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No home is complete without an assortment of art pieces hanging on the wall. Hanging wall art can be harder than it looks, however. You don’t want to damage walls or have artworks fall down. Additionally, it’s not always easy to decide the best positions for wall art, or how to arrange it in a pleasing design.
We have a guide to hanging wall art that answers all of these questions. Read on for the knowledge and confidence to start hanging wall art in domestic and commercial settings.
Before hanging wall art, you need to find the right place for it. To do this, determine the focal point of the room. A focal point is an attention-grabbing area that people first look at when entering a room. You may have a large window, a fireplace, or a feature wall that stands out in the space.
If you have a large empty wall, a small painting in the corner will not be an effective use of space. Similarly, a small wall may not be suited to an enormous piece of wall art.
Smaller walls with limited hanging space may be suited to patterns. A diagonal arrangement of compact, square art pieces can look very smart hanging alongside a flight of stairs, for example.
When you have larger wall areas, you could display a central piece of wall art, with a selection of smaller pieces surrounding it. Alternatively, you can dedicate the wall space to one focal art piece, which could work well above a fireplace.
You will need to check that the art will actually fit on the wall. You can do this using a similarly sized open space on the floor or a table, mapping out the wall art in the desired pattern.
There are a number of styles and strategies when hanging wall art.
- Symmetrical: A square or rectangular layout of paintings of equal size in a grid will be symmetrical. This can deliver a contemporary look and may help art to integrate with the decor. If you have two brightly coloured wall art pieces and one in grey, placing the grey work in the centre will create colour symmetry.
- Asymmetrical: Imagine a square wall space. You choose to hang one long tall painting on the left side, then one wide small painting on the right side. This is an asymmetrical arrangement. Asymmetry stands out as it does not follow a pattern, which you can use to draw attention to an area of a room.
- Visibility and Height Placement: How high are you placing the art on the wall? Consider whether the art is easily interpreted at standing level and sitting level. A general rule is to hang wall art at eye level, so the centre of the image is in perspective.
- Accommodate Furniture: Is your wall art going above a sofa or fireplace? Generally, designers recommend against hanging wall art wider than the furniture or features below it. Keep wall art between half to three-quarters the width of your sofa or fireplace.
- White Space and Centre Lines: Do not underestimate the value of white space on a wall. Too many pieces of hanging wall art will look cluttered and busy. When arranging art, aim to find a central line going through each art piece. Align art using the centre, rather than the top or bottom of the art frame, to create more symmetry in the layout.
After deciding on the art you want and where to place it, you need a reliable gallery system for hanging wall art.
One choice is flexible picture hanging hardware. This hammers or screws into the wall, and has a small lip to catch and support the art. This is generally suited to small to medium-size pieces.
Adhesive picture hangers are also popular as they don’t generally damage walls and can be easily removed when leaving a property. The main limitation is weight, as the adhesive may not support heavy wall art like canvas paintings.
Magnetic art picture hangers can eliminate damage from nails and screws to walls. With magnets, you can change art rapidly and easily. The strength of the magnets will dictate the maximum weight capacity.
For an option with great versatility, STAS offers a range of picture rail gallery systems – such as the STAS j-rail. A rail can support up to 55 pounds per metre, making it ideal for a range of home and commercial wall art hanging requirements. These rails support vertical and horizontal placements, and their small profile means they blend in with all room types. Even better, you can also integrate other picture hanging hardware, such as adhesive and magnetic hangers, into the system.