Mix and Match Art for an Inviting Display

Are you facing a large empty wall and trying to decide how to dress it with art? One common choice is to find a generous-sized piece of art to absorb the space. This can add drama to a room and provide a burst of color.

Tapestries, quilts and other wall hangings also make an effective large-format choice. If you want an old-world look, you could visit a local architectural salvage store to explore the possibilities there. Many carry everything from stone carvings to retrieved gates and other wrought iron pieces that work well on a wall.

If you would rather showcase a selection of smaller pieces, here are a few suggestions for you.

  • Select a variety of sizes so that you create an interesting display.
  • Consider adding one or two shelves to set images on for a different look.
  • Don’t feel obliged to have all the frames match; a combination can be very inviting.
  • Don’t limit yourself to photos or paintings; look for embossed art pieces, plates or other items with some dimension to add personality.

To set up a display using a number of pieces, start by making a plan on paper and then try the arrangement on the floor before putting in any nails. If you’re still not sure of your plan, cut rectangles out of wrapping paper to match the sizes of your art and masking tape your plan on the wall. That will give you a more visual understanding of your arrangement.

Replace the rectangles with the art, checking to see that your nails coordinate with the hanging hooks or wire on the back. Start with the largest piece and work out from there.

This process can be time-consuming, but when you’re done you’ll have a lovely and personalized display.

Choosing the Right Wall Art for Your Home

When it comes to decorating your walls, everyone has their own taste and there is no right or wrong choice – or almost no wrong choice. However, art is more than selection. It is also placement and setting. For example, this gentleman’s fish is positioned against a strongly patterned wall, distracting from the power of his trophy. It would be much more effective against a plain wall, preferably where people wouldn’t have to sit underneath it. Here are some basic tips for making the most of the art on your walls.

Consider proportion and placement: This fish, while centered against the pattern on the wall, is too close to the wall on the right. Be sure to center larger pieces in a room or they can overpower one side of a wall. On the other hand, a smaller piece of art shouldn’t be asked to support an entire large wall. Either place it on a smaller area or combine it with other smaller art to make an arrangement. Another big mistake people make is hanging art too high. If you hang it at eye level you can see it without looking up.

Select the right hanging method: The ropes holding this fish in place create a sense that the fish may not be stable against the wall. This approach to hanging also diminishes the feeling of movement this fish could create. Since all trophy fish are actually plaster reproductions, there would be no issue with adding a bar on the back to create an invisible hanging system.

Take your time choosing the right art and the right placement. This can make a big difference in the look and feel of your home. Experiment before you decide: Set art down on the floor or a table under your selected location or locations. Spend a few days imagining the art where you’re thinking of placing it. If you still like it in a few days, go ahead and hang it.