How to Place Art in Your Space to Make it Shine (Part I: Three Pro Tips)

No CommentsPosted June 26, 2020 by Emily McInnes

Our past blogs have explored how art can refresh your space and enhance your mood, how to find an art style that suits you, and how to evaluate art so you know that it’s the right choice. This time we’re taking a more practical approach: once you receive your artwork, how do you show it at its best?

There are a few things to consider before installing your new artwork in your home or office. In this blog we dive into three key things to consider when it comes to placement and presentation, and our next blog we will feature our FREE guide on how to hang artwork (and keep it in mint condition!).

So: you’ve purchased an artwork and it’s arrived! First things first: if it’s unframed, our advice is to keep it wrapped up. I know! You want to see it, but if you’re planning to get it framed, it really is best to wait for the professionals to open the package for you, so the artwork doesn’t get damaged.

Otherwise, if it arrives ready to be installed, are you sure you know where to put it? Here are the three key points to consider:

Image courtesy Tricon House. Artwork by Jennifer Lefort.

1. Size Matters
Firstly, consider the space: both the location where the art will live, and the space the artwork will fill. A large artwork often looks best as the stand alone piece, for instance, a large painting above a couch or more than one piece of furniture to unify a space. Smaller works look lovely placed together, whether side by side, or in a salon style.

Considering the height of your ceiling and furniture is important – while it has to physically fit on the wall, you don’t want it to feel squishy. If you do have a large living room with a huge couch, consider making a statement with a super-sized piece. It’s great to have one large piece as the “feature,” something that makes a statement that other, smaller, pieces can hinge onto. It will make the grandest first impression.

Small corner walls can be accented with small paintings to make them more of a space-within-a-space instead of a forgotten spot. At the end of the day, there really are no precise measurements to follow as long as you’re happy with your art, but there are some tips that you really should follow to avoid mistakes – see next tip.

Image Courtesy Tricon House. Artwork by Julia Callon.

2. Choose a Practical Location
Consider the activities that take place in the area where you wish to place your artwork. A large painting looks great above your sectional, but make sure you’ve pushed the couch far enough out from the wall so that it doesn’t hit  your head when you sit down (this is a far better solution than what we often see happening, where people hang the work too high).

Kitchens and bathrooms are a great place to hang art, just be careful to consider the amount of humidity or potential for spills that it may have to endure (we can suggest framing styles that can help to solve for this!).

Your kids’ playroom may not be the ideal spot for a one-of-a-kind paper sculpture, but it would be perfect on your office shelf. Art in a stairwell is gorgeous, but if you tend to hit the wall every time you lug your laundry hamper down, you may want to reconsider. If you want to put a piece in the bathroom, for instance, but you’re worried about humidity, consider putting it just outside of the room in the hallway, where  it will greet you each time you pass by. For a kitchen, hang it in a place that you feel is far enough away from your prep space. Use your common sense and you’ll be fine!


Image courtesy Ming Wu. Artwork by Ryan Schude.

3. Lighting, Lighting, Lighting!
Lastly, and perhaps most important of all: a key ingredient people often forget is the light, both natural and artificial. Where does the light source come from in the space you intend to hang your art? If you hold it up and the art seems slightly muted, try adjusting the lighting by adding a spotlight or a brighter bulb. I guarantee that lighting is a game-changer and will literally make your art pop! To test this theory, try using the flashlight feature on your phone to highlight a section of the work–see the difference? Galleries and museums always pay careful attention to lighting, and to ensure you bring the best out in your collection, you should too!

Another pro tip is to avoid direct sunlight directly on your artwork. Many frames now come with UV protective glass and plexi that helps to prevent the damaging effects of direct sunlight. All of our encased frames come with UV protection for just this reason. Some window treatments that allow light but not direct sun inside would  also work well.

(You are always welcome to send us your questions. We love talking art and if you need some advice, we will happily help you find the perfect spot in your space!)

By taking our advice into consideration, you can rest assured that your artwork will be well protected – and your space will shine!

Stay tuned – in our next article we’ll provide you with practical steps on how to correctly install your new artwork in the location you’ve chosen, and how to easily care for it (with a FREE downloadable guide). Subscribe to our mailing list to ensure you don’t miss it!

Cheers,

Rose Ekins
Director

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