The ART of Hanging Art!

Creating a unique and visually appealing gallery to display one’s art and photos can be a challenge.  The options are almost unlimited.  One can mix art with photos (this is a stunning look, although tough for a novice to pull off).  One can also mix frames to lend an eclectic, carefree vibe.  Another option is adding decorative elements to your gallery to add an interesting and layered look.

Here are a few guidelines I use when hanging art and photos:

  1. I use repetition and symmetry A LOT when creating galleries.  One’s eye searches for patterns, as well as matching elements.  If you look closely at the galleries I created below, I repeat images multiple times in most displays.
  2. Lay out your art on the floor and play with the arrangement.  Finalize the arrangement before you put even one nail in the wall.
  3. Art hung in odd numbers usually looks more appealing (there are a few galleries I created below that use even numbers of hangings.  However, when you are just starting out arranging and hanging art, I would stick with odd numbers.)
  4. Stay within the borders of the sofa or table which you are hanging the art over.  Although it is not wrong per say, to expand beyond the borders, it will look more refined and deliberate if you use the length of your sofa or table as your guide.
  5. While designing, I create horizontal and vertical grids in my head to ensure spaces are balanced.  I do the same while hanging photos and art.  Make sure that the space above, below and between each picture is the same distance apart (I use 4″ as a rule of thumb).  A lot of times I line up the top edges, bottom edges or both of the frames’ edges to create an border.
  6. USE THE LINES OF THE SOFA TO CREATE A GRID IN WHICH TO HANG YOUR ART!!!  The picture that lies in the center of the arrangement should either be centered over the center cushion of the sofa, or the center line of the sofa should bisect the photo that lies over it.
  7. I LOVE to layer and stack frames on top of each other.  This is the ultimate way to add dimension, interest and a truly custom look to your gallery.  This layout requires A LOT of patience and meticulous measuring……..basically, don’t drink and hang!
  8. Hang art lower than you think it should be hung! If you have to tilt your head up to look at the picture, it is hung too high! A good rule of thumb is to have the center of the photo at about 58-60″ above the floor.

Below, I showcase a few variations to give some inspiration on hanging your gallery.  As a tip, West Elm has great frames.  They are super stylish and are easy to work with.  The frames come with a paper template that you can tape to the wall to adjust and play around with.

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Building a gallery around a beautiful mirror is an easy and classic way to display art. Adding mirrored stars between art and photos adds a lot of visual interest to the second and fourth gallery.

The use of a grid in all three layouts makes these displays stand out. In the first and third display I lined up the edges of the tops and bottoms of each frame. In the second display I lined up the top of the frames to create structure. Because this layout is the most "organic" of the groupings, I relayed heavily on repetition of both the size of the frames and the images displayed.

The use of a grid in all three layouts makes these displays stand out. In the first and third displays,I lined up the edges of the tops and bottoms of each frame. In the second display, I lined up the top of the frames to create structure. Because this layout is the most “organic” of the groupings, I relied  heavily on repetition of both the size of the frames, and the images displayed.

Let me know what you think.  I would love to hear what tips you have for displaying your photos.

xo Laurie

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