Welcome to post number 102! As I have been super busy lately and haven’t had much time to really get into the posts, I thought breaching the hundred post mark a good opportunity to blather at will!

Now, I know I tend to be rather horribly opinionated for a little owl, but if there is one thing that always makes me cringe it is when people hang art too high in their homes. It is another one of those things that physically affects me as an inward, cringing tightening in the gut, and makes me immediately want to pull a hammer out and fix! (hard when you are watching H&G shows on tv!)

That said, here are some cringe-worthy examples from Apartment Therapy’s archives of how to and how NOT to hang work.

Miles above the bed- no.

At cozy viewing level whilst both standing and on bed – yes.

Dangling above sideboard – no.

Tucked in close to cabinet below, creating a grouping by proximity -yes.

Closer to ceiling than sofa -NO! Oh no…!

6-12 inches above -yes.

Now this one really saddens me! So close to being fabulous with the figure’s collar echoing the blue in the wallpaper, it becomes a no, as it is hung a touch too high for the objects to read as a group. The extra inch or two gives enough of a gap between objects to read as 2 things, making them compete for the eye.

So close, but still a – no.

I have Photoshop-ed the image above to demonstrate how much cooler (I think, obviously!) the hang would have looked off to one side and an inch or two lower.

It now feels cozier, and lets the eye flow around the objects comfortably, so you aren’t fighting to look at the picture and the objects below separately.

This next example is a great yes. Tucked in close enough to everything to make it work as a set. The eyes travel around these objects quite nicely -up the lamp in the corner, scanning to the right along the painting, then down to the coral, desk, and back again in a circle. Beauty.

Here are another  2 great examples of picture height.

This last one demonstrates a nice grasp of proportion. A more advanced grouping, everything here is well balanced, including the picture on the right hand wall, which at first seems off on it’s own, but as is exactly in the middle between the 2 on the adjacent wall- tying it into the grouping- it adds interest to the rest of the group.

When hanging work, start looking at what is below as something that is going to work WITH what is hung above. Have someone hold the picture a few inches above the sofa, cabinet, bed, etc. while you stand back to see the effect, then slowly raise it, inch by inch until it feels like it is far enough from the object below without being divorced from it as a grouping. Then stop.

The amount of wall above the picture doesn’t matter – it is the grouping that is most important and creates a sense of calm and comfort, as your eyes are flowing smoothly around the objects.

Also, try asymmetrical hangs.  Like the mock up with the blue wallpaper above, asymmetrical hung objects can be a bit higher, creating a quirky  grouping with the object/s below, and can add huge personality to a corner of a room. Just like in art, negative space is just as important in a composition as the objects occupying the space.