View On Design

The ART of Hanging Art

by Helen Houston

Art can inspire.
Art can soothe.
Art can energize.

This makes art the “go-to” when decorating a home.

How much art is too much? And, can art go anywhere you want it to?

With the increasingly affordability of art, particularly canvas and giclee (zhee-klay) prints, everyone is now taking on the challenge. The key is understanding the fundamentals for each room. So, let’s take a tour.

Living Room
The living room is the most popular space to hang art, for a number of reasons. We spend a lot of time there; it’s the most visible room; and, it often has the most wall space. When confronted with a massive wall space, the key is ensuring the work of art you purchase to fit that space doesn’t get lost in the void. One of the biggest mistakes made is hanging a piece of art that’s too small. Take time to measure the available space and select an artwork that does the space justice, nicely centered with an equal amount of “white space” or “blank space” above, below and on either side.

If you’ve accidentally purchased art that is too small or you’re determined to hang a much-loved piece, don’t stress! Simply add more art! You can either add one to two pieces of the same size or style to create a wall series or add five to 10 completely different pieces to create a feature gallery wall.

Oh, and make sure to hang your art, particularly large pieces, at eye level.

Dining Room
With the advent of open-plan living, the age of the intimate dining room is fast fading away. If your home still has a traditional separate dining room, it’s the perfect place to hang art. Art prints aside, you can get as creative as you like. Think tapestries, ornate mirrors, decorative plates or shelves with ornaments.

When it comes to the dining room, the key is to keep it non-controversial. If you decide to invite your boss or mother-in-law over to dinner, the last thing you want is art that could encourage unsettling conversation. It’s perhaps best to keep the more contentious works of art for the bedroom or reading room. The dining room is meant to be a warm, comfortable, communal space.

The bedroom is entirely your space, so you have the freedom to decorate as you please. When it comes to choosing bedroom designs ideas, if you want to create something extraordinary, be sure to complement the rest of your décor. Think about the colors of your walls, your floors, your bedding, and cushions. Then decide whether you want your artwork to match or clash – either option is fine.

Transform a small hallway into an art exhibition with either an art gallery series or, if there’s a clear entry point, a single work of art that binds the home together. It’s very unusual for art to work as a stand-alone feature in a large hallway. Instead, the key to achieving a sophisticated space is to create an area of interest around the art, perhaps with a side table, chair, vase of flowers or even a small rug.

The style of art you choose is completely up to you, but hallways are renowned for featuring some of the most creative art in a collection.

We often focus so heavily on the functionality of a kitchen that we forget it deserves to be beautiful as well. If you are blessed with a large or open plan kitchen that features more than just cupboards and back-splashes, hanging some stunning art is a must. The kitchen is the perfect place for some inspirational word art or creative food photography. The kitchen is a bright, lively, happy place. That’s why it’s often where the best parties take place!

Your kitchen art should enhance this atmosphere with plenty of color, fun and energy.

The bath is back! And I’m not talking the type that doubles as a shower. Baths are becoming focal points in themselves, the bigger the better. What this means is less tiling and more wall space for artwork.

Choose art for the bathroom that inspires relaxation. In terms of colors, think pastels and cool blues. In terms of styles, think marine art, Zen art and watercolors. Anything that conveys tranquility is ideal for the bathroom.

Helen Houston is a certified real estate staging and redesign professional. Helen is the owner of Staging Spaces and can be reached by calling (702) 346-0246.

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