The art you collect, whether it are illustrations, prints, silly vintage tidbits or original paintings, is one of the most personal parts of your home. It expresses who you are and inspires you on the daily. So when you’ve found pieces you love, you obviously want to display every piece looking it’s best. Here are 5 ways to do so:
Work with what you’ve collected. This is obviously what you love and the type of art and elements that you want to show will lead you to the best gallery layout. The rule of thumb is: if you have similar sized frames, or built up a collection by a a certain artist, go for symmetry. If you have a more eclectic style and love different styles and colours (like me!). A seemingly random layout will look better.
By all means. You’re the curator of your own gallery. So if you’ve collected different styles of art over time but still want your gallery wall to look cohesive and put together, sort the works by color and/or match their frames. This will keep you from getting dizzy.
Take a look at the physical space. Hanging art will obviously draw the eye to that area of the room, so opt for a corner or place you’d like to stand out. If you’re lucky enough to have a beautiful high ceiling for example, hang your art just a little higher than you normally would to compliment the hight of the room.
Also, keep your furniture and other elements in mind: do you have a beautiful big plant flourishing in one side of your space? Balance it out by hanging your art on the opposite side of the wall.
Do you have a framed piece behind glass? Be weary of hanging it close to, or opposed to a window. Especially cheap glass will reflect daylight so the artwork becomes invisible most of the time.
Horizon and hight
Gallery’s and Museums hang their art so that the centre of the piece is at 145 cm high (57 inches). Being eye level for the majority of the population it’s aesthetically pleasing. Just as well in in every interior, as it’s high enough above your furniture but still low enough to create a cohesive feel in your space. To measure how high you should hang your artworks, the hight of your artwork divided by two + 145 cm is where the upper corners of your artwork should be.
In case you have several pieces and still want to create a horizon. Create one yourself by sticking a broad piece of (removable)tape to your wall and hang your pieces directly under and above this line (and above and under those artworks. Just don’t go over the line). Remove the tape and tah-dah, you’ve created an eye-pleasing gallery layout!
To hang or not to hang?
Sure, you can hang all your artwork on the wall. But consider placing artwork on tables, cabinets or just directly on the floor. This creates more dimension to your scene and you won’t end up with those little holes in your wall (ideal for when you’re renting).
Do you like to switch things up? Use a picture ledge – or two – to showcase your collection. It’s fun to not only show your art but also any other personal or funny items you’ve collected over time: vinyl covers, your favourite books or plants. Next to illustrations we got in Lisbon, our ledge holds old camera’s, a mini cactus and some porcupine quills that we’ve found in South Africa.
Break the rules
Personally I like to practice the very unscientific art of eyeballing. As well in how I arrange my furniture as how I decorate our space. Put small artworks in big frames to make them stand out, or leave some artworks unframed at all. Hang a sculpture instead of a painting, place something off centre, upside down, combine, contrast or paint your wall to create one big frame. Boring gallery layouts are for dusty museums. I know you’re more fun than that!