Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Josie’s Tips for “Hanging Art with Confidence”

Southern Accents, Best Southern Rooms
(See Above Post Page 24)

“Many times I go into a client’s home and have to rehang the art,” says Josie McCarthy. “Pictures are the final layer in a beautiful room. A wonderful painting can also be the starting point for a room.”

When hanging art of different sizes around the room, pictures should be lined up by the center lines, not the tops of the works. If you look at museums and galleries, this is the way they hang art.

When arranging a group of works on a wall, placement depends on the height and width of the space taking into consideration and furnishings – sofa, chest, tables with lamps, or dado rail. Measure out the space available for the grouping from top to bottom and side-to-side.

I always arrange pictures on the floor before I ever put a nail on the wall. It’s like figuring out a grand puzzle. The largest picture generally goes in the center, and then I work out and up from there. Pay attention to balance, symmetry, and order. Smaller pictures are centered vertically or horizontally on larger ones. Or a pair of pictures can balance a larger one.

A series of identically framed prints or engravings should be hung closer together than pieces of different sizes and shapes. A rule of thumb is 2 to 2 ½ inches. A more varied grouping needs varying margins between pictures, but you should still aim for a sense of consistency, with roughly 3 to 4 inches between pictures on each side.

In a long hallway, I place photos or art only on one side. It is impossible to look at both sides of the hall, and having art on both sides closes in the space.

In the case of prints, more is better to create a greater impact. Original antique prints are a great way to make a strong statement with a limited investment. They are generally taken from old books from the 16th to 19th centuries, which are black-and-white, and then hand colored later with appropriate colors.

You can hang art on patterned wallpaper or fabric if the art is a different scale, has enough white space around it, or is visually stronger than the background on which it hangs. Prints should have a mat to distinguish the image from the wall.

Close Up of Mat on Antique Print

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