Hanging Pictures

The pictures you choose to hang and the way you hang them can make or break the décor scheme of any room and provide a captivating conversation point for residents and visitors alike. This is how you do it right.

The trick to really pulling off a well-rounded look is to mix high art and auction-bought pieces with cheaper, unexpected flea-market finds

Mastering a salon hang of different pictures can often require a little trial and error. To save your collection from descending into chaos, hang pieces in a loose grid, evenly spaced, and maintain either a horizontal or vertical alignment. Consider, also, the focal points – there needs to be a balance between larger works and clusters of smaller ones otherwise the hang could begin to appear lopsided.

Aim low: the height at which you hang your art is almost as important as the art itself. It’s a very common mistake to hang pieces too high so, when in doubt, drop them lower. There’s no such thing as too low, with some more modern curators even opting to place pieces just above the skirting right up to the ceiling.

The trick to really pulling off a well-rounded look is to mix high art and auction-bought pieces with cheaper, unexpected flea-market finds. This combination of more provocative pieces with other perhaps more frivolous ones will instantly fire up the viewer’s curiosity.

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A monochrome scheme is one of the easier starting points when building a collection of artworks to hang together. It’s especially useful because it can incorporate a variety of media – from photography and etchings to charcoal and oils – without any real danger of it lacking cohesion. You need not only only hang pictures, in fact, you don’t necessarily need pictures at all. Skulls, little ceramics, textiles and small antiques are ideal on wall-mounted shelves and will add an extra layer of richness and curation to your hang.

Need to update your art collection? This can be achieved quite easily by changing the frames, which will freshen up the scheme and even go so far as to make you rediscover your favourite pieces. Simpler frame designs are especially good in groupings while still giving each artwork the appropriate importance. The choice of frame can also elevate something as simple as a child’s drawings or mementos from travelling into a form of art.

Don’t be afraid to get cerebral when it comes to your collection. Intertextuality will add depth and intelligence and start a conversation between pieces without becoming too chatty. Perhaps they share a time period or an artistic movement, let the common threads between works dictate which ones you select to add to the grouping. A helpful tip: buy art that you love; if you’re true to your taste your selections will all reveal some thread of commonality when you finally assemble them.

...buy art that you love; if you’re true to your taste your selections will all reveal some thread of commonality when you finally assemble them

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