Nailing it with art

Last Updated 13 August 2015, 18:48 IST

While art can be for art’s sake, it also needs to follow a few rules of thumb to be in your house. Priya Ravi offers some advice on how to tastefully place art on your walls

While moving into a new home, what one typically looks at is taking care of the furniture to make sure it blends in well with the decor of the room; or at most, at the upholstery and artefacts that can fit in aptly into the room. However, you might be different.

You may be an artist, a connoisseur, a sophisticate or may be just an experimental person – but you want to adorn your home with art work.

This is a great idea. Not only does art liven up a home, the kind of art that is displayed may also be indicative of the personality and tastes of the owner. If you have built your own home, you are at liberty to decorate it in whatever manner you please. If, however, you stay at a rented place, you might be facing some restrictions about how you can embellish the space.

Whatever the situation, it is important that art be placed strategically and taste-fully. For instance, you may want to hang family photos, mirrors or random paintings you bought at a sale; but you may not know where to place them. So here are some simple guidelines for hanging artwork and mirrors in your house.

Let’s start with the living room:

l Artwork over a sofa should fill two-thirds of the sofa’s width.

l Hang personal photos and memorabilia in more private areas, such as bedrooms and office rooms.

l The bottom of the artwork or mirrors hung over a mantle (if you have one) should be eight to sixteen cm from the top of the mantel.

Next, let’s consider the hallways (corridors) branching out of the living room:

l If you’re hanging artwork gallery-style in a corridor, the middle of the art should hang about 165 cm from the floor – slightly less if you have low ceilings. It gives a better effect if equal-sized paintings are hung and their base lines aligned.

l To create a collage, arrange the largest/heaviest piece in the middle and the smallest outward.

l Look at the wall space between two doorways. If it’s more vertical, then stack artwork vertically there.

l Hang a large floor mirror opposite a doorway to make the corridor appear wider at that point.

l Another trick is to have a track-style lightning (directed at the art on side walls of a corridor). This will draw your eyes to the art and make the corridor look wider.

And finally, let’s look at artwork in the bedrooms:

l The overall size of art over a bed should be two-third the width of the headboard. Art should follow the shape of the top of your headboard.

l The bottom of the art should be hung 15 cm above a tall headboard and about 25 to 30 cm above a low headboard.

l The hanging of art over night tables differs from that of art hung over headboards; the bottom of the art should be about 30 cm above the top of the night table.

l Consider a large or tall decorative mirror, which can also be used as a dressing mirror.

Now that you are armed with these foolproof guidelines, you can go ahead and add that artistic touch to your place without any fear of making aesthetic blunders!

(Published 13 August 2015, 14:36 IST)

Follow us on