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Guidelines to Installation of Artwork Singles or Groupings

Home or Office Art Installation and Consultation
Guidelines to Hanging Artwork at Home....

Groupings, pairs, salon style or as a ‘single’

With all the recommendations and ‘rules’ below, just remember, a beautiful painting will look beautiful wherever you place it.  Place it where you will enjoy it to the fullest.

Generally, fireplaces look best with one large bold painting.  That said, if you have a well matched pair or a diptych or triptych, (which looks like a single painting in 3 ‘pieces’), it will have a unified look.

Fireplaces with architectural moulding nailed in place in a rectangle or sometimes in 2 rectangles can greatly limit what can be hung.  Two options:  Remove the moulding to create one large space or purchase/commission paintings, a pair, or a diptych that pleases you and works in the space.

For a less formal look above a fireplace, set the painting on the mantel rather than hanging it.  This placement is also helpful if the room has a lower ceiling and the painting is large. It gives the illusion or more space around the art.

Sofa, Couch, Love Seat, Buffet….
A grouping or a large single painting…A large bold painting can carry and entertain the eye over a sofa, buffet or fireplace. If smaller paintings are added, it will diminish the impact of the larger painting.  Carefully choose selected areas for the ‘single’ painting and for the groupings. Let the space, the nearby furnishings and the painting help you make those decisions.

Place artwork 10” or more above the back of a sofa so heads will not bump on the frames.

Balance the visual weight of the objects in the grouping to create a pleasing look. If one painting is larger than all others, place it in the center. If the grouping is next to or above a large heavy piece of furniture, the art should have heavier frames and have a visual strength to balance against what is nearby.

Don’t be afraid of asymmetry; it can provide dynamism to the space, add a flavor of contemporary/abstract/modern to a traditional grouping. Asymmetry works well if a thermostat is poorly placed on the wall; the art, artfully arranged can overcome that poor placement.

Shape of the Space
Look at the shape of the space – is it a vertical, horizontal or square?  The art should follow that shape; it will look like it 'belongs.' Create enough space between grouped art works, each piece needs breathing room or the whole wall will look crowded.

Proximity to the artwork
Groupings or paintings on a wall in a large room need to be able to be enjoyed both up close and at a distance. Paintings with very fine detail should be placed in areas where the viewer can get close enough to fully enjoy them; well lit hallways are excellent for groupings of such paintings.

Hang the artwork so it will not be bumped by someone walking up or down; above shoulder height is recommended. At the top of a stairway or landing is the perfect place for a dynamic bold painting that can be seen and appreciated from a greater distance.

Look for opportunities to place artwork in places to fill gaps created by other objects or furniture in the room.  A lamp on an end table may create the perfect place for a small painting to be viewed just under the lampshade, easily enjoyed in an area where everyone is seated.

Color and Color Threads
nify with frame color, mat color or a thread of color in painting from one to another. Every painting in the grouping does not need to have ALL of the same colors. All landscapes or all still lifes or all watercolors…too much of anything can become boring.  It becomes an interesting and creative grouping when it is ‘spiced’ well.

For a grouping with many small paintings or family photographs, the color tone of the frames will help to unify the group.  If some frames are different/darker, try to arrange them together in the center with extra space between them and the next grouping of art in lighter tone frames.

Too much of any one color can make a grouping blend together. Work toward a grouping design so the threads of color flow from one painting to the next, while letting each work of art be a ‘star’ and also a good ‘neighbor’ to the paintings around it.

Be creative in placement of artwork
Use picture rails, narrow shelves to hold art and small sculpture. These narrow shelves allow for greater flexibility in changing the displays for the seasons and for new additions to the collection.

Bookshelves are also great places for small paintings. There is nothing more boring than bookshelves with only books.  Move a few books aside and place small sculpture or small paintings in those spaces. It invites the viewer to come closer to enjoy smaller works of art at eye level.

Creative unique easels on coffee tables or mantels add a variety of visual levels and soften the visual hard edges of the furniture.

Designing a large or complex grouping
One technique is to create the layout on the floor, finding the center of the grouping and working up and out from there.

Or lay the art on tracing paper, marking the center top and bottom of each one, measuring the one piece in the center and work out from the center.  Hold or lightly tape the tracing paper up on the wall and mark the wall in pencil as needed. Nails would go in the center spots, although two nails for each piece will help the art hang straight and provides greater security on the wall.

Tree formats are very pleasing to the eye, using a vertical painting directly below a horitzontal painting often looks more creative and adds diversity to an otherwise static grouping.

Very heavy art or mirrors should not be hung with wire, instead use the appropriate size D-Rings or Mirror hangers in combination with togle bolts to safely support the weight. Ask for professional art installation assistance if in doubt.

Home or Office Art Installation and Consultation

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