Whether you’re a new homeowner with only a few framed posters to your name, or a veteran collector with scores of valuable pieces, how and where to hang artwork can be a daunting task. We asked area designers for advice on how to make the most of what you’ve got.

-Groupings are great ways to use lots of smaller photos or pictures to creatively fill a space. But the items shouldn’t be placed haphazardly. Establish some sort of grid so all the pieces form a square on the outside, or so there’s a central line that runs vertical or horizontal. Charlotte interior designer Teal Michel, a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers, recommends having all the items in a group share a subject matter. “You don’t want to have a landscape of Alaska, a picture of your vacation in Nantucket and then a photo of your Scout troop,” she says. Instead, hang a grouping of sports photos, or color travel photos; and keep the colors of the frames the same. For longer walls, lay out the grouping in a horizontal format; go vertical on short walls.

-Hang things at a comfortable eye-line. People often hang art too high or too low, depending on their height. Shoot for about 5 feet from the floor. “You want to hang things or position things at a comfortable eye-line -unless it’s a mirror you’ll be using on a day-to-day basis,” says J’aime Kent, a Charlotte interior designer and professor of the Art Institute of Charlotte.

-Lay out the artwork on the floor first. With groupings, it helps you fine-tune the spacing, Michel says.

-Look into specialized lighting. It will bring out nuances in artwork that might not be visible otherwise. Even low-wattage light can damage artwork, so keep the lights off when you’re not in the room. Never use halogen bulbs to light artwork, they get too hot.

-Protect your fine artwork from too much sunlight. Put fine art pieces in a place where you have control over how much light hits them. Another way to protect art is to frame it with glare-free glass with a UV coating.

-If you’ve got big walls but few pieces of artwork, hang sconces, plates or small decorative shelves next to the artwork to make it fill a space. Collectibles are a great way to add interest to an area, Kent says.

-You don’t need something on every wall. “Pick your favorite things, be creative about how you can put things together and decide what your focal point is going to be,” Kent says. Better to have one or two impactful areas in a room than to have several pieces spread out all over the place.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.