It's a question I get asked a lot, should I hang my art work or should I lean it on a buffet or cabinet. I found a great little intro via Elle into the thought process of whether or not to hang, at the very least use it as a conversation to start the decision making.
Guess what? You don't actually have to hang your art. It's 2018—feel free to lean that bad boy against a wall.
But if you do want to hang the work, let's get down to basics. The bottom of the work (or its frame) should only be 8-16 inches above your sofa or table. That's right, hang low. You want to position the work so that the heart of the piece is at eye level, and unless you're Michael Jordan, you're going to have to lower your hanging expectations.
If you're planning to hang multiple smaller artworks in columns and/or rows, stick to the same guideline: start the lowest row only 8-16 inches above your piece of furniture. This will help create a unified design statement.
If you're ready to take the plunge and lean rather than hang, shelves and fireplaces are a great focal point in any room, but sometimes floors are great too! Yup, you heard me, place the art on the floor, (framed of course). This is a great way to dress down a room and create a relaxed and welcoming vibe.
A Color for Every Mood
Choose colors based on the mood you want to set in each room. For example, gray is calming, so consider basing your bedroom design or theme on different gradients of gray. Yellow sets a welcoming, cheerful mood, so a piece of artwork that has a bright yellow hue is perfect for the living room. And works that scream with red or orange are amazing in the dining room, and will spark lively discussions between dinner guests.
Design a Room Around a Piece of Art
To begin, find your focal point: Walk into the room and identify where your eyes land first; this is the perfect place for a piece of statement artwork, and you can base the rest of the room's design on it. This can be as easy as picking out one of the secondary colors in your central piece of artwork and streaming it throughout the room—an accent pillow here, a lampshade there. The theme doesn't have to take over the design, but it will help the eye connect all the pieces in the room, and create a unifying statement in your design.
One of my favorite ways to build a theme is through texture. You can have as many colors or patterns as you like, but if they are in the same fabric or texture, it really brings the room together in a subliminal yet effective way.
Remember, you can always use your art to mimic the life of the room. Put simply: If the artwork is of food, hang it in the kitchen, if it's of a group of friends laughing, hang it in the living room. But don't take this too literally or else it could get weird fast in the bathroom…
Don't Forget the Bathroom!
Think of your bathroom as a gallery—the perfect place to hang your quirkiest art pieces. Get a little crazy and show your personality. Some of the best art can be a bit uncomfortable at first glance, but once you really see it, you won't be able to stop admiring it. The added bonus here is that your guests will get a kick out of the works in a private setting (and they can stare for as long as they want!).
So there you have it!
Hopefully this gives you some ideas to start going over to come up with some sort of starting point. Good luck and let us know if you have any questions.