How to Decorate with Art
What to do ... by Walltodo.
It has often been said that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Indeed, what is beautiful to one may not be to another. Further, one may have an understanding of the relationship between objects in a space, while another may have difficulty discerning why a moose head and a Monet may not work well together on the same wall.
Indeed, merely the act of hanging a picture is an art. Still, before the first nail pierces the sheetrock, one must first define a room’s theme and get a feel for the subject, items and framing that will work with the color, texture and mood of the space. While it is true that “mixing” subject matter and styles may work quite well given the right circumstances, the notion of “anything goes” is not exactly on point.
As a general rule, wall color, framing and, where appropriate, matting, should all coordinate. That is, they should blend to the extent that the piece of art should feel like an extension of the wall’s vertical plane rather than jump out at you. Matting for prints and the like need not be identical to wall color, but rather should at the very least compliment it. Likewise, frame choice should echo the feel of a room and not overshadow the picture.
Of course, items with different texture and feel, i.e., fine art, tapestry, sculpture, clocks, mirrors, shelving and even memorabilia can peacefully co-exist in the same room – just not preferably in the same space. That is, that beautiful hand signed Chagall you just purchased should not be hung in juxtaposition to the hand signed Mickey Mantle collectible. Create some space where similar genre and/or media can share the same plane -- almost like mini showcases in one room. Further, make certain that the pieces coordinate with furniture items and that those items in turn help to transition from one area to another.
When you finally have your framed art or wall items complete, as a general rule, large pieces should be hung so that the center of a picture is at eye level for the average person while standing. Pictures should also be as close to the wall as possible. Further, should you choose to group artwork together, take good care in ensuring that the items can form a cohesive unit and share a common or related theme. Prior to hanging, lay these items out on the floor to get a feel for how they as a unit may integrate with your wall and other furnishings. When you put them on the wall, make certain that they are all aligned in some fashion and that each is no more than a few inches from the next. Again, mixing and matching can make sense under the right circumstances. Just make sure that the grouping as a whole shares some symmetry and relationship with what surrounds it and what it is up against.
Artwork, framing and wall décor in all its forms can create a mood that transcends spatial relationships and touches our emotions. A room filled with art can help set the stage for joy in a recreation room or den or peace and quiet in a study or sitting room. Conversely, disjointed or incongruous art and furnishings can be as glaring as bright light or loud noise. Harmony is what you are shooting for. So take aim and enjoy.