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A guide to selecting and hanging artwork

Add beauty, style and interest to your home by showcasing the artwork you love. Here is a brief guide to help you out.

Woman hanging artwork

Selecting art

It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and as many can attest, that mode of thinking is right on the mark. The same can be said for artwork. Keep an open mind, and accept each piece for what it is and how it speaks to your soul. Selecting artwork is an individual choice dependent on personal preferences. Whether you purchase art as an investment or as a visual accessory to your home, it’s important to remember you’ll be seeing it regularly, so be sure it is a piece you love.

Placement of the pieces

Now that you’ve chosen a piece that’s visually appealing to you, the next step is to place it in your home. Works such as a sculpture, pottery or hand blown glass art can be featured on tables, mantels, curio cabinets, the floor or almost anywhere. Framed photographs, paintings and various types of prints should be hung on a wall or “rested” on a mantel or table.

When you’ve selected an art piece because you enjoy it and it speaks to you, you may have to opt for a trial-and-error approach to placing the piece in your home. Be open to switching locations, reconfiguring your furniture, repainting or adding a focal light positioned on the piece to add to its beautiful appeal.

If you are buying artwork to simply add interest and beauty to your existing space, keep in mind how the colours of the piece coordinate with your room, as well as the size and the style of the work to ensure it will fit in where you have planned it to go.

Other tips

  • As a general rule, the centre of a painting should be about eye level. A good average to follow is approximately 57–65 inches off the floor to the centre of the piece. Keep in mind a couple of other considerations when hanging your art, such as if the painting will be primarily viewed while standing or sitting and how it will relate to the furniture or other decorative items nearby.
  • Medium-to-large paintings and prints work well when placed above a piece of furniture, such as a sofa, table or another object like a fireplace mantel, so they are “anchored” and don’t appear to be floating on the wall.
  • Smaller pieces with similar colours and/or themes can be grouped together. Lay them on a table or floor before hanging them to configure the group the way you want.
  • Scale is important; a large empty space requires a large painting or several smaller pieces grouped together. The rule applies to all sizes of work, so be sure they balance with the space allowed.
  • Take a cue from art galleries, and allow your artwork to shine by keeping surrounding areas simple with a neutral colour scheme.

More on Decorating your home

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White impact: Using neutrals as an accent
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