Ask the Expert

The art of hanging wall art

Q: We have collected a few nice pieces of art but now we need to figure out how and where to hang them. Before we do, are there any tips or “tricks of the trade”?

Carefully selected art work is a very important element in making your home personal and special. Some subject matter may be more conducive to certain areas of your home than others, so ask yourself where would you enjoy each piece of art most in your home and then evaluate the possibilities in those areas as potential hanging spaces.

Before beginning the placement process, your art should have compatible matting and framing. Good frame shops have good suggestions. To further enhance your art pieces, place them in areas of your home with complementary colors nearby. Be sure not to crowd the art into too small of a space so it has some room to “shine.”

Group hangings are more attractively displayed if hung in uneven numbers proportionate to the wall space.

We have found that a common mistake made is hanging art work too high. When hanging art over furniture, such as a credenza, the furniture and the art work are best viewed as an artistic unit. The art should be hung low enough to be the focal point of the unit while keeping in mind the surrounding objects such as lamps, vases and side chairs. If not hung in a unit, the art still should be hung where it is easy to see while sitting.

Once it is hung, step back and get an overview of your art at a distance – and enjoy.

Tennys Owens (at left) is the owner of Artique Ltd., and Linnea Ratcliff (at right) is the corporate and residential art consultant at Artique Ltd. For information, visit