Art is our favourite way to add feeling to any room. Furnished, decorated and fresh, the room will still fall flat without the support of wall art. It is so personal and regardless of your preference or style, there is a wide selection to choose from with varied types including: canvas, mirrors, shelving, prints, photos, wall décor, etc. However, due to the variety it can be challenging to navigate through all your options so we’re going to break down some key points to help you understand the art of hanging art.
When wall art adds texture, it stimulates your eyes which is powerful for nooks, offices, or other tired rooms and walls. Texture can be achieved with floating shelves easily, not only can they be found in different shapes and colours, but décor can be added to them allowing you to enhance other aspects like colour and functionality. Texture can also be invited in with wall décor; art made of wood and metal bringing forth elemental tones which have natural occurring texture. In addition, the benefits of texture can be simply brought forth with decorated frames and layered canvas paintings. The reason texture adds positive impact in design is by creating visual interest to the space, whether this means adding dimension to a rather flat space or evoking an emotional response it is important to choose art that reflect the purpose of your space.
A mirror is the easiest way to hinder or enhance your room. The line is fine so the key question to ask yourself when hanging a mirror is: What am I going to be reflecting into this space? Anytime your mirror is opposite a window you have to address what the outside environment will bring through that reflection. Often, reflecting a window adds a beautiful amount of green space and light into your room. Mirrors also create the illusion of more space, benefitting hallways or dark corners. This is why having mirrors in your entrance is a positive addition since it can often feel very dull or dark. Mirrors reflecting other pieces of art benefit you by carrying those colours and themes throughout the room. Even reflecting features like fireplaces, or furniture such as sofas can bridge the warmth that these elements evoke throughout more of the home. Remember: What the mirror reflects becomes your art, so reflect what you want to see more of.
Colour in your art is where you get to be super creative and add a statement to each room. Yet colour has to be applied with specific intention in order to convey the message you want to feel when you are in the space. Your priority should be in carrying the colour you wish to highlight around the room. For example, if a statement piece of art has reds, blues, and yellows but you desire the focus to be on the blue then adding more blue art throughout the rest of the room will convey this intention. Contrary wise, if you wish to create a bold statement, choosing a focal image with a colour that isn’t carried throughout the same space will bring your attention directly too it. Colour is powerful and each colour is unique in what it helps your home accomplish. Dark colours add visual weight to a space whereas light colours help to break up harsh colours and dark features. Bold and contrasting colour choices invite energy and life in dull spaces therefore muted colours create monochromatic flow and neutralize colours that can be too intense or offensive.
It is important to remember that colour is also comprised of tone; warm tones and cool tones. There are varying degrees of cool and warm tones for every colour which convey those themes respectively. If you love red and want to add a splash of it into a room that already carries a cool colour palette you would be wise to reach for a red at the cooler end of the spectrum. And above all else colour effects everyone differently so pay attention to the feeling you want to have every time you enter that room.
Now that you have your art picked out, colours and themes attended to, it’s time to hang things up. Where you choose to hang the art can make or break how it is perceived and functions for you. A good step to take before hanging anything up is to place all your art around the house where you intend it to go. This will help you to see how all the pieces will work together and more easily showcase what art you have. We use this technique every time we stage a property for sale; it creates a plan and is easily adjustable. Have fun with this part but there are a couple pro tips to keep in mind when placing them on the wall.
Both small and large art are valuable in creating a harmonious space and cohesion in the home. If, however, the size of the art doesn’t match the size of the wall or furniture it is being paired with your art can either disappear or overwhelm the wall. When art is smaller than the wall it is placed on, it will seem lost among the dead space around it and its purpose will disappear. This problem equates to the space looking like it lacks functionality. When a piece of art is too large for the wall it will evoke a sense of claustrophobia, making the room seem smaller than it is. The best way to gauge this is to position the art in the center of the chosen wall (to have someone hold it for you so you can take a step back is ideal) and see what it adds to the room. Pay attention to how it makes you feel and what it does to the wall. Be honest, after all this is why placing the art around your house first is highly recommended so you can change out pieces that could be a better fit for the scale of the wall.
Something equally important to pay attention to is the furniture that you may be placing your art over. Traditionally, the art should not supersede the length of the furniture otherwise it can create disharmony with the floor, ceiling space, and furniture. The visual weight should be heaviest on the floor and narrower as you move your eye up towards the ceiling (visualize the structure of a pyramid). Remember, the art should support the furniture, not the furniture supporting the art.
As stated previously, it is best practice when placing the art to center it with the wall. This will generally always give you a favoured outcome though there are times when you simply are not able! For example, a light switch, open doors, non-centered permanent fixtures and furniture can make centering art challenging. We find these cases force you to get creative and we advise that you pick another spot to center your art from (for example, centering the art from one wall to the light switch rather than from wall to wall).
This being said, you may intend to place your art above a sofa or cabinetry in which case it should be centered with your furniture. From this approach make sure that your furniture is exactly where you’d like it before centering and hanging your art. We suggest that art should be hung approx. 6 – 18 inches above the surface of the furniture; the larger the scale, the larger the gap.
A common spacing issue is the distance between hanging matching sets of art. Whether they are being hung side by side or one above the other the spacing between them should be fairly similar. We recommend that you imagine a 1–6-inch invisible boarder around the art (larger boarders for bigger art). This way when you place art side by side you take into account the two separate boarders around each art that cannot touch, therefore, if you have two smaller pieces of art and you imagine each one has a 2-inch boarder then you know that there should be a 4-inch gap between the two pieces of art. This spacing creates good separation while still maintaining the togetherness of the set. Having art placed too far apart will distort the cohesion between them and art too close will bleed images together losing the impact of having multiple pieces working together.
All this being said hang the art that makes you feel good. Art will set the tone and mood for your sanctuary, your home, your workspace, the place where you accomplish things and learn. Your top priority should be reflecting on how you want these places to feel and from that foundation and in combination with our pro tips your space will bloom into your dream home.