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Design 101: Tips for Choosing and Hanging Artwork

by Stephanie Koathes Mar 18, 2019

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A collection of paintings resting on the floor.

The right artwork can pull a room together or make a statement like nothing else. You should always go for pieces that you love, that resonate with you. There are, however, some general guidelines that can help you to choose the best pieces and hang them the right way.

• Think about size when selecting art for a room. How much space do you have to work with? What size is the piece? You don’t want to have a tiny piece of artwork on a large blank wall or a massive piece that in a smaller space that takes over the room entirely. A general rule is for the artwork fill two-thirds to three-quarters of a wall.

• If you plan to move the piece around or think it’s likely that you’ll move, focus on picking pieces that are of fairly standard in size (with measurements between 30cm and 120cm). This means the art will be pretty easy to accommodate anywhere.

• Choosing a large, bold piece of art can really make an impact. Think about how the artwork affects the overall design of the room and try to keep other elements minimal so the focus is on your central piece.

Large artwork of leaves behind a double bed.

• Mix styles. If you have a more traditional living room, for instance, consider going for a piece of contemporary artwork and vice versa. This will add lots of visual interest to the space.

• People often associate paintings with the word artwork, but remember art is much more than that. From graphic line drawings and illustrations to photographs, there are many things to try. If you’re on a budget, items such as vintage maps, posters or even a unique, high-quality textile print stretched across a blank canvas, are great options.

• Aim to centre your artwork it at eye level when hanging it. Think about if you’ll be standing or sitting in the space and select eye-level height accordingly.

• When hanging art above furniture try to keep the bottom edge of the piece around six to 12 inches above the furniture.

Sources: Houzz, House Nerd, Architectural Digest