Picture arranging is always one of those “arts” that either you’re good at or not. It does take a “good eye” to see how principles of design, relate to displaying art. Principles like, balance, scale, proportion, color, rhythm, and more, are as important to displaying art as they are to painting the art. But have no fear, much can be learned with a few basics.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind when… blank walls beckon…

1. Look at the total shape of the wall first. It’s like the canvas to paint your picture arrangement on. Let the wall dictate the shape of your arrangement.

2. Big walls need big interest, either with one large piece, or a grouping, to create big impact. Adjust to the shape of the wall. Tall walls, add height, long walls, add width.

3. Arrange “like” art symmetrically. Frames, matting, subject matter look similar. This approach fills ANY shape of wall with formal, equal, balance and impact.

4. Arrange unlike art asymmetrically. Collections of different shapes and sizes can be arranged with great visual interest. The secret is to cozy them up to each other. Keep spacing close or overlap them for an informal casual feel.

5. Let art inspire room colors. Pull some of those great colors that you love in your art to inspire the rooms palette. Start with the art first and that will give you the jumping off point for the rooms color scheme.

6. Mix and match elements. Mirrors and art together fill a big wall beautifully. A great trick if you don’t have enough art to fill the scale of the wall.

7. Hang mirrors as you would art. These are great in darker, duller spaces. They reflect light and add sparkle. Use multiple, same mirrors, to create the interest, as a piece of art would.

8. Don’t be afraid to hang art outside the “eye level” box in a balanced way.

9. Art doesn’t have to be expensive to be impactful.

10. Leave some breathing space between arrangements. Wall space with nothing on it is just as important as wall space with. Resist the urge to hang it all. Edit artistically.

I use the floor, as my wall, before I hang an arrangement. This way I can move things around until I get it just right. Then I’ll take, and print, a picture of the arrangement, and write on the spacing before I begin.

Happy Picture Hanging!!


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