Using art in your home to reflect your style
It's said ‘a house without art isn’t a home’ and we totally agree! Artwork, prints and photographs add so much character and personality to a space. Often collected over time, art not only expresses personal style and taste, but also acts as a fond reminder of people, travels and experiences. It's something that we respond to in an emotional way.
A large artwork on an open wall can bring the elements of a room together, or provide the perfect jumping off point for choosing colours and accessories for the rest of the room. Even smaller spaces in your home can benefit from the addition of some art, whether it’s hung on the wall, or placed in the back of a styled shelf to add interest.
The key thing to remember is that adding art to your home doesn’t need to be stressful or expensive. Think of it as a hobby, collecting pieces as you find them over time. Artworks can be small, or large, framed or unframed. They don’t even need to strictly speaking 'pictures' hung on the wall - even objects can be hung as art, and incorporated into your own unique home style.
Once you’ve found some art for your home, what’s the best way to display it?
General Hanging Guidelines
Although there are exceptions to the rule, a great place to start with determining the height to hang your artworks at is to measure 150cm from the floor. This is an approximate guide as to where the centre of your artwork should sit so that the piece is at your eye-line. If you’re hanging a group of artworks as opposed to one large piece, the centrepiece of the group should be hung so that its centre is at 150cm from the floor.
If you’re putting together a gallery wall or a group of artworks, you could work with a common style to tie them together.For example, your artworks could all be sketches, photographs, or oil paintings.
If your grouping incorporates a range of styles, a common theme can tie them together, such as all artworks having the same colour frame, or involving similar subject matter (e.g. all botanical prints, all seascapes etc).
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Smaller artworks are super versatile, and can be either hung on their own or in groups; or used to style up open shelves or a console. Generally smaller pieces are lighter weight, giving you more flexibility with options for hanging.
If you’re not necessarily handy, perhaps rent, or don’t want to damage your walls, hanging art can seem daunting. In this case, quality removable hooks like those from 3M can be a great solution! So long as you follow the instructions and weight limits carefully and ensure your surface is in good condition, removable hooks will provide you with the flexibility to enjoy art without making holes in your walls.
Here, we’re hanging a pair of prints on the side of a cupboard in a kitchen to add a little character to the space. These prints are fitted with sawtooth hangers, which require slightly different hooks than the normal styles you might be used to seeing in the hardware store. The hanging part needs to be at the very top so you can’t see it above the frame.
The panel here is laminate, but the same hooks would work on walls as well. The surface was clean and dry, according to the hanging instructions. We measured carefully before applying the hooks so that the frames would hang directly one above the other. All up, hanging these prints took less than ten minutes and the bonus is, they are completely removable without damage to the panel.
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Large Artworks and Mirrors
Larger pieces are generally heavier, and require care and attention to detail to hang.
If you own your home, you may want to fix your artworks more permanently to the walls. For larger and heavier pieces, safety is key. It’s always a good idea to ask the advice of a trusted builder, handyman, or art hanger who can confirm the best thing to use for your wall type, taking into account the weight of the artwork, and the support it will need. If you’re not confident hanging your larger artworks yourself, consider using the services of a professional to help you!
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If you’re lucky enough to have picture rails on the walls, picture hanging wires are now readily available from hardware stores, and can be a great option for hanging your artworks. Be sure to check the weight limits of any picture hanging wires, as well as the fixings on the back of the frames before hanging your artworks.
If your art collection is extensive, or you want flexibility to move your pieces around regularly, a gallery system could be worth considering as well!
If you’re renting, or would rather not fix your art to your walls permanently, some clever positioning can work just as well. Carefully place lightweight artworks on a sideboard or console to add style to your room. Larger, taller pieces can be floor standing; and you can even layer a few artworks together along a console or shelf for a unique style that brings character and depth to your room.
However you decide to style them, artworks will add a beautiful, decorative layer to your home that you, your family and friends can all enjoy!