It’s so easy these days to simply grab a camera or cell phone and snap a picture of whatever catches your eye. You may have thousands of photos just lying around. And that doesn’t count all of your other artwork like paintings and prints. So what is a person to do with all of these treasures that could never be parted with? There are many creative ways to hang and display art, and this article is full of such ideas. It will be hard to pick just a few!
The general rule of thumb for hanging objects on the wall is to hang them at eye level. They will simply be more pleasing to look at if you don’t have to look way up or down to see them. If you are hanging pieces in a group, think of all of them as one big picture. In these cases it may be easier to cut out scraps of paper the same size as your art and position them on the floor before actually going for the hammer. (Incidentally, odd numbered groupings always look the best.) Another important consideration is size – make sure the scale of your art matches the size of the wall and furniture. Lastly you will want to consider lighting. While objects and pictures do not need to be spotlighted, often times the art will be even more appealing if you focus a beam of light on it. Now that we have the basics of hanging art pieces we can talk about ways to arrange them. Here are some ideas:
Ways to Arrange Your Art on the Wall:
1. Hang several pictures in a row, either horizontally or vertically. You could have just three or as many as you need to fill up your wall. It’s a good way to keep your eyes moving around the room, too.
2. You can also offset them. Take two or more pictures and hang one. Then step the other one down by a few inches. It is sort of like hanging them on a diagonal.
3. Place four similarly shaped objects in a square to create a box shape. If you have six or more you could always do a rectangle.
4. Try placing art in a collage on your wall. Find several different objects such as paintings, photos, and architectural art and mix them up in a pleasing way. Keep them fairly close together and remember the rule of three.
5. Hang photos above a staircase. Echo the shape of your stairs by staggering the items up the wall like a set of steps.
6. Arrange your art in themes. If you have a bunch of botanicals, group them all together instead of placing them separately in different parts of your home.
Ways to Hang and Frame Your Art:
7. Frame your ordinary pictures in a unique way. For example, you could use silk flowers or evergreen garland to surround the piece. Simply glue them to the existing frame and hang.
8. Hang photos or pictures from ribbon or wire. You could even hang multiples together the same way by hanging a rod on the wall and stringing the photos from it on ribbon.
9. Arrange art around a doorway or window. Start at the bottom and go up one side, over the top, and down the other. The pieces should be small and not too busy if you do this.
10. Group pictures together in a collage or one of the other suggested shapes. Then take a piece of molding and build a frame big enough to surround the whole group and hang it on the wall around the pieces. Or you could just use paint and create a faux frame on the wall.
11. Do you have a landscape picture of the beach or countryside? Consider buying some inexpensive plastic shutters and putting them on either side of the item for a window effect.
Ways to Arrange Artwork on Furniture:
12. Look through every room in your house and see where you might be able to sit some pictures. Tops of cabinets and dressers work well, as do desks, the top of your TV, or even near the jacuzzi in the master bathroom.
13. Do you have a space between your kitchen cabinets and the ceiling? This is a perfect spot to display some small art.
14. Got a fireplace? Try putting some photos or paintings on the mantle – don’t hang them above, just sit them on top. Enhance the photo with a couple of well-chosen accessories.
15. If you have a curio cabinet that is not really being used for curios, you can always put art inside instead.
16. Do you own a piano? The top of an upright, or even a grand piano, is a great place for art items.
17. If your piece of art is relatively large, try sitting it on the floor. Lean it against a wall out of the way of kids, pets, and heavy traffic and watch the smiles you are sure to get.
18. Hang up a shelf, set your pictures on top and lean them against the wall. It is a nice change from hanging them by a nail.
19. If your décor will allow, put up some chair rail picture molding. Like regular chair rails, this is installed at around three feet from the ground and is basically a very small shelf that circles your room. Lean art and photos up against the wall and let your treasures surround you.
20. If you are simply looking for a unique way to display your photos on a table, try a vignette. For example, gather three portrait photos, a couple of your favorite landscape paintings, a tall candlestick and some greenery and arrange them on the tabletop. It will make them seem more important if you group the items together.
Unique Places to Display Art:
21. Hang three or four large pictures in a square or rectangle above your bed for an instant and unique headboard.
22. If the artwork is weather-resistant or can be made to withstand the elements, try hanging a piece or two outside. The front door makes a bold statement when adorned with a favorite piece of art.
23. Do you have one of those bath and shower combos that don’t quite reach to the ceiling? If you have a picture that can withstand the steam and heat of the shower (behind glass or enclosed in a metal frame for example), hang it in this blank area to add interest.
24. Another idea for those heat and steam resistant pieces is to hang them above the stove as a backsplash. Just be sure you can wipe them clean.
25. If you have one of those big sterile bathroom mirrors you can always hang a photo in front of it to make it more appealing. Take a piece that will match the décor in your bath, find a complementary ribbon, and hang it in the center of the mirror (from the wall above). This will add interest while still leaving plenty of mirror to use.
Things to Make That Will Display Your Photos:
26. Take three large pieces of wood, hinge them together accordion style, cover them with fabric, and use them as a room divider screen. Hang photos, pictures and all kinds of other art on your “new wall”.
27. Using the same idea, construct a small screen for in front of your fireplace. It is a great spot to hang seasonal art for the summer when the fireplace is not in use. Just be careful to use flame retardant materials near working fireplaces.
28. Create a coffee table to display your photos. Purchase a table that fits with your décor, or use the one you already have, and get a piece of glass cut to the size of the table top. Arrange your photos on the table, then lay the glass on top for a unique, useful and waterproof art gallery.
29. If you have a picture or painting that is around 16 by 20 inches, make it into a side table. Attach the art to a piece of wood cut to the same size, then add legs you can buy at any home improvement store. Paint if you wish. Make sure you have the top covered in glass or Plexiglas, and you have an instant side table.
30. Create a shelf out of art. Take a piece of art or a special photo and get a flat frame to put it in. Nail a small piece of wood that is the same width as the frame and a couple of inches deep to the bottom. Paint it the same color as the frame, hang the
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