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Hanging artwork and mirrors correctly is often more important than the artwork itself.
Properly displayed, artwork and mirrors can be used to enhance focal points, architectural details, or serve as a focal point in itself.
A beautiful work of art can stand alone or be grouped with other pieces for greater impact. Artwork should harmonize with the interior design style, architecture and colors in your home.
If you're timid about pounding nails in your walls, or live in an apartment or dorm that doesn't allow nail holes in the walls, see leaning pictures and mirrors for decorating ideas on alternative ways you can showcase your favorite pieces.
Before you pound a single nail, stop and consider what kind of walls you have. Sheetrock, brick, or plaster?
Follow this helpful link from Canvasvows.com for some great wall hanging tips.
Avoid these common mistakes people make when hanging artwork and mirrors:
Spacing guideline for hanging groupings:
Watch the instructional video below that discusses how and where to hang art. Video by Susan Phillips.
Wall groupings are typically smaller pieces of artwork related in some fashion by; the frame, theme, style, color, size or material.
Treat a wall grouping as a single piece of art.
Try to mimic the shape of the object or detail below with your grouping.
Groupings placed above furniture or a fireplace will look more cohesive if they mimic the shape of the feature below.
Likewise, artwork could be arranged horizontally over the rectangular length of a sofa. Follow the same proportional ratios with wall groupings as you do with single pieces of art; 2:3, 3:5.
Symmetrical interior design styles are typically used in formal room design, which is based on symmetry and vertical lines. Symmetry is for those who prefer a sense of order, balance and calm.
Symmetrical wall groupings share certain similarities; shape, size, color, or subject content.
Formal groupings work well over large furniture like sofas, tables, or a fireplace mantle.
Although each photograph is unique in the picture on the right, they have elements in common; same sized photographs, same color, and identical white matts and frames.
The similarities unite the individual pieces into one large rectangular shape, which is very calming for those who love a sense of order.
Symmetrical wall groupings are easy to create, because you are simply trying to "match" each side of a room.
Arrange your symmetrical wall arrangement within a square or rectangular shape.
Asymmetrical home design, or informal balance, is a casual and energetic decorating style, often using horizontal lines over vertical.
Asymmetrical interior design styles are for those who prefer a bit more excitement, creativity, and randomness in their home decorating.
To create an asymmetrical wall grouping, combine artwork of different shapes and sizes. Groupings should have at least one characteristic in common; color, subject, or frame style. In the photo on the right, notice the color and bird theme that unites the group.
Keep asymmetrical arrangements from looking sloppy by avoiding random patterns; imagine your wall arrangement inside a square, circle or rectangle.
To create this tricky wall decorating style, start with the largest piece first and arrange smaller pieces around it until you achieve a balance you like. Work out the arrangement on the floor first.
If you have two large pictures in your arrangement, hang one higher than the other so they aren't too matchy.
With asymmetrical wall groupings, both sides of the arrangement won't look the same, but balance and scale are still important. To avoid one side looking heavier than another, think about the "visual weight" of each picture.
This is the easiest paper method for creating a successful asymmetrical wall arrangement.
First, lay a large piece of paper on the floor, lay down your chosen pictures (or mirrors) and trace around them with a pencil. Cut each one out and tape to the wall, arranging and rearranging until you find a satisfactory shape you like.
In this method, you'll need to measure and mark for nail holes to make sure you get the spacings perfect between each picture. See the second method for instructions on how to do this.
In the same manner as the first method, start by laying down a large piece of paper on the floor, the exact size your final arrangement will be. This paper will be your template.
Arrange your artwork on top of the paper. Start with a large shape in the middle, like a square or rectangle. Add more pieces and rearrange until you're pleased with the layout. You can arrange artwork freestyle or in formal shapes like squares, rectangles and circles.
When you're satisfied with the arrangement, draw an outline around each piece with a dark marking pen.
To get nail holes right, measure the distance between the top of the frame and wire (pulled taut!) on the back of each piece of art. Mark the spot on the paper with a circle, making sure it’s in the center of the frame. If the picture has a saw-tooth hanger instead of a wire, mark that in the same manner.
Tape the template to the wall in the desired location. Stand back and assess the arrangement. If you approve, hammer nails in the marked spots on the template, making sure to hang appropriate hooks for the size and weight of the artwork. Gently tear the paper template away from the nails and the wall-- hang the pictures in their designated locations.
Make a professional looking wall grouping with the use of Perfect Picture Wall:
This product is available at www.perfectpicturewall.com. It's affordable and the end result is flawless. This product comes with matching picture frames, matting, botanical prints, templates and hardware.
The matts are in standard sizes and can be swapped out with your personal photos when you move to your new home.
Perfect Picture Wall comes with all the hanging tools you need, except a hammer. See the video demonstration below to learn more about this product.
You will need:
Select the spot where you want to hang your picture or mirror. Hold it against the wall, (remember, the middle should be around 60" high) and draw a tiny pencil line along the top of the frame.
The best place to hang a mirror is where it will reflect light from a window or a sparkling light fixture. This will scatter more light around a room creating the illusion of more space.
Be aware of what the mirror reflects; you don't want to reflect something undesirable!
A mirror above a fireplace usually reflects the ceiling-- not very interesting. If you create an attractive arrangement on the fireplace mantle in front of the mirror, your mirror will reflect the back of that. Be sure the mantle arrangement looks good on both sides.
Mirrors can be hung alone or in wall groupings, just like artwork. The same rule of scale and balance for hanging artwork also applies to mirrors.
Mirrors can be hung in every room and are great for making a small room look more spacious. Mirrors will add depth to a room by seeming to extend the room through the glass.
Just like artwork, the distance between a mirror and the top of a sofa should be 6-12 inches. The distance between a mirror and a tabletop should be about 10-12 inches.
Hanging oversized and heavy art is more complicated than putting up smaller pieces. Follow the advice in this instructional video by Pottery Barn.
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