Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Interesting Ways To Display Artwork

There are numerous ways to display artwork effectively. Some of the factors that determine placement are the space/room, the style and size of the artwork, the number of pieces, one's own style, height of the ceiling and so on. Here are some pictures for inspiration with some guidelines to keep in mind.

 Artwork is generally hung too high. In a living room, for example, where most occupants will  be seated, the artwork should be at a level at which those seated can appreciate the piece.

Mix things up for interest by placing different items on the wall like in the picture below. If unsure of placement, in this type of grouping, start with the largest piece near the center.

Provide a common denominator
Photo: Thomas J. Story

The occupant of the room is important in determining height placement. In this case, a kid's room with artwork by bedside at eye level.
Embrace unexpected placement
Photo: Lisa Romerein

Negative space in a room like in this case, a corner, can be made much more interesting by adding a mix of artwork.
Use negative space
Photo: Lisa Romerein

Bringing the outdoors in adds calm. Note - the artwork is not centered above the bed but above the nightstand and bed together. It works!
Bring the outside in
Photo: Lisa Romerein

Adding artwork to a shelf can break up the monotony of the shelf display if too large.
Shelve it
Photo: Thomas J. Story

A frame with a personal picture displayed on the kitchen counter warms up the space instantly and can be easily changed.
Surprise with it
Photo: Ericka McConnell

Another effective way is to keep everything at the same level (eye level) to create a linear grouping.
Unify it
Photo: Thomas J. Story

A color scheme (in this case blue, yellow and white) and a symmetrical grouping adds balance.
Yellow and blue gallery arrangement

A tall ceiling allows for a mix of artwork with inches between rather than grouped close together. Note the artwork on table and propped up on floor.

In this room, because of the slanted ceiling the collection has been grouped closer. There is balance with the sizing of pieces on either side of the window.

Scale is very important. A piece or pieces (collectively) should be at least two-thirds the size of furniture it is displayed above.
4 pieces of art above sofa

Visual balance with heavier piece near the bottom.
artwork after being cut up above sofa

Level the middles of the artwork pieces when working within one room and different walls, different sized artwork. 
orange and green living room with white walls and furniture

In the kitchen, artwork should be hung away from water or heat.
White kitchen with artwork

Do not hang a small single piece on an oversized wall. Place it on a narrower wall or as part of a grouping or else it will look lost. For example, good for between doors and windows.
3 pieces of art by window seat

Layering adds a lot of interest and warmth, like on the mantle.
Layered art and accents above mantel

Match your style in terms of choice of artwork and the way to display - symmetrical displays are traditional and formal whereas assymetrical ones are more modern.
dining room with flower artwork

This I love. Propped up artwork.
Picture against nightstand
Lastly, use paper (brown, newspaper) templates to lay out artwork. I use this all the time for clients (even for furniture layouts) as it gives one a better sense of scale and balance.
mapping it out with kraft paper
Courtesy here & here

These are just guidelines. There is no perfect way to display art. It is your artwork so make it work for you and make sure you enjoy it. Do you display your artwork in one particular way or do you like to try out different groupings and mixes? Would you now try something new?
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