In my Interior Design practice, I find that clients are unsure of themselves when it comes to figuring out where and how to display their art – especially groupings.
1. The most common mistake I see is hanging pictures too high. As a general rule, wall art should be hung so it is approximately eye level (approximately 5 feet) even if the homeowner is taller because it will look like it’s floating away if hung too high.
2. When hanging art over a sofa or chairs, place it with the bottom about 8″-12″ above the back of the sofa or chair. Generally the top of the grouping is about 6 feet to 6 feet 6″ from the floor. If you have exceptionally tall walls you might want to make your grouping go higher or stack several pictures on top of each other to draw the eye upward. This unusual grouping incorporates both framed and unframed pieces beautifully.
3. Groupings of pictures can be tied together with uniform frames. Notice also that the spacing between these pieces is the same in all directions. If your images are not all the same size you might try framing them with larger and smaller mats in order to keep the frames the same size.
4. Unifying a grouping, even if the frames are different, can be done by using the same subject matter in all the pieces. It’s a good idea to align the top and/ or bottoms of the frames whenever possible.
6. A family photo gallery is a very functional way to decorate hallways and display all those treasured pictures. This is usually done in the more private areas of the home, like the bedroom wing, but can be used in other rooms as well. These are all black and white with black frames so each picture has equal weight. Notice that the matting varies in size a lot.
7. Another way to display family photos is to set them casually on shelves. Again, these are all framed similarly and I would suggest using museum wax on the backs so they won’t move or get broken if bumped.
9. If you have a full wall of collectables like these magazine covers you can fill the room floor to ceiling to show them off. The right wall has a black background and white frames and the left wall is white with black frames – just to add something extra!
I suggest you do a layout on the floor on a large piece of paper and trace the frames when you are satisfied. Then tape (with painter’s tape) the paper pattern on the wall for any adjustments needed before you begin. You can actually nail right through your pattern to follow your layout.
I hope that helped.