My museum training allows me to offer some advice to those of you who hang paintings, prints or pictures on your walls. Rule No. 1: Make a design plan.
Even a simple plan will help you hang art in style.
Draw a simple picture of the blank wall. Measure the wall. Give yourself, depending on the size of the wall, at least 6 to 12 inches of blank space at the beginning and end of the wall. Make certain that you are not squeezing a big piece into a small space.
Dr. Lori gives several tips on how to properly hang and secure artwork to get the best look. She says, don’t squeeze a massive piece of art into a tight area with a low ceiling, like shown above.
Unite unrelated objects by framing them in the same way-same frame design, same frame wood or color, same size.
If you have art or antique collections on display, display enough pieces to insure that you can carry the visual space of an entire wall. Don't forget about your furniture. Furniture positioned beneath works of art has an impact on that wall above, too.
Remember, an overstuffed club chair, delicate feminine settee or clean-lined wooden bench add visual information to the wall upon which you have hung artwork. Don't disregard the furniture when hanging art.
How high is too high?
Objects arranged in odd numbers provide pleasant visual symmetry. Symmetry, like three black and white photographs in a row is pleasing to the eye.
Arranging objects in odd numbers can help you make ugly spaces look good.
There is a reason why art looks better in museums than in most homes.
In museums, framed works of art have their center point hung no higher than five feet.
If the center is higher than 60 inches, then most museum designers consider that artwork hung too high.
The rule of thumb is not to exceed 60 inches high at a painting's center. This is, for most people, a comfortable viewing height. Most people are surprised to learn that Americans, unlike Europeans, tend to hang art much too high.
Museum curators also take patrons in wheelchairs and children into consideration when hanging art exhibitions.
So, in your home, you may want to hang works of art at a pleasing level for all members of your family. If you are hanging framed works of art in a children's room or playroom, you may want to consider your 4 year old's eye level - not an adult's eye level.
Don't be hammer happy
When hanging a work of art, be sure to measure twice before reaching for that hammer. That hammer can prove lethal to your design scheme and your drywall, so don't use it unless you are sure.
Artwork deserves a secure hook that relates to the weight of your piece. Don't hang your painting on an old nail or screw.
Eventually, a nail will give way and your painting will hit the floor and damage the floor, the wall and the art. Every work of art needs proper hardware for the drywall, plaster, artwork and the frame.
Don't cram many works of art onto one wall. Art needs blank space around it or visual breathing room. Massive works of art require high ceilings and blank areas free of visual obstacles like chair rails or wainscoting or low ceilings. When it comes to hanging artwork, think like a museum pro.
Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and award-winning TV personality, Dr. Lori presents appraisal events to audiences worldwide.