When a new piece of art is purchased in our shop, we’re often asked for advice on how to hang it at home. With this in mind, we’ve put together a quick guide to support you when displaying your art. We hope this advice is useful and enhances your well-chosen and beloved pieces, so they have the desired effect.

1. How Low Can You Go?

The most common error when hanging pictures is to hang them too high. The middle of the picture should be eye level; about 5’5” to 5’8” from the floor. If a picture is too high, you will get the impression that the walls are coming in. On the contrary, if it’s too low, the ceiling will feel as if its coming down to meet you. If you want to impress all your friends, you could follow museum guidelines which is hanging the picture so it is exactly 156cm from the floor, to the centre of the image. A good investment to add to your spare kitchen drawer would be a decent metal tape measure with a locking mechanism.

2. Size Matters.

You don’t want to overcrowd your wall, as your visitors won’t know where to look. If you have many unique or dramatic pieces in your collection, it’s best not to hang them together, as they will compete with each other for attention. But on the other hand, you don’t want to put one piece  in the middle of a large area, as it could have the ‘postage stamp’ effect.

3. Mix it up.

You don’t want to have too many pictures in one medium in one room. Ideally, you could try a mix of prints, photographs, oils or wall sculptures in a room. This maintains interest and variety, and showcases your breadth of taste in art.

4. All Me, Me, Me!

Think about making one favourite piece the centre of attention. Some like to take a large picture, or pair of pictures, and centre them on one wall. It works better to position a picture over a sofa, or anther large piece of furniture. An important tip is to avoid lining up the top of artwork with door frames, as it appears unnatural.

5. The Sun Has Got His Hat On…

As much as you want your walls to be well-lit and bright, avoid hanging artwork in direct sunlight. Unfortunately, the ultra violet light can damage your artwork. Photos and canvases can fade, and paintings may crack. If your pieces are framed using glass, the sunlight can cause glaring reflections. In your local framing shop, ask about the special anti-reflection glass that is available to give UV protection. It is well worth the investment, and will ensure you can still showcase your collection in the sunniest room in the house.

6. Too Hot To Handle

Avoid hanging your collection over a heat source, and avoid damp walls as both can damage your pictures.

7. A Good Frame.

Despite finding that perfect vintage, decorated frame at a great price in your local antiques shop, think twice before handing over your money. The frame or mount that you choose needs to enhance your picture not your décor. Try having prints float mounted to make them look more expensive, as it can turn a poster into a nice piece of artwork.

8. A Bit Squiffy!

Do you find that closing a door, or running down the stairs causes your pictures to jiggle out of their perfectly-aligned positions? We advise placing a piece of White Tack on the bottom back corners of your frames to stop them moving out of the square. Another way is to put two picture hooks in the wall and hang the picture on both, as this stops them from moving. It is very important that these hooks are hung correctly, so the picture is perfectly straight in the first place. Alongside your tape measure, you could purchase a small spirit-level to ensure accuracy.

9. Hang Five.

Before you hang your prized piece, it is good to prepare properly to ensure that you don’t make any costly or messy mistakes. A great way to do this is to cut the size of your painting out in paper, and White Tack the paper to the wall. This way it’s much easier to merely adjust the paper to the exact position you require. Once you have the paper template in the correct spot, you can use this to mark the wall with a light (HB or B) pencil mark at the top in the middle, using your tape measure.  Then, measure the distance between the cord on the back and the top of the frame. Using this measurement, you can now mark the wall below the first mark you made, using the template. This makes certain you will hang the painting in the correct place on the wall.

10. Rule Breaker!

If you live life on the edge, here’s an opportunity to break all the rules! Hang a large number of family photos together to form a sort of wallpaper. You can mix colour and black and white prints, and can vary the size of the pictures. You have to be careful where you do this, so think about the rooms and walls in your house which would suit this kind of display. A study, living room or cloakroom work well.  The frames do not have to be the same but sticking to one colour will bring it all together. Many larger stores stock a variety of frames in the same colour, and these would be the perfect purchase to fulfill this vision. Ensure the distance between each frame is consistent and the effect will be very pleasing to visitors and family.

Why not check out our Pinterest page for further framing ideas. We look forward to seeing you in the shop to pick out your next wall addition!

For more information about framing options, call the gallery on 01256 701082 or email theframe@btinternet.com

We are often then asked for advice on how to hang pictures fro our customers, so we blogged about it. Read on for our advice.