You have made your to-do list this weekend. Your projects include hanging your children’s baby baptism portraits on the wall. Your children are now 5 and 7. You have no excuses any longer. Part of this procrastination has stemmed from too many misfires in your previous wall display/picture hanging efforts. The empty nail holes in your walls serve as a reminder of these botched attempts. Well put your fears to rest, find that hammer and nail and get ready to blow the dust off those frames. Evy McPherson from Evy McPherson Interiors is going to guide us through her no-fail ideas and tips for designing the perfect wall display.
BACKGROUND: I’ve been blessed to have had a full design career in Nashville until 2005 when I had a “shopping accident” and bought a house in Mexico. I had the fortune of living in San Miguel de Allende for 3 glorious years where almost every weekend, I’d visit a new city or market. Since returning to the states, in addition to my work as an interior designer, I’ve developed a line of jewelry and antiques that I sell on Taigan.com as well as in juried art and antique shows throughout the country.
This is one of my favorite facets of designing a space. From the selection of what to display whether it’s an original from a revered artist or a kindergartener’s first finger painting. For me, coming up with what to put IN the frame is as much fun as enjoying the finished product. This could be a small architectural fragment, treasured keepsake or a faded, wrinkled photograph; all can look quite special when framed (or sometimes unframed) and thoughtfully placed on a wall.
A few rules of thumb to go by:
Height – you can’t go wrong with eye-level. Always important to take into consideration is ‘whose’ eye-level it is when installing. If it’s some place where there are a lot of tall people, installing it at my eye level (5’3’ tall on a good hair day) would be way too low. If I want to create a little drama, I’ll hang something really low or off-center.
Occasionally, hanging something a bit lower than eye-level can bring attention to an area, such as next to a chair, over a sofa or desk.
Determining Placement – If it’s a single piece, it can be as simple as someone holding it up for you to see or you can make a paper template and put on the wall using removable tape. You can get a really good idea of how it will look, make the adjustment and go for it. Often, if there are multiples, I’ll spread the pieces out on the floor in front of the wall where I’m installing, playing musical chairs of sorts to determine the perfect layout and spacing.
Another factor to take into consideration is size. Using something large or over-scaled, like the large canvas over the small-ish loveseat can be dramatic.
Same can be said for small pieces strategically placed to make an area more interesting such as over a doorway, in a bookcase or shelving area as in this wine cellar.
Other than that it’s pretty simple……
I can’t say enough about the impact of a collection or grouping of pieces, whether it’s prints identically framed, a collection of mirrors, photographs, antique plates, and the list goes on. Collections can be symmetrically and evenly spaced on a single wall
or spread throughout an entire room (Jackye Lanham, designer)
Some of my favorite arrangements are when you place art working around the architecture, wall lighting, or other decorative pieces or accessories.
The type or style of frames selected can influence the overall feel, whether using the traditional wood frame or doing something a bit unconventional. Here is one of my favorites that depart from the norm……. the cello hung on the wall, independent of the frame is kind of an “oh-by-the-way” approach.
Ways to display wall art other than using the traditional wood frame are to use all acrylic boxes, clipboards or to suspend pieces from a cable using clips or clothespins. (Both images from Remodelista; clipboards, the design of James Huniford and wallartfromcurtainrodstylefiles )
And ……what NOT to do in the world of picture hanging….never hang something just because you have it. Much better to have a blank wall than use something that’s not absolutely special to you!
Thank you Evy! For more information about Evy and her work, please read below!
Evy McPherson Interiors
(Image #1: thecraftingchicks.com ; Images 2-8: Evy Mcpherson; Images 9-10: Remodelista; Image 11: Evy Mcpherson)
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