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Video:How to Hang Art

with Anne-Marie Barton

Art can be a wonderful way to inject personality into a room. Get a few tips on hanging art, from making sure it's level to grouping things into attractive displays.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Hang Art

There's no question that art transforms your home like few other design elements can. Hung art defines your personal aesthetic. It says, this collection is important enough to see every day of our lives.

Choose Art to Hang

The first step is easy: select the art you love. Forget about trendy. If it speaks to you, use it. Still lifes, landscapes, photography, portraits... anything can comprise an artistic moment.

Where to Hang Art

Once you've chosen pieces, scout out possible hanging locations. If you're developing a grouping, test your placement on the floor first. Groupings like this one should start higher, because you'll be adding pieces as you go along. In general, larger pieces look better on top, smaller ones on the bottom. Offsetting works in a collection, but if you're trying to achieve simplicity, then don't be afraid to line things up.

Proper Height to Hang Art

If there's one thing that people consistently get wrong when it comes to placing art, it's hanging height. You may have heard that artwork must be hung at eye level. Not true. Pieces should be placed in relation to what's under and around them. Typically, art is hung too high and should be lowered. If your ceiling is 15 feet high, for instance, pictures should still hang just 5 and a half feet off the ground. Above-mantle pieces, if the art isn't leaning, it should be hung approximately 6 inches over the mantle. Leave 10 inches clearance above sofas and headboards. Be wary of hanging anything above arched furniture, because the lines conflict.

Before You Hang Art

When you've finalized your placement, it's time for framing. Think of frames as the final signature on a piece of artwork, like shoes with an outfit, they make all the difference! In general, for larger works, wider frames are more decorative and ornamental, and thinner frames are more contemporary and subtle. Take into consideration how much space you're trying to fill. If you need the piece to be larger, choose a wider molding. If you're creating a grouping, you may want to control framing costs by keeping things simple.

How to Hang Art

To hang art, a tape measure, hammer and small nails are essential. If the art is heavy, you'll need wall anchors, likely two per painting. Some people use picture hangers with integrated hooks, which are inexpensive and effective, but no better than a nail, in my experience.

Use a pencil or tape to mark the top of the frame while your partner experiments with different heights, then measure off the distance from the top to the nail crosswire. This is where you insert the nail.

If you really want to be sure of nail placement, I recommend cutting butcher paper to represent the pieces, hanging it and leaving it up for a few days to get a feel for it before you do any hammering.

Hanging Art Securely

If you're concerned about securing the hang, either because of child safety, or other structural reasons, you'll want to secure the work to the wall with hardware mounted on both sides.

Using hooks with holes, insert nails or screws and hang the piece directly on them. This method does require more accurate measurements and time.

What you put on your walls will change the way you feel about your home, and offer a window into your life for you and your guests to enjoy.

I'm Anne-Marie Barton, About Home & Garden.
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