our tricks and tips on how to choose the best possible place for a painting
Paintings and other forms of art add a final touch to any interior. Choosing the perfect spot for a painting can often be harder than furnishing the whole apartment.
We are inclined to place paintings on an empty wall space, however, it becomes more difficult when there are a number of spaces to choose from and also the shape and size of a painting can be another aspect to consider.
This short guide, based on our knowledge and experience, will attempt to help you pick the right spot and size of painting for your interior.
I. Which wall to choose?
what to take into account
Avoid hanging any artwork in direct sunlight as exposing an image or an object to this will cause a premature deterioration or damage such as discolouration.
On the plan, we have marked places/areas that are not exposed to direct and long-lasting insolation. There is still a lot to choose from, so what’s next?
We recommend placing artwork on the ‘representative wall’ or ‘welcoming wall’. We call the ‘welcoming wall’ the first wall surface you lay your eyes on when entering a room or the wall in a hall or corridor that we would want to draw our guests’ attention to.
Example: in the case of our corridor, instead of highlighting the entryway, the wall with bathroom doors or the distant and shaded end of the corridor, we decided it would be better to place the painting on the wall with a console table between the doors, which leads to the representative room.
II. What size to choose?
Let’s talk about proportions
Step 1: measure the selected wall or its empty section/segment/stretch/space. If the wall has any significant or heavy elements like a high bookshelf or hanging shelf, then you should start measuring from this element.
Step 2: Divide the measured width by 5, the result is the approximate modular width to operate within the chosen surface.
Note: The center of a painting should overlap with the center of the measured width.
You can also arrange two or more paintings on a given wall – just ensure that equal space is kept between them.
It’s worth keeping in mind that with large surfaces it is a good idea to use the measurements as a module. i.e. instead of using 1/5 of the width, it might be better to use two or three times more of the wall area, so it’s 2/5 or 3/5 of its initial width. This will work well on walls measuring approx. 17 feet / 5 meters or more.
III. How to choose the height?
The perfect spot
You may rely on your own subjective feelings. After calculating the proportional width it is easier to detect the ‘right’ height for hanging. If you feel like you know where to place it, go with your hunch. Although it will not hurt to get familiar with some basic rules used in galleries.
Measure about 55 in / 140 cm from the floor. This is the perfect for the center of your painting.
To spare you from calculations, the mounting height for our paintings according to this rule is:
⌀16in >> 63in
⌀20in >> 65in
⌀24in >> 67in
Note: However, this is not an unbreakable rule, the most important thing is to hang the painting in the most comfortable way, i.e. at eye level.
IV. No empty walls
Paintings should complement the surrounding space and furniture. There are a few rules that will help you create the perfect composition for your interior.
The width of the artwork should take approximately ⅓ or ⅔ of the respective furniture.
Note: we often find interior visualisations accompanied by artworks, which have the same width as the respective furniture. In real life, if the painting is a few centimeters or inches too small or too large it could spoil the whole impression and introduce obvious disharmony.
Mounting height depends on the type of furniture which the painting is to be arranged with. Here we lay down few types:
Type 1: low and wide furniture designed for resting (bed, sofa). With this kind of furniture most often the visual ‘center of gravity’ is strongly tied to the floor. In this case, using a large and strong accent on the wall space above would create a visual balance.
The distance between the furniture and the bottom of the painting should be about 6-15in / 15-40 cm.
Note: if one of our household members is very tall – it is advisable to provide sufficient space to avoid any contact with the painting whilst leaning against a headrest.
Type 2: organization, storage, display furniture. This type can come in all shapes and sizes e.g. a console table, desk or bookstand.
The bottom of the painting should be within 12-35 in / 30-90cm distance from the top of the furniture edge. Of course depending on the height or purpose of the furniture, the higher it is, the lower the artwork can be placed.
Note: take into account the ornaments, lamps, vases, etc. placed on the furniture as they should not block out the painting. Ideally, all items should harmonize with each other.
Type 3: stairs – rhythmic elements of the interior which are often placed on the highest internal wall
Note: It is worth considering hanging multiple paintings (three or more) along the stairway in order to create a rhythmic design.
Marking out hanging points
Measure 55 in / 140 cm vertically from the level of each step separated by every three steps – this is to establish central points which should align with the center of paintings.
To mark out a location correctly, we should use at least three points.
In order to determine whether the points are marked correctly, we should be able to imagine two parallel lines: one running through the identified points and the other one running through the top of the tread.
Note: to determine whether marking out went exactly as planned, use a piece of string and ask somebody to hold the string and walk away to get the right perspective to see if the lines are parallel.
V. Busy walls
good space planning
In our opinion this task requires certain skills as it is surprisingly easy to create chaotic rather than harmonious living space.
We have included the above tip as we are sure that once you start collecting our artwork you will definitely want to continue.
‘Center it’ use the universal 55 in / 140 cm as a starting point. With this in mind, develop the whole composition proportionally using the radius of the centrepoint as a guide.
Arrange all your elements on a flat surface and take a photo of the arrangement. Looking at the photo from different angles will help you decide if the arrangement is right. You can also decide to re-arrange the elements and take more photos which can then be compared.
Note: It is worth marking out the position of the floor and the ceiling in relation to the arrangement you are considering.
If you are still undecided whether the arrangement works well for you or you are unable to decide which one works best – ask others for their opinion as they may immediately notice something that you have missed out.
In the process of working out your composition keep equal spaces between artwork edges, especially when they are in direct relation to each other. We recommend using a module, e.g. on our graphic module a equals 5 cm / 2 in.
If your interior is filled with various types of furniture and many different kinds of other decorative items we would definitely advise you against creating such compositions on your wall. In this case we would recommend creating an illusion of one piece which is made up of several smaller pieces similar in shape, size and are consistent in colourgrading and also correspond with each other graphically.
Say goodbye to those unnecessary holes in walls. Applying our rules and methods will help to improve the overall quality of your interiors.
If you are still struggling to find the perfect arrangement, please feel free to send us your photos and we will be more than happy to help 🙂