If you shudder when you walk into a house and see a hodgepodge of pictures hanging on a wall, with no rhyme or reason, then you have a good idea of what not to do when hanging frames. As an interior design graduate, I've learned a few useful tips for hanging frames on a picture wall. I have moved from one home to another numerous times over the past few years, and I know at a glance when something is unbalanced. I'm going to share some advice with you for hanging frames on a wall.
Make the reasoning behind your arrangement obvious. There needs to be a reason for hanging something in a particular place. Sometimes, it's obvious -- a large painting over a sofa makes sense, as does an arrangement of a few medium-sized pictures on a large wall. For a series of pictures, there are a number of ways to arrange them: in a horizontal line, in a vertical line -- even in a square or rectangle. Even in a hodgepodge, the edges need to line up and there should be the same amount of spacing between each frame.
Center wall hangings or arrangements at eye level. What's the point of a mirror that nobody can use? Mirrors and other wall hangings should be centered at eye level for the average person, which happens to be 5 feet and 6 inches tall. They may be lower in rooms where everybody is going to be sitting down, like in a dining room or living room. Nobody wants to strain their necks to look at a beautiful piece of art.
Frames don't have to match, but they should have a commonality. In fact, it can be a lot of fun to choose a variety of different frames for a picture wall. To avoid a messy-looking wall, choose frames that have something in common: color, style, material, and so on. A thin, black contemporary frame will look really weak next to a heavy, ornate one in another color.
Negative space on a wall is not just good -- it's necessary. Negative space is simply blank space on a wall. When every inch is covered with wall hangings, it can be really overwhelming to be in this space. Because the eyes need to rest from visual clutter, balance the size and number of frames in a room. For example, you might have a sofa in front of a large wall. Hang the appropriately sized picture above the sofa, with a sconce on each side, and leave the rest of the wall alone.
Tonya graduated from the Interior Design program at Alexandria Technical College in 2008. She currently lives in South Dakota and writes articles related to design, decorating, and home improvement for various Internet sites.