You probably love scouring flea markets for portraits or even DIY your own pieces to save on cash, but how do you hang the picture? While you can always take a hammer and nail to the wall, there are a couple of trade tricks that can make displaying your art collection more attractive. Here are hacks from award-winning designers that will help you put up that piece like a pro.
1. Consider the Context
Before hanging that artwork, take into consideration the look of where you want to display it. Also, consider whether the space is for business, domestic, or institutional use. Furthermore, consider all other elements that are already present in your area, wall or room.
Don’t forget to consider the location of doors and windows, the height of your room’s ceiling, the type of floor, and even the presence of electrical switches and plugs. Each of these small items will have an effect on how people interact with the art pieces.
2. Avoid Areas Prone to Damage
Sometimes, it is very tempting to hang up your favourite art piece above the centrally located fireplace. Hanging the works just above an active fireplace eventually causes the canvas to melt, an effect that also occurs if you hang it over a radiator. Don’t hang the piece in direct sunlight as it causes gradual fading, especially for unprotected works.
3. Choose a Frame
If you want a masterpiece over your mantelpiece, a smart frame will help prevent damage that heat and light exposure can cause. Fortunately, there’re special glazes that can be applied to the glass, and they help in the prevention of fading due to UV light. Likewise, applying seals to the frames will create artificial environments that protect artwork from temperature and humidity fluctuations.
4. The Right Height
Most modern and contemporary artworks hang at 1.55 meters. This is the height most commonly used in museums and art galleries. However, you can hang your pieces higher or lower depending on furniture, ceiling height, and other factors.
Mind you, some artists have specific height instructions. For example, Le Corbusier always requested his pieces to be placed 1.83 meters from the floor to the top of a painting.
5. Check Fixings
If putting up a flat artwork, it’s better to use double fixtures on both sides of the piece, instead of using one central fixture. Doing this will help prevent the piece from leaning forward or swaying any time someone passes by.
6. Vary Themes
In case you have a huge art collection – or it is the next item on your wishlist – hanging the pieces at home becomes a serious process. While collecting the pieces, go bold and mix genres and periods. For instance, mixing contemporary works with 17th-century pieces creates a beautiful dialogue between them. For an extra kick, you should check out custom acrylic photo blocks at Bumblejax.
7. Don’t Trust Your Eyes
While hanging art pieces, remember that your eyes will play tricks on you and cause some expensive and noticeable errors. Instead of relying on your eyes alone, use a spirit level and tape measure to ensure that the piece is straight.
8. Avoid Water Pipes
As you put up the art piece, make sure that you understand the wall structure in your home – intimately. Hanging can seem as simple as using a few screws, but you can cause expensive damage if you damage hidden piping in the wall.
At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong way of hanging art, the way you organize your collection should depend on how it appeals to you.