Monday, December 1, 2014

The Art of Selecting and Hanging Artwork

Have you ever entered a room and felt like something is missing? You look around and all the pieces appear to be in place, the sofa, chairs, tables, lamps. So what is it? Perhaps it's artwork. Artwork is a critical element to completing a room and adding personality. Unfortunately, too often people feel unsure when choosing the right pieces and intimidated by the prospect of hanging artwork on the walls. In this newsletter, I address these issues and provide tips for hanging art without making Swiss cheese out of your walls!

The Art of Selecting and Hanging Artwork
Tulip Picture
Selecting art for your home can be an exciting adventure and a bring a source of enjoyment for years to come. The key to successfully purchasing art begins by determining what kind of art you like, how each piece will best fit with the rest of your interior design plans, and how to exhibit the art to the best effect in your home. Although the internet has innumerable art sources, it's not necessarily the best way to shop for art. Because colors on your monitor may vary from the actual colors, printed catalogues are still an excellent resource when shopping for art. Manufacturers take great care to print on high quality paper to insure the color accuracy of the art. Celeste Jackson Interiors, Ltd. carries a variety of lines for you to select from.
What kind of art do you like?
If you regularly visit galleries and museums, you probably have a good sense of what kind of art appeals to you. If not, browsing art within your community at local exhibitions and art fairs are an enjoyable place to start. Even small towns usually have a non-profit gallery space, and your local cafĂ© or restaurant may exhibit the works of local artists. In larger cities, galleries often get together for periodic "gallery nights" where all the galleries hold open house receptions on the same evening. It's a great way to see a lot of art in a short time.  Pay close attention to the styles and medium that you are attracted to...landscape, still life, architecture, nature, pop, portrait and people. Are you drawn to oil paintings, watercolors, photography, etchings or collage? What is the style... contemporary, traditional, pop or organic?
Should the art fit the room or the room fit the art?
It depends...if you already have purchased a piece of art that you love go ahead and utilize it for inspiration to build the room around. If you are attracted to a variety of styles of artwork you can create a gallery room by keeping the focus on the art and playing down the furnishings with solid neutral colors like ivory, taupe, black or gray.  If the room is already decorated your art selections should compliment the colors and the style of the room. 
When you go to a gallery or are traveling, what is the best way to prepare before purchasing art ?
Take photos of the spaces you would like to fill with art. Write the dimensions of the wall space and the dimensions of furnishings beneath the wall space. If you have any existing art in the room that you intend to keep be sure to carry photos of those as well. If the furnishings have a strong color palette carry swatches or close up photos of the fabric.
What are the rules of thumb when hanging art?
Pictures hung over bed If your ceilings are 8-9 feet high, the center of the artwork should be approximately 60" from the floor; this is eye level for most people. If the ceilings are taller than you might want to go a little higher. Furnishings also come into play. If you are hanging art over a sofa I like to hang the art around 5-8"above so if anyone puts there head back when sitting on the sofa they don't hit their head on the frame. If you are hanging it over a console table, buffet, dresser, etc. than you can hang it 4-7" above.  You can go a little higher if you are hanging a grouping of pictures depending on the size. You want to be sure that the art ties into the furniture below.
What tools do you need to hang your art and avoid putting unwanted nail holes in your wall?
ruler2.jpg Hammer, hooks, nails, tape measure, pencil with an eraser, paper, calculator and most importantly... PATIENCE. Measure to find the center of the space you will be hanging the art then lightly mark your wall with you pencil. Measure the width of the artwork or grouping. Groupings can be established by laying them on a table or floor to find the best layout and spacing. Measure 60" from the floor to get the ideal center point. Measure the height of the picture or grouping and divide it in half. Now measure from the picture hanger or pull the wire taught and measure to the top of the frame. Write these numbers down and subtract the second number from the first one. This is the number you will use to place your picture hook or nail above the 60" mark. Go ahead and hammer with confidence. Example: If your picture is 50" tall (divided by 2 = 25) and the wire pulled taught is 5" from the top 25-5=20" above the 60" mark. If your picture is extra wide you can use 2 hooks spread an equal distance from the center point on the wall. Of course there are more complicated pieces to hang that unless you are fairly handy you might want to call a handyman. I happen to know one that I can highly recommend.
If you are still overwhelmed with the thought of selecting and hanging your own artwork, call Celeste Jackson Interiors, Ltd. for help. We can identify areas in need of art and provide you with beautiful pieces to enjoy for years. We would also be happy to rearrange existing art in your home to maximize the look in your home.
Cultivate Individuality in Your Unique Home!
Celeste Jackson