Tips on how to hang wall art like a pro
Hanging wall art can be a very daunting task. You can rely on a hunch, take a step back and leave it up to sheer eyesight to decide if it looks about right.
But if you’re aiming to hang your mosaic wall art like a pro, there is an actual science to zoning in on the perfect spot.
Going by art gallery standards, here are some ideas for hanging wall art.
Context changes meaning
Investing in a beautiful piece of mosaic art and placing it on the wall are two separate sciences. As context changes meaning, the definition of an art piece’s beauty can transform depending on where it is displayed. Every inch of your wall should be appraised carefully.
It’s one thing to own a beautiful piece of wall art. But placing it appropriately does its part to bring out its beauty. A misplacement can detract from the charm it exhibits altogether.
To begin with, you’ll want to make doubly sure the wall art answers confidently to the collective spirit of the other elements on the wall and in the room. Unless you’re aiming to have it hang as a standalone piece then you’ll want to be choosy about the painting’s dimensions as well.
In being a subjective issue, no one can really decide on the ideal placement for you – but there are general guidelines and parameters to follow through with when trying to land on the perfect coordinates.
The art piece in itself may be teeming with beauty, but when placed on the wall, it becomes an element alongside many others within a broader canvas. Be selective before marking the spot.
Everything is relative
Some pieces of art are predestined to be hung up on a wall, as opposed to being propped up on an easel, placed on a table, or kept leaning. A wall serves to enclose an interior space, serving as a broader canvas to the space within which many other frames can be positioned, bringing on an additive effect.
X marks the spot
Before anything, you’ll want to decide where to place the nail.
X marks the spot, but first you’ll have to math it out. It’s a question of placing the wall art so that it is roughly at eye level, plus or minus a few inches.
Seeing as heights vary dramatically from person to person, there’s no one number that can quantify this value, but the going standard is to aim to have the wall art hang at roughly 60 inches from ground level.
Before you begin, bear in mind that there is a slight difference between where the nail’s hook sits and the outermost edge of its upper frame. You need to account for this difference and factor it into the measurement.
How to hang art gallery style
Here’s a formula to consider:
What you’re aiming for is to have the wall art hang at an average of 60 inches from ground level.
But first, you’ll want to measure the distance between where the nail sits on the hooks or taut wire and the frame’s outermost edge.
<Nail placement – outermost edge of frame> = Y
Then, measure the frame’s height or in other words how tall your painting is, and divide that value by 2.
Then subtract that value by Y and add 60 inches to it and bang, you’ve hit the nail.
For example, assuming you have a piece of art with a frame that measures at 50 inches tall, and its nail hook placed at 5 inches from the outermost frame, the ideal placement would be at 80 inches from the ground, using the above-mentioned formula.
Here’s how we got that number:
First, divide the frame height in half: 50/2 = 25 inches
Then calculate the difference between the nail’s positioning and the outermost edge of the frame, which in this case is assumed to be 5 inches.
Subtract the original value by that measurement: 25 – 5= 20 inches
Add 60 inches to that value.
Based on these calculations, the ideal placement will be at 80 inches from the ground.
Big wall, painting small
While you’d assume a big wall necessitates a similarly big painting, that isn’t always the case. On the contrary, open spaces on the periphery can always do their part to give a painting its room to breathe and flourish, serving to embolden its presence. But too much space can leave it to suspend idly.
A massive wall could do well with numerous small pieces side by side, as opposed to having one massive painting dominate over the space completely.
With that said, sometimes a big painting can do the space justice, depending on what it communicates in terms of colors, so there’s no set formula for this.
The idea is to give whatever is propped up on the wall its deserving presence, whether in solitary form, or as part of a collage of other paintings, so as to achieve harmony instead of straight up clutter.
Big painting, small wall
Conversely, sometimes having a massive painting extend across a small room can have a very cozy effect. In fact, a massive painting can actually give the illusion that a room has more space, as low-ceilinged walls appear grander in size, with a big painting to cover up the fact.
How to hang pictures on walls with high ceilings
Having a mosaic or painting that appears too small against the backdrop of a high ceiling apartment can give off the impression that it is floating off into oblivion. Be wary of the pictures’ size-to-the-wall ratio.
If you have a stack of small paintings grouped up together creatively, while using the eye level formula and rule as a point of reference, you can amount to something beautiful.
Stacking small paintings on high-ceilinged walls can have a very impacting effect. But they should all have some form of unity, or respect a color code to avoid cluttering the space.
High ceiling walls tend to give more room to the mural so that it has the leeway to be positioned higher than eye level to further emphasize the towering effect of the walls.
But be sure not to go over the limit. Draw out an invisible line in your head to serve as a no-fly zone right before the wall meets the actual ceiling. Make sure the paintings, and even curtains, all fall within that enclosed space.
How to hang multiple pictures on walls
If you’ve decided to populate a group of pictures on a wall, you’ll be doing yourself justice to pre-plan which pictures to use before actually placing them, as opposed to placing each one at a time, as you go along.
Be tasteful as the arrangement as a whole will have a direct effect on each individual piece.
You can create a blueprint of the proposed placement by etching pencil drawings on the wall according to each mosaics dimension.
Smaller pictures will always look better in clusters. Try to aim to have the frames posited at ninety-degree angles from each other. More importantly, try to maintain that each painting is equidistant from the other to achieve uniformity throughout the arrangement.
The beauty of working with smaller pictures as opposed to bigger ones is that you have more wiggle room to be creative and create stunning patterns.
Rules for hanging pictures
Think of it as being analogous to a cloudy sky. If the sky itself is an actual wall, and each cloud a painting, there is beauty in how scattered they are, and yet, when observed from a further distance, they all meld into one vivid picture. You want to try and achieve this chaotic harmony.
But if you’re playing with irregularities, try to position the painting in a way which communicates that this was a deliberate placement and not an actual mistake.
Being too creative runs the risk of giving off the effect that no thought was given to the placement of the paintings, which can actually have a converse and unsettling effect on the general mood of the room. Unless this is what you’re aiming for, try to let the crookedness lend its touch to appear beautiful, and not just random.
How to hang two pictures of different sizes
Being careful with proportions within your arrangements doesn’t only bring out the intrinsic beauty of your artwork, but also highlights the surrounding interior architecture of the room.
Bear in mind that the mural as an object develops a relationship with the other objects in the room, so can also serve as a pleasant distraction for example if you’re trying to take attention away from a flawed section of the room, or orient the attention to an area of the room where people tend to congregate and mingle.
So whether you’re trying to decide on how to hang pictures of different sizes, or how to hang multiple pictures on the wall, or how to hang artwork altogether – the ideas for hanging art are infinite really.
The idea is to be creative while respecting some universal parameters when applying the final touches, to let your mosaic artwork shine like it should.
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