Are your walls bare? Do you struggle to figure out how to hang your pictures? Are you conflicted as to whether you should put up one large painting? A series of photos? A gallery wall? What size should the frames be? Should they all match? The list goes on and on.
First of all, just know that there is no wrong answer! What you need to do before anything is sit down and reflect. Yes that’s right. Just think. What are you drawn to? When you look at images of rooms, which ones speak to you? The ones with walls of black and white family photos neatly framed? Or the ones with a mix of travel photos and paintings artfully arranged? Once you’ve decided which “look” you like (Pinterest is a great help for figuring this out), THEN you can get started on pulling your wall(s) together. Here are four different hanging styles for you to try, along with their pros and cons:
Just as the name suggests, this means hanging your art on the wall in a line, vertically or horizontally. This style works best with pictures of the same size and frame.
Pros: It creates a sense of order, regularity and rhythm. It works well if you have a long wall or want to emphasize some horizontal or vertical element in the room like a long dining table.
Cons: If you do not get the line perfectly straight, the effect is lost and then the focus will be on the crooked line instead of the artwork, so take your time and measure precisely the space in between pieces as well.
Pro Tip: Hang your pictures from two points, one on either side of the back frame so that there is less of a chance of any one shifting or moving.
This style is more loose than the linear; however, there is still a definite rhyme and reason to placement. The final hanging might be asymmetrical, but it should still feel balanced and harmonious.
Pros: It works well if you have artwork of various sizes. Different styles and sizes of frames and/or even a mixture of sculpture, photographs and paintings can work well together.
Cons: It’s easy to go from quirky and unique to a messy jumble if you don’t plan this one out. And while sizes and frames might differ, try to keep a fairly regular spacing between pieces so that there is an underlying method to the madness.
Pro Tip: Lie everything out on the floor first before hanging anything.
Shelves + Frames
This style is when one or more images are placed on an architectural element like a shelf or a block.
Pros: There is no nailing in the walls. The artwork simply leans against the wall. This allows for easy rearrangement and switching out with new pieces.
Cons: The shelves do take up wall space, so make sure you take this into account. Also, they will cause the art to protrude from the wall more, so think about where you hang them-over a sofa might not be ideal as they could get bumped a lot.
Pro Tip: Using larger frames in back allows you to place smaller ones in front for a more layered look.
The Grid is a relative of the Linear style, but takes it up a notch, as it is more than one row of pictures. It gives a uniform and symmetrical look to a wall.
Pros: If you have a series or collection of artwork, this gives you the opportunity to display it all in an organized and visually satisfying manner. Your wall can make a very big statement.
Cons: There is less flexibility if you are someone who likes to switch things up a lot. Your walls need to be big enough to accommodate rows and columns, so this style is not ideal for small hanging spaces.
In the end no matter which style you choose, just remember that the most important part of hanging artwork truly is that it reflects who you are and that it makes you happy!