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Photography : Poster, Print, or Painting — Where to Put It?

Poster, Print, or Painting – Where are You Going to Put It?

By Michael Edwards

If you are redesigning or decorating a room, or house, care has to be taken where your piece of art is to be displayed. Even if you have bought a picture on impulse there are a few tips that will not only enhance the picture but its surroundings.

As a good rule of thumb it is good to hang a picture so that its centre is roughly at eye level. If you have a grouping of pictures then also the centre of the group should be at approximate eye level.

Wall size:

  • For a narrow wall go for a smaller picture, or group of small pictures.
  • For large walls go for the larger pictures.
  • For walls that link to a low ceiling go for pictures that are vertically longer as this will help give the illusion that the ceiling is higher and open the room up.

Picture framing:

  • As a guide neutral coloured, plain or soft /delicate paintings will suit a more basic plain frame.
  • Dramatic pictures may deserve a much bolder frame.
  • Will the frames go together if pictures are hung in a group?

Picture grouping:

  • If you intend to hang more than one picture in a group then layout the pictures first, maybe on the floor to get a good idea as how they will interact. Bear in mind the layout and furniture in the proposed area as this may influence how you want the pictures laid out.
  • Measure the total height and width of the layout, and as a tip tape some lengths of string to the wall to mimic the outside of the layout to make sure you are happy with positioning, and to act as guide for hanging.
  • Consider the layout of the rest of the room. Do you want just one group of pictures in one area, or will one or two pictures elsewhere help balance the room?

Help, advice and ideas:

  • Look through magazines and notice peoples houses for styles and layouts you like. But an important point to remember is to look for what would be good for, and suit your home. Adapting what you want to fit your surroundings will give your home the stylish look you want. There is nothing worse than a picture that doesn't suit a room hanging in a position that doesn't look right.
  • If you know someone who has the layout of their home you love, get their opinion on your choice and layout. They will be flattered.
  • As a final tip — try to keep pictures away from bright sunshine, as they will fade over a period of time.

Positioning your pictures is not a science, but a bit of planning and attention will no doubt give you years of joy. •

© 2005 Michael Edwards. All rights reserved.

Michael Edwards is the founder of Black and White Poster which offers specialist galleries devoted to black and white, vintage, sepia and art posters or prints.

2/14/05