How To Hang Art & Display Objects On Shelves.

Grouping items and displaying artwork well is a skill, but it is one that can be learned through practice, and a bit of guidance. The following tips can serve as a guide to get you practicing creating artwork displays.There is no right or wrong! Have fun!
On building a gallery of artwork and objects using shelves: Odd numbers of frames (i.e., three, five or seven frames) create the most pleasing effect in a display. Place central pieces at eye level or slightly above on the wall, then expand your display outward from there.
To add interest and character to a collection of similar art pieces, use frames in a variety of colors, textures and shapes. Interspersing the display with mirrors helps break up repetition, and creates the illusion of amplified natural light.
Hang several shelves to create a gallery of artwork and objects. Place framed or un-framed artwork on the shelves to lean against the wall, and . . .

Add eye-pleasing items (found river rocks,sculptural

vases, or vintage children's toys, for example) that

play off the shapes, colors and textures of the artwork.

Use wall ledges as a framework for an ever-evolving mix framed artwork. Aside from protecting your walls from misplaced holes, ledges also provide the freedom to layer artwork so that one frame slightly overlaps the other. This technique puts the focus on the display as a whole, rather than on any individual piece.
(A quick note as I look at this picture is that it has balance. If we draw a verticle line down the middle, both sides are visually equally balanced. A easy check to see if the picture is in fact balanced, is flip the picture around. If it is balanced, it will be balanced either way. Again, practice it. Imagine as you go about your day, as you pass pictures and artwork, look for balance, flip the pictures (in your mind, not really!)

Home Improvement Design Concepts (Balance)

Often designers arrive at initial consultations where the potential client has spent a good deal of money and yet to be satisfied with the results. Clients with a dream-room in mind, spent alot of money, but no dream. The client loved the detailed bookcases, French side chairs, etc., and you know the pieces were not cheap. Still . . . it just doesn't feel right. It is almost painful that it isn't working, after so much effort.
In creating and reviewing the design of a room, balance must be achieved. Balance is equilibrium, the distribution of equal weight; and if missing in our surroundings, we feel uneven, perhaps even anxious. Balance makes us comfortable, gives us stability. It reduces stress and gives us peace. Understanding the balance is a great example of how we experience and interact with our environments.

As we enjoy a picnic site and find it beautiful and relaxing, we notice it is a sunny day, the blue sky above and a landscape of nature surrounding us. Were we to take the same site but locate it on a slight incline, the calm and harmony evaporates. When we enter a room and notice a tilted picture on a wall, the desire to want to march over and correct it is because we need equilibrium, we need balance. A carpenter installing beautiful new wood flooring will avail himself of his level to assure that his composition, the completed flooring job, has balance.

The creation of a beautiful room
is not much different than the
creation of a beautiful painting

Painters are aware of the need for balance and will sometimes create an imaginary vertical line down the middle of a canvas, to help assure the counterbalancing or evening of the elements of the composition. We too can use a similar technique by imagining a vertical chalked plumb line down the middle of a wall - our composition.
In balance, it is ‘visual’ weight that we are considering. The more an element attracts the eye, the more it 'weighs.' In seeing balance between a bright red balloon and a black bowling ball, the balloon might have more visual weight than the black bowling ball.When teaching your eye to see visual weight, it might help to see the room from a different perspective than we do everyday. You could walk back from a particular wall about fifteen feet and as you look at the pieces, slightly squint your eyes. This technique is similar to adjusting a camera lens. By adjusting your focus, you will see that the items will either be visually drawn toward you or they will fade to the background. Those items that are drawn toward you, or that your eye perceives as stronger have more visual weight.
It is through adjusting the elements on either side of the imaginary vision line, through evening them, that we achieve balance. Understanding that balance creates harmony and comfort is vital in our journey to learn how to create beautiful rooms and how
to create beautiful rooms for us.

This article is one in a series of Design Concepts, to go to the entire list, click here.

Decorating With Pictures

Hung against knotty pine,
this collection of pictures (in a
small guest bathroom) makes
for a beautiful retreat.

All my life my way of thinking has been hugely affected by the things around me, especially in the display of picture collections. From uniquely framed poster art to musuem-quality still lifes, I have always absorbed an awareness of beautiful things, and particularly pictures.
Fabrics, imported china, rugs and all decorator items are fascinating and essential to our interiors. But to me, it is pictures that are the soul of the house. Artwork on display says a great deal about the character of the owner. A collection of pictures brings extraordinary sense of originality and uniqueness.
People are often nervous when starting a picture collection that it make a statement. If you are a bit reticent, consider the following ideas: Open your eyes. Look around you. Study picture collections of local museums, art galleries, antique shops, etc.
As you browse the homes of top decorators and art collectors displayed in pages of design magazines, notice the artwork of a particular room. What sort of pictures do they collect? Is there a particular theme (such as nautical). Is it a mix of different media and different subject matter, such as in the photos above.
You will start to develop confidence in building your collection of pictures based on your personal tastes. Flirt with the concept of 'what would happen if ....' you made small changes to the vignette shown in a photo. What might occur if the framing were altered. Consider what might happen if a particular large piece were moved. Does that picture’s placement need to be there to ‘hold’ the grouping together. Don't worry about the aesthetic dictates of others. Pictures for your home collection should appeal to you.

~ Patricia Loya ~