Even though I am a photographer, I face the same struggles almost everyone does when displaying the photos that I love. The hardest part is sometimes just getting started! This week, we have complied some key information for displaying your photos or artwork. Look for our post week about creating wall galleries.
Consider your backdrop
A neutral wall is great base for any wall display. Neutral isn’t just white or cream. Many shades of beige, tan, gray and brown are great neutral backdrops. The beauty of having a neutral wall is that you can choose virtually any photos for the display. Color packed images, pastel toned or black & white photos are equally at home on a neutral wall.
A colored wall can provide a beautiful and unique look. Just be sure to pay more attention to the colors and tones in your photos and the colors of the frames and mats. It isn’t necessary to match the color of the wall your display is on, just be sure the colors you choose for your photos or frames look pleasing together. Try all black & white photos to keep things simple. Here is a beautiful example of a colored wall photo gallery from the January 2011 pottery barn catalog:
Scale, Size and Proportion
How high should you hang art? Hanging your art at eye-level is the most accepted advice when it comes to art height, but my eye level is certainly not Dan’s eye level! Instead, try to place the centerpoint of the art at 60″ to 62″ above the floor. This is a great starting point if you are not hanging the photos or artwork above furniture.
When furniture is involved in your wall gallery, consider the proportions of the wall as well as the surrounding furniture. A general guideline is to hang pictures so that the bottom of the frame is 6 to 12 inches above the furniture. This ensures that the piece has enough connection to the furniture and doesn’t appear to be isolated. If you hang the artwork too low, it could interfere with the use of the furniture.
Another aspect to consider is the size of your artwork. Often people chose pieces that are too small for their space. An 8X10 seems like a very large print size, but above your sofa in the living room, it won’t have enough presence and will get lost on the wall. The larger the piece, the greater the impact. A general rule is that the piece should be about 2/3 the width of the piece of furniture that it hangs above. A single large piece of art can accomplish this or a grouping of pieces will work too.
Here are some great examples of artwork hung at the right height and scale: Photos from Better Homes & Gardens (1 &3) and Pottery Barn Kids (2).
This nursery wall uses three framed pieces of artwork to create a substantial display.A single large art piece above the mantle is a great traditional option, but a grouping of smaller prints can work as well.
Creating beautiful groupings can be made much easier with all the templates and tools available. Our next post will cover how to create and hang your own gallery or display. Also visit our main website (www.modernexposures.com) and click on galleries (templates) to see some planning tools to use for wall displays. We’re always available to help you plan your displays or to just decide which prints work best for your home. Good luck and have fun displaying your photos!
Kirsten & Dan
A great resource for hanging art in your home: http://interiordec.about.com/od/artindecorating/a/Gwheretohangart_2.htm
How to Create Wall Galleries: http://modernexposuresblog.com/?p=26