You’ve received your beautiful custom framed piece of art back in the mail from Simply Framed. Now what? We’ve partnered with Jay Sacher, illustrator of the must-have book, How To Hang A Picture and Other Essential Lessons for the Stylish Home, for a monthly how-to series on hanging your artwork. Penned by author Suzanne LaGasa, the book spills all the instructions, tips and tricks to make you a hanging pro (plus, you get to enjoy Jay's incredible illustrations). Framing—and hanging—have never been easier!
Waking up every day in the Tate, the Louvre or the Met may be a long-held fantasy of ours, but let’s be real: We live in homes, not museums. So, when hanging a custom framed art collection, it’s important to take into account all the features (good and bad) that make a home special, and use them to plan how you'll display artwork. Hanging art in your house shouldn’t be an afterthought; it’s about more than just putting art on the walls for art’s sake. Here are 6 tips for how to hang your collection to show both your artwork and your home in the best light.
Give walls breathing space to reduce the feeling of clutter. Most of us have some kind of clutter in our homes. Our art needs to exist alongside the many objects we own, and strategically spacing your artwork can actually provide some respite from chaos. Consider creating small clusters of custom framed art with expansive areas in between them and letting larger framed pieces stand alone on walls.
Consider a shelf to keep custom framed photos and artwork contained on one designated section of a wall.
A squeaky clean statement on your walls can juxtapose whatever everyday objects—shoes, bags, papers, etc.—might get left at the bottom of the staircase. Photo by @sharstinm, large custom framed photograph by Max Wanger.
Mix and match. Mixing different mediums and styles of art is a necessity for hanging all of the artwork you love in a limited space. That being said, it's still important to consider how the pieces will relate. Editor Nicola Trezzi suggests thinking of your wall as “the plate, and the art on it as your meal.” So, while artworks might be quite varied, they should still work together to tell your unique story.
Your art collection should have as many facets as your character, so don't be afraid to mix different objects to form a cohesive whole, such as the masks and arrows on this varied gallery wall. Jordan Provost and Jason Wong, Brooklyn, NY.
Lonny mag editor Cat Dash incorporated a textile, a feather and a personal note into her dining room gallery wall, which stays unified with a cool blue color scheme and abstract patterns throughout. Photo by Genevieve Garruppo for Lonny.
Balance a multi-purpose space with your choices of art. As lifestyles change, so can the needs of a room. Your choice of artwork may help lend dual purpose to a space that serves different needs. For instance, sophisticated art hung up high can make a kid's play area multifunctional.
Custom framed paintings—hung where your toddler can't reach them—can elevate a children's playroom. Lisa Wong Jackson and Nick Jackson, Berkeley, CA.
Take away the stork and the changing station, and you're left with a beautiful custom framed textile and grown-up interior in Liz Libre's Brooklyn abode. Photo by Alpha Smoot for A Cup of Jo. Styling by Lizzy Ott.
Compartmentalize a space with your artwork. Art can help distinguish or connect spaces in your home. Different styles of art might designate separate areas in an open floor plan, while pieces that relate to each other may bridge gaps between rooms.
Custom framed art can define an area that would otherwise seem ambiguous, such as this cheerful breakfast nook.
Here, artwork and shelving transform what might just feel like "that random space under the stairs" into an inviting area. Photo by @piawinther.
Consider unsightly fixtures and appliances when hanging art. There are those fixtures in a home that are more "necessary" than they are aesthetically pleasing. Rather than attempt to hide exposed hardware like heating pipes, circuit boxes or light switches, try integrating them into your display or painting them the same color as your wall.
The buzzer and light switch almost become a part of this monochromatic gallery wall. Kate Lacey, Brooklyn, NY.
The clean white frames of this gallery wall echo the permanent fixtures, so the switch and outlet seem to disappear in the grid.
Enliven dark spaces with your art. Art can brighten up the smallest and darkest corners of your house. How you ask? Break the 57-inch rule and hang artwork slightly lower in small rooms to create an enlarged sense of space. Or contrast the small size of the room by hanging an extra-large piece of art on a dark wall, which can lend a feeling of expansion to a cramped area.
The right custom framed piece of art (and paint color) can make a small, dark room look bigger. Stephen Kanner, Los Angeles, CA.
Displaying your art at lower than 57 inches can make a small space look bigger. This tiny area between two doors is brightened by airy art prints set against a bold blue shade. Photo by @witandelight_.
Be sure to pick up your copy of How To Hang A Picture today for many more details and pointers on how to hang like a pro. And stay tuned for our next handy how-to with more of Jay's gorgeous illustrations coming soon on the blog! Happy hanging!
All illustrations by Jay Sacher.