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4 Tips for Showcasing Art in Your Home

Decorating walls with paintings, photography, and other memorabilia is one of the best ways to personalize a space. Wall art adds character and polishes off your interior design with unique display items and fun conversation starters. However, deciding where and how to hang up wall art can be a difficult task. Read on for illustrated tips to help create the perfect art arrangement for your space.

Plan Your Arrangement

First, it’s important to make a plan. Thankfully, many interior decorating apps now allow you to visualize wall art in your home before purchasing. Using augmented reality, these apps map a designated wall and transpose a painting on top of it to show how it will look, helping you decide where you will ultimately place it. Searching for “wall art visualizer apps” will bring up a variety of apps to try. 

However, if you’re putting together a gallery wall with art of different sizes, you may need to do some more complex planning. Before pulling out the hammer and nails, consider the kraft paper method. 

Cut out pieces of kraft paper that are the same size as each piece of art. Then, tape the pieces of kraft paper to the wall and experiment freely with different configurations until you find one you love. Make sure to use painter’s tape so as not to damage the wall. When you’ve landed on just the right arrangement, mark the wall with a pencil, and you’ll be able to hang up the real pieces with ease.

1 plan your art wallMake Measurements

If you are unsure how high or how far apart to hang art, there are some simple rules of thumb to help guide you. However, do keep in mind that every space is different, so these are by no means the only “right” methods. 

Average eye level is about 57-60 inches above the ground, so the middle of an artwork should sit around this height for easy viewing. However, if the piece will be displayed in a living room, where people are likely to be sitting, hang it slightly lower.

It’s typically a good idea to space art pieces 3-6 inches apart. Hang them closer together for a tight, window-like feel, and give them more space if you have a large wall or want the arrangement to feel more airy. 

If you are hanging art above a sofa or table, it makes for a stylish setup to keep the art arrangement contained within the width of that furniture. As a loose guideline, the arrangement typically should span ⅔ the width of the furniture piece below it. 

2 measure things outChoose an Arrangement Style

Decide if you would like to design a symmetrical or asymmetrical wall art arrangement by evaluating your intended look and the needs of the space. 

Symmetrical arrangements are tidy and formal. They require art pieces with identical sizes and frames. With a symmetrical arrangement, you can choose to design a grid layout or a linear setup, such as a grouping of two or three pieces.

Asymmetrical arrangements are more eclectic. They allow you to pair different-sized pieces and different frame styles. You can also mix and match different mediums, such as photography with paintings, and include items such as mirrors and baskets. Asymmetrical gallery walls are popular choices, and they allow you the flexibility of adding on new additions to a growing collection.

3 pick an arrangement styleMaintain Visual Balance

Creating a sense of balance is simpler with symmetrical arrangements, but what about a wall of varied works? Here are some tricks to help maintain visual balance even when designing a gallery wall. 

Imagine an invisible line down the center of your empty wall. You can make marks to designate this line if you wish. Then, as you plan and place your art paintings, prints, and photos, make sure to keep the same “weight” of pieces on both sides of the invisible line. Step back frequently to see if the arrangement feels cohesive.

On the other hand, if you are lining up pieces of differing sizes in a linear fashion, simply line up the centers of the pieces instead of the tops or bottoms. 

4 create visual balanceWall art presents an opportunity to be creative, so the rules can certainly be broken. However, these pointers will help you get started arranging stylish art pieces that draw the eye and showcase your unique style.

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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