If you’re planning to hang several pieces of art on one wall or around a room, it’s important to plan your arrangement before you begin putting holes in your wall. When creating an art or photo arrangement, start by first measuring the space you have available (top to bottom and side to side) and then place your selected pieces on the floor to work out the desired layout. Make a template of each piece by tracing the outline of the frame on paper, and then draw an arrow indicating the orientation of each piece. You can then use these templates on the wall to pick out the perfect arrangement and to determine how much space to leave between each piece.
Artful Arrangement Tips
- Group smaller and similarly sized pieces together, creating the illusion of a larger work of art. If you have a series of identically framed pieces, they should be spaced closer together to show the relationship between each piece. The standard distance for this type of grouping is 2 to 2 1/2 inches. For an arrangement with a variety of pieces, the standard distance is 3 to 4 inches between each piece.
- Another idea is to place a larger picture or mirror in the center of your arrangement as a focal point, and then to place smaller items on either side.
- Your arrangement should always be balanced. This refers to an equal distribution of visual weight. If your arrangement is not balanced, it may appear top-heavy or as if one side of the arrangement is falling off. Balance can be achieved by creating symmetrical arrangements.
- A staggered or stair-stepping arrangement may look nice, but it should only be used if the arrangement is leading up a flight of stairs. On a wall over a sofa this arrangement will only look unbalanced and unrelated.
Hanging Tips & Techniques
- Always hang pictures at eye level of the average person, where they can be seen. The standard distance is about 60 inches off the floor. If you’re still unsure about the placement, hang on the high side. The art will be noticed more if placed at eye level or slightly above, rather than by hanging it too low.
- When hanging something above a sofa, or any furniture, leave no less than three and no more than six inches between the two objects. If there’s too much space between them, the viewer’s attention will go right to the wall and not to your artwork.
- When you are hanging several pieces of different sizes around a room, don’t line them up using the top of the frame as a guide. Instead, line them up by their center lines, it will help you keep everything at the same eye level, and it is also the way art is hung in galleries and museums.
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Lucie Voves is the President, Founder and CEO of Church Hill Classics/diplomaframe.com.