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Artwork: Choosing the Picture Perfect Pieces for Your Space

We’d be willing to bet that if you’re here reading our design blog, you probably come across lots of wonderful art in your hunt for great ways to stylize your living spaces. But how do you know if what you see on Pinterest or Etsy will look as great in your space as it does online?

Lots of our clients have told us that when they walk into a room, they can feel it immediately when a piece of art just doesn’t work, but they have never been able to put their finger on the reason. Believe it or not, there is some science behind the way designers choose and hang art in a room, and we’re here to share some insight on that with you today!

The Golden Rules

We know, we know – in the world of design, rules are made to be broken. While we can’t disagree with you on that, we can promise you that there are a few key guidelines to keep in mind that will cover almost any space you’re looking to fill, and knock it out of the park every time.

  1. Don’t go to high! The center of your artwork should be around 58” from the floor (give or take a few inches if necessary) or 8-12” above the piece of furniture below it. Nobody wants to get a pain in their neck to get a view of your favorite piece. Art galleries around the world follow this rule for a reason, trust us!

  2. Don’t go too small! A tiny piece on a large wall or over a large piece of furniture does not give the illusion of a larger room, it just looks incomplete! Art should be at least 2/3 the length of the furniture below it or the width of the wall.

  3. Don’t leave too much space! You can follow the first two rules even when using multiple pieces and we encourage you to do so, just make sure that your pieces are between 2-3” apart so that they appear to be cohesive rather than separate.

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Gallery Walls

We love nothing more than a great gallery wall here at EH Design and we’re happy to share some of our favorite tips and tricks with you.

  1. Feel free to play with different types of art – the gallery wall doesn’t need to be made up exclusively of “traditional” art – throw in some other objects that are meaningful to you simply love.

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  1. Choose pieces that are all different, or all alike. If you decide to go with different pieces, mix matted with unmated, sizes, shapes, colors – go nuts! Just ensure that the spacing is consistent. We also adore the look of a uniform gallery wall, especially in a room like an office where order and organization are key.

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We could write an entire book about gallery walls – let us know in the comments if you’d like another blog dedicated to them in the future!

Other Tidbits

  1. Leaning artwork on a mantle or shelf is an amazing way to make your space feel cozier and more creative. You don’t need to hang every single piece!

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  1. Gallery lighting can really bring attention to pieces that you want to be the focal point of your room, and can be functional as well in a reading nook or office.

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  1. When trying to size art to hang above a fireplace or lean on the mantle, try to match the opening of the fireplace as closely as possible. This is a sure way to make sure you aren’t over or under-sizing.

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For more art (and gallery wall!) inspiration, visit us over at our website and browse some of our completed interior design projects. For more information about how EH Design can help transform your home, feel free to contact us here. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!


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