Please STOP Hanging Art Like This…

Bedroom with pink upholstered bed

I’m BACK to help you navigate some simple design secrets that will allow you to make quick changes to your existing space.

Today we will review walls and how to curate them in a way that comes naturally to anyone with an eye for design, but seems to be lost on the greater majority of homeowners. 

Here is a great example I would like to address…

Hanging artwork in a living room

Even with that insanely gorgeous custom crown moulding, the perfectly toned hardwoods and pretty fireplace, my eye is drawn to one thing and one thing only: The great piece of original art that is simply not in the right spot within this lovely apartment. 

OK so here’s what’s wrong. 

  1. The art, despite being a very lovely piece, takes up WAAAaaaYYyyyy too little surface area for that wall space

  2. The art is hung too high - not way too high, but too high nonetheless. I don’t care that the male in this household is like 8’ tall. You need to hang your art at normal person height.

  3. The main colors in the piece (namely the blue) relate to exactly ZERO other items in the room. Refer back to my article on color here for the full explanation on how to make colors work in your home.

OK those are the main issues. Now let me tell you how to properly plan to avoid these issues…

1. Art should occupy at LEAST half of the wall, but really more like 2/3rds of the wall space, or all of it if you’re into that.

This beautifully designed space by Hendricks Churchill illustrates my point perfectly. Notice how the wall is about 8 feet and the art takes up about 5’ of that space (more than half!). 

The art in this wall is not the star of the show, but it does a fantastic job of completing the look and feel of the space and allows the stunning design elements to shine (the fabric, rug and architectural details).

Imagine if this room was exactly the same, except the designer made the same wall planning mistake as the example from the apartment above...

It is certainly still a gorgeous space, but the point is that the poorly selected piece of art really steals the show (and not in a good way). Your eye is immediately drawn to the sad, sad wall instead of the other stunning elements of the room. 

Never underestimate the power of art & accessories to make or break a room.

2. Art and mirrors should be hung so that the midpoint of the piece is at eye level.

Art and mirrors should be hung at around 60-66” from the ground so that the midpoint is around eye level for the average person.  

In the example below, this beautifully curated grouping of art simply begins too far from the bottom of the sofa. If the designer had simply started gallery wall about 6”-8” lower, it would look great.

Art wall hung too high above the sofa

Onto my next point...

3. The colors in the piece of art from the apartment in our example (namely the blue) do not relate to any other design elements in the room.

I don’t think I see a single pillow, rug, book or even a purse that has the color blue in it - the colors in the painting really demand your attention because they are so much cooler than the other colors in the space. Therefore, the room needs to be designed in a way that works with the painting, not against it.

Take a quick look below at how a few minor changes can really take this room to the next level. 

Hanging artwork is too small
Hanging artwork in living room, fixed design details

Take a look at what I did here: 

  1. Resized the art - it is now a larger, more appropriate size for that wall

  2. Repositioned the art - the center of the art is now hanging at eye level

  3. Redecorated the room to work with the colors in the painting - I added a rug with some blue, a bluish gray chest of drawers under the TV and a couple of accent pillows.

MIND YOU - you do not need to make a room work with a painting UNLESS that painting needs to be in that room which in this case, it does. This lovely painting is of sentimental value and it makes the couple happy to see it displayed prominently in their main living area. 

If you own something you love and you want it to be displayed where you can enjoy it every day, then why not design the room around that piece so that it can all work as one?

And when you finally realize that you really can’t just do it yourself, please schedule a consultation with us HERE. We can help you with this very problem during a productive in-home meeting.

Abby KlatskyComment