional decorating.

  • Asymmetrical arrangements - here you aren't at all concerned about the objects looking similar or being the same size. Using the same example above for asymmetrical arrangements, you might place three decorative plates on one side of the painting and two wall sculptures of birds in flight on the other. The key is to make sure that the two sides are visually balanced.
The best approach to arranging a group of paintings is to first make an outline of your wall space on the floor and then arrange your wall art within that space. Or, you might consider creating cardboard cut-outs for the objects and taping them to the wall.

Either way, you'll be able to make changes to your grouping before making holes in your walls. Here are a few other things to keep in mind:

  • The eye is more attracted to an odd number of grouped items rather than to an even number.

  • Visually heavier pieces should go below visually lighter pieces and dark colored pieces should go below light colored pieces.

  • When grouping multiple items, consider arranging them in a shape, such as a triangle, square, or circle for visual continuity.

  • A picture frame light would add a distinctive and elegant touch to your favorite paintings.
Here's another great video that covers how to arrange and display wall art. I think the idea of hanging art below a chair rail is pretty clever. Watch.

If you've been looking for quality prints and posters for your walls, I recommend that you check out All Posters. They have a huge selection of wall art that covers just about any topic. They'll even frame your choice.

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I hope this information on wall art has been helpful. If you believe that it could benefit someone else, please click on the Facebook or Twitter button below and share it with your friends.

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