How to Hang Pictures

How to Hang Pictures Like a Professional

Artwork is a wonderful thing. It can change the mood, theme or shape of a space instantly- whether it’s an original worth thousands or a painting your three year old did at preschool.

But art is nothing if it’s stacked in a pile in the garage waiting to be hung – I think that “hang the wedding photos” or the like is on everyone’s list to do somewhere.

Stop putting it off, creating an eye-catching display of a group of work or turning the focus to one individual piece is easy with a few tips from me.

First I will deal with the mounting of one or two medium sized pictures. The most important thing to remember here is using the right hooks!

Big pictures will need large, strong hooks and will need to be set into a reinforced section of the wall. It is best to get advice from the framer or seller of your art, as they know best. Or, if you have a lot to be hung at once, consider getting a professional to do it, and take out the hassle and risk of damage to your walls.

Generally, large vertical pictures create height, and large horizontal pictures create width, so whether you have a picture looking for a space or a space looking for a picture, keep this rule in mind when choosing either!

For instance, above a fireplace (generally a vertical space) a long thin picture would look lost and lose its balance in relation to the fireplace. Best to choose a larger, horizontal piece for there. And vice versa: the end of a hallway would benefit much more from a long picture or mirror, to keep with the continuity of the space.

In simplest terms, the bigger the wall, the bigger the picture!

If you have more than one picture, play with arrangements before you start hammering. Usually, two pictures of the same size look better hung vertically, but once again it depends on the space in question. If you have two pictures of different sizes hung in a vertical arrangement, hang the larger one at the top.

Uneven numbers seem to work better, and I always favor single or triple arrangements when I am decorating.

When hanging, try to have the middle of the image at eye level, or if there is a strong beam or line of structure such as the top of a door, it can sometimes look better to hang even with that.

Another favorite of mine is hanging lots of small pictures, especially photos of family and friends, in an array of different frames, in a montage. Small individual pictures tend to get lost just dotted around the house, so why not make a feature display of them instead.

A few points to consider when hanging pictures:

  • be sure to decide on the general desired effect of the display and try to arrange the pictures as a group, to give a sense of continuity to the arrangement. Try to keep the arrangement within a general guideline and try to keep some kind of symmetry to them. Either work from the centre outwards, or create a boundary and arrange from the outside in.
  • picture montages look fun and funky with a variety of frame designs, shapes and weights, but try to pick your selection of frames with the same colour, style or era.
  • it is important to balance your montage so that it isn’t top, bottom or side heavy. It is best to place the larger pictures on the outside and the smaller within.
  • odd numbers look best but once again it depends on the space. Play with you arrangement on the floor first and transfer it to your wall when you’re happy.

So there you have it. Not too scary now is it? Art work can do amazing things to rooms and imagine how excited your children would be to see their art framed and hung like a professional!

I’ve given you a few ideas, so get out there, be creative and get hanging!

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