A visit to a client’s house has prompted a few comments on paintings.  The way art is hung can really make a difference to how a home looks and feels.

Just like an outfit needs accessories, a home without anything on the walls at all can look as though no-one lives there.  Even Minimalist homes use striking and simple canvases to bring the space alive.

The first piece of advice is a wonderful ‘rule’ I learned years ago: hang the middle of all pictures at eye level, which is generally taken to be 170cm.  So aligning the centre of all pictures to 170cm looks surprisingly right.  Which means you don’t have to align the top or bottoms of frames.

The second piece of advice is to match the scale of the art to the thing over which it is hanging.  This client had a tiny little gilded gem hung over a three seater sofa.  It is a stunning little picture, but just looks lost above a large sofa. 

Beds can take humongous pieces that would look crazy anywhere else.  In fact, the bigger the better behind your bed – it will look dramatic and welcoming.

Sofas and all large pieces of furniture all need large pieces.  These help make a focal point in the room.

If you don’t like one large painting, you can group a number of frames to create a ‘single’ piece.  This can look stunning.  This can be done on a geometric grid, or in a random, cafe-style grouping.

Grids can look quite formal if very similar pictures are hung very evenly:

You don’t even need to spend a lot on this: a series of magazine covers can look wonderful framed, or similar photos.  

Varying the type of frame and size of picture creates a much more casual look akin to a Paris cafe – a bit harder to create (more on this tomorrow when I’ll demonstrate how to do this one).

Here this laundry room is given an entirely new look by covering all walls with evenly spaced pictures (torn from a book of mushrooms – a very inexpensive way of buying art).

(you can see the full transformation back here: https://doesntcosttheearth.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/magic-mushrooms-and-a-luscious-laundry/)

Laundry doesn't cost the earth

Stay tuned tomorrow for a before and after with a Parisian cafe look….