Frame of Mind
& Pamela Blythe
There’s no better way of expressing your personality in your home than what you hang on your walls. To anchor a collection of paintings or photographs on the wall, try unifying the framing. Frames are more popular and less expensive than ever. You can purchase frames as a set or individually to fit your theme. Using white mats with all white or all black frames is an easy way of making a disparate collection into a striking group. If you follow this route hang all pictures together on one wall rather than scattering them around a room. This will also unify individual pieces and make them look as if they are part of a collection.
There are two ways to group your collection. The first, symmetrical, is about balanced proportions. A grid of images evenly spaced around a center point is the most basic example. If you like the gallery effect, hang a single row of three or more items. The second, asymmetrical, has beauty as well. An asymmetrical arrangement gives your living space a casual, spontaneous feel. This grouping works best with an odd number of art pieces or when you have different sized frames hung at random on the wall.
Hanging a grouping that is too small for the furniture under it is a common mistake. A small picture over a large sofa will look awkward. Add enough small pictures to cover a large enough area and you will be set. Plan your arrangement so that it covers at least two thirds of the wall space over the furniture item in question. Make sure that it is not wider than the furniture itself.
Color is the starting point for tying together art and photo collections. Add a touch of color to a solid white wall by painting it a color that suits the general ambience of the room and flows with the collection. Generally any type of artwork looks best on a background of color.
Line them up
Arrange all of your photos along a vertical line. This works well in a space with high ceilings or a very vertical structure like a beam.
Inside the lines
Tape out a rectangular area that you’d like your photos to fill, (blue painters tape works well), and arrange them loosely within the borders of the box. This is an easy way to decorate and oddly shaped or narrow space. Use the tape to keep the space between the frames equal. In this arrangement you can use the same or different sizes frames.
Above and Below
Using a vertical line, arrange groups of photos above and below the line. Aim to cover about the same area above and below to avoid the top or bottom heavy arrangement.
This is my favorite tool for hanging groups of artwork or photos, they come in strips and adhere to the back of most frames and it is pretty hard to mess up. You can purchase them in any picture hanging department.