Monday, September 18, 2017

5 Tips for Hanging Art

Hanging art can be tricky business. Thankfully, we’ve got a few tips that might be able to help you with your home decor endeavor.

Common framing and art sizes. 

1. Hang the Middle of Your Artwork at Eye Level

The most common home decor mistake is hanging artwork too high. A good rule of thumb is to hang the artwork so that the center of the piece is at eye level. This can vary from person to person, so we recommend making the middle of the piece is 57” off the ground. From there you can adjust as you see fit.

2. Size Your Artwork to Fit Your Space

The next most common error of home decor is not choosing the correct size art for your space. Whether you’re hanging a statement piece over a sofa or pairing two postcards in your hallway, here are some tips to keep in mind.

For large, blank walls above mantles or sofas, try looking at pieces in the range of 36” width and longer. The general rule of thumb is to make sure your art piece or collection is about 2/3rds to 3/4ths the length of the furniture it is hanging over. For breathing room, hover your art so that it is above 8” off the sofa or furniture.

An example of a large canvas proportionate to the couch below. 

For smaller spaces, size is less of an issue - but placement becomes important. If you are stacking two images, put the heavier one on top. This guides the eye to “trail down away”, rather than ending abruptly with chunky piece.

If the images are the same width but different orientations, stack portrait above landscape.

Remember that when you pair artwork together like this, together they act as one “piece”. Make sure the centre of the “piece” sits at eye level, to avoid losing the bottom piece completely out of vision.

3. Keep Your Collections along a Horizontal or Vertical Axis

Sometimes, you may have a lot of small pieces, rather than one large artwork. If you have many small prints (think 8x10, 5x7, 11x14s), then an asymmetrical collection or gallery wall may be what you’re looking for.

Asymmetrical collections and gallery walls are excellent layout options for eclectic groupings, but are at risk of looking haphazard and unorganized if one is not careful. To keep a sense of unity, make sure that your collection follows a horizontal and vertical axis.

While the edges of the frames don’t have to follow the axis perfectly, if you were to dissect your collection in half, both sides should appear balanced.  

When making collections, aim for some consistency between your pieces. Whether it’s by theme, mat color or frame choice, a consistent aesthetic will help keep your pieces looking unified and organized.

4. Pick an Anchor Line

If you like putting your pieces together in a group but don't want to risk a haphazard look, try picking an anchor line and lining up all your artworks within that line. This works best with prints that are all the same size, which you can make symmetrical groupings out of. 

Common lower lines are excellent anchors. Most interior designers will put them on a shelf, which also eliminates the hassle of hanging them from the wall.
This is the most common anchor line. Although the composition is unbalanced (simply to show size differences between common frame sizes), it still looks clean, organized and structured. 

Upper lines are usually not recommended, as often this results in the artwork being hung too high. However, for large, singular pieces such as rugs, tapestries, or vertical canvases, this line will act as an invisible bar for them to hang from.

5. Plan It Out

An example from Jenna Burger

Hanging art is an art in of itself. Smoothing details like spacing and composition early in the game can save your framing from looking tilted, dizzy, or sloppy, and ultimately unify your gallery cohesively. Print out standard frame sizes (such as 8x10s, 11x14s, 24x36s) on paper (or measure them out on newspapers or poster paper), and tape them up on your wall in different configurations. Once you like your set-up, then decide which art piece should be framed and matted accordingly.


Ready to start matting and framing? CanadaOnCanvas has a huge selection of beautiful frame mouldings, which we handcut in custom sizes to fit whatever size you need! We also do matting and fine-art printing. If you're uncertain about hanging your art, we also print art on Adhesive Fabric - perfect for sticking, peeling off and rearranging. Call us today at 1-888-533-6278!

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