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Everything you need to know about grouping art like a pro
Sometimes you buy a piece of art, or series of artworks that you just love, with a vision in your head of how it’s going to look in a certain room at home. Then, after a couple of hours of trying to recreate that image you had in your head, it just isn’t working!
Hanging art can actually prove to be an art in itself. If you don’t get the spacing, sizes and décor right, it sometimes just doesn’t work at all. For that perfect interior design look, follow this guide for hanging and grouping art like a pro…
You might not consider the height of your artwork to be important, but it really is. If you think about the best interior design rooms you’ve seen, you’d notice art is usually hung at eye level. Of course, this isn’t an exact science because people come in all different shapes and sizes… and heights, which means one person’s eye level is different to the next. However, if you consider an average eye level height, that’s a good starting point.
Next, let’s consider a more exact measurement. Depending on the height of a sofa or table, art should be placed between 4 and 7 inches above the top of the furniture. The 3-inch leeway can boil down to the height of the furniture and the height of the ceiling, as well as personal preference. Or, if you want to follow an exact rule – the centre of your artwork should be 60 inches from the floor.
As always, our rules go straight out the window in certain circumstances. For example, if you have a high piece of furniture and are hanging art above it, it’s most likely going to be above eye level height, because you should always leave a gap between the top of furniture and the bottom of the piece of art.
Final words on height… If you’re looking at a blank wall above a lounge suite or table, as a general rule, you should aim for eye level height, 4 to 7 inches above it, or 60 inches from the centre to the floor.
Is there an exact measurement between grouped artwork? Well, yes actually; 2 inches, according to most interior designers. That’s if you are hanging artwork in groups. If, however, you have two extremely large paintings that you want to hang side-by-side, it doesn’t technically need to be considered as grouping, and if a 2-inch gap looks too small, you can and should increase it to 3 or 4.
Final words on spacing… As a general rule, stick to 2-inch spaces like the professionals do!
This one is a no-brainer… Small pieces of art should be hung on small walls and larger pieces of art should be reserved for the large walls. A good example would be an exposed wall face partly partitioning a room, with a width of around 10 inches. You could perfectly fit a group of, say, 3 small, square pieces of art (around 6 inches by 6 inches each), one underneath each other, creating a really effective feature. Similarly, large pieces of art can look really striking on a huge blank wall, especially if it is adding a splash of colour to a room that is fairy monochrome in design.
Yet again, there are occasions, if you are very clever and creative with a good eye for design, where you can completely ignore this rule. If you’re up for a challenge, try featuring a myriad of small artworks on a large expanse of wall, or hang a large piece of artwork on the majority of a wall as a real ‘stand-out’ feature.
Final words on sizes… If you want to stick to a classic professional interior designed look, choose small pieces of art for small walls and large pieces of art for big walls.
Now we’re coming to the much more technical yet creative side of hanging art that really will give you a professional interior designed look if done well. There are so many options when grouping art in just about any room or corridor of a house or commercial premises. Here are a few options…
- Perfectly squared. This is the classic option of choosing 4 or 6 identically-sized paintings. In this case, it’s a good idea to stick to the 2-inch gap rule between each piece, as well as the eye level and 60-inch from the floor rule. The gap in between the bottom and top pictures should be the 60-inch point. Set the art up on the wall in two rows, so, in the case of 4 pieces, two above/two below, and in the case of 6 pieces, three above/three below.
- Mismatched. It can look really effective to have some different sized artworks grouped together on a wall. Again, make sure all gaps are 2 inches apart and you can create a very professional look. They will look kind of like puzzle pieces because the gaps are all identical but height and width lengths will vary from piece to piece.
- Series. This works particularly well with canvases. You might find a series of three canvas paintings that tell a story from one end to the other, similar to a panorama. Depending on the size, you can leave a 2-inch gap between each of them, or if they are much larger pieces, you can leave a slightly bigger gap in between. Low eye level works well for a striking line of a series of paintings, so again, you can measure 60 inches from the ground or 4 to 7 inches about the furniture.
Whatever style you decide to go with, always follow your heart and have some fun. After all, no matter how well you design the layout, if it’s not the kind of art you like, what’s the point? And don’t be afraid to play around with a few options until you’re happy with your design!
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