Hanging art

BlogHer Original Post

This past weekend, instead of resting as is tradition on Labor Day here in the United States, I set to work on redecorating my studio.  (I also set to work on making my husband help me, on this his Labor Day holiday as well.  I am abusive, I know).  In coming up with my new decorating scheme, there were particular aspects on which I was very certain.  I was quick to decide, for example, that the colour of my walls would be "Beach Water."  I knew that the grey carpet I bought at IKEA for $29.99 would be perfect.  I even knew that I wanted to arrange the books in my bookshelves according to the colour of their spines.

What I was conflicted about, however, was how to hang my art.

I'm always so amazed when I go to a really well-put-together home at how assured and confident the homeowners seem when displaying their art.  How do they know, for example, that the large, oversized painting would like perfect in their tiny foyer?  How did they realize that even though the main colour on a certain piece is startling, it would be the perfect complement to the main colours that were displayed in the room?  When grouping many pieces together over the sofa, how did they know that they'd reached the right number of paintings: why not more?  Why not less?

As you can tell, I'm a bit conflicted when it comes to hanging art.  Luckily, however, I'm addicted to home decor shows.

I started watching them all.  I bought home decor magazines.  I combed Flickr, and fastidiously kept up with all my favourite decorating and design weblogs.

Eventually, as you might have predicted, I decided to just go with what feels right -- and I admit, I'm pleased enough with the result.  I don't know if it's good home decor, but it does feel like me, and that's good enough.

You know, until I find the next piece of art I want to hang.

How do you choose where to hang your art?  Are you a statement-piece-kind-of-person, or do you prefer to create art vignettes?

If you have any photos demonstrating how you hang your art, I'd love if you'd share them in the comments below.  In the meantime, here are some great inspiration posts from some of my favourite bloggers:

  • decor8 recently featured some photographs from the Swedish magazine, Skona Hem.  I particularly loved the last few photographs of this post, with the beautiful vignettes hung over the sideboard and cabinets.  What makes them work is the fact that they're all so similarly framed, and so they look like they belong together.  Fantastic.
  • Desire to Inspire featured the interior designer Susie Sarlo, whose interiors are stunning.  What I find fascinating are that her walls are generally pretty bare, yet the rooms she designs are anything but.  It points out that perhaps the hanging of art, in some cases, might be overrated.
  • And finally, Tina from English Muse shared her home on decor8, and I love how she used Polaroids to create a homey, personal art installation on, of all things, her refrigerator.  Such a great lesson that art and displaying art doesn't have to be expensive.


Karen is a writer and a photographer in Houston, Texas.  You can read/see more of her work at Chookooloonks.



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