How To Have Your Own Art Gallery

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Have a bunch of art work or photos, but not sure how to group it?

Start with a central piece which you should hang about 57 - 60 inches from the floor to the center of the piece. The other pieces of art will surround it. A good rule of thumb is to space frames between 2 to 4 inches apart. 

If you want a grid appearance, which works well with art pieces that are either the same size or part of the same collection, simply use a level to make sure you hang the nails at the exact same height.  To figure out the distance between the nails, measure your center frame and divide it in half then add in space between (2 - 4 inches) plus half the measurement of the second frame. This technique is easiest (and tends to look the best) if you are using identical frames. Use the same procedure to hang subsequent rows of the art.

Gallery style hanging is easier and will look good if you want to mix in different types of media, frame sizes or shapes. It tends to be less rigid has no real rules for where you hang each piece. An easy solution is to lay your frame out on craft paper and trace around them. Cut out the tracings and using painters tape stick them to the wall to see what arrangement works best. Once you're happy with it, just use that as a template to nail the actual frames to the wall.

Is that too loosey goosey for you? Another method is to tape of a rectangle using a level and painters tape. Use the corners of the rectangle as your guide. Place one piece of art in each of the corners and fill in the inside, keeping the spacing consistent between the frames. I think this method works well if you have 3 or more different sizes of frames.

Hanging a grouping of photographs or art is a great way to call attention to your walls, but it also can work as a way to disguise a problem. In the photo above, do you see that thermostat in the middle of that wall? Grouping the pictures around it helps detract from it and not make it the focal point of the wall. To see other ways I've grouped art (or disguised other such problems) in my own home look here, here, here, or here.

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