Hang Art Like a Pro

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Hang Art Like a Pro

Hang Art Like a Pro

This week’s column is short and sweet – it won’t take long to find your perfect picture hanging combination after you read this!


I often suggest to clients that they follow the line of the stairs when putting up pictures along a stairwell wall… if you keep with the diagonal flow of the stairs, you’ll have a fluid grouping that looks great in no time.


This trick works great for over fireplace mantels as well: layer your pieces. Include tall and large, and small and wide frames or canvases, and work from back to front… keep the big guys in the back and slightly off center, then layer in your other frames. Leave a little space in between each piece; every composition needs a little ‘white space’ as I like to call it – it’s exactly like writing a resume… the reader (or viewer in this case) needs a few visual pauses, otherwise everything looks cluttered and messy.


Creating grids of pictures is extremely impactful and very contemporary – so if you’re needing a modern kick, line your pieces up in a row of 3, and add two or three additional rows beneath for your very own graphic-looking grid. If you’re tight on wall space, line them up in a row of 3 or 5, spaced a few inches apart from one another.


Take one central image or frame (it should be the largest one you have), and hang it in the middle of your wall, or over the middle of your sofa. Next, take 4 identical sized frames and split them on either side of your middle picture.


I really like the look this combination makes: take two large images of the same size and space them out approximately 36″ – 42″ apart. In the middle, add either 4 smaller frames in a grid, or hang one panoramic frame along the inside at the bottom, then hang 2 square frames above. Ikea is a great place to find all kinds of fairly inexpensive wood, metal, and glass clip frames.


There’s no rule that says pictures have to line up in a straight row, or need to be along the same plane. So consider creating a few separate groupings on a large wall with high ceilings… stagger the planes that each group runs along, and be sure to keep the top and bottom group light (use smaller looking frames), and the middle group grounded (add your heaviest and weightiest looking pieces here).

Think outside the box! That’s such cliché sounding advice, but it’s always true when it comes to art: a single print over a sofa won’t cut it any longer now that you have so many other options to choose from!


Crispin Butterfield owns Urban Theory Interior Design, and has been designing savvy residential and commercial spaces across Western Canada for the past 14 years