Easy art display mistakes to avoid

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Please excuse the pun, but there is certainly an art to displaying paintings, photos and sculptures at home. Get it right and your pieces complement your decoration and add interest to your rooms. Get it wrong, and the results can be glaringly obvious.

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1. The Gallery Effect

Many people think that art at home should resemble an art gallery exhibition, but this isn’t true. An exhibition is designed to present one genre of art in the same way a gardenia exhibition displays gardenias. A beautiful garden needs to include many different plants. Artwork that is all of a matching genre, period or colour scheme creates a very dull atmosphere. The goal is to find complementary pieces. A collection of old masters, modern pencil sketches and a bronze animal sculpture side by side is much more satisfying.

2. Too much and too little

Finding a balance is the secret to a good display. Avoid hanging a single painting on a wall unless it is large enough to make an impression. Likewise, if you’re designing a collage of several pieces, lie them flat to find the right arrangement before you begin drilling holes in the wall.

3. Something on every wall

In the world of professional picture hangers, negative space is an important element of design. Not every wall needs to be or should be hung with art. Keeping at least one wall in a room free gives the viewer a chance to breathe and leaves space for standing lamps or artistic pieces like those at Gill Parker Sculptures.

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4. One-dimensional art

While it’s nice to be able to see your art pieces clearly, the human eye is attracted to slightly obstructed views. This means that a painting hung with one side behind a plant or one picture placed leaning in front of another adds charm and character to the display.

5. Not hanging things properly

Surely the crime of the century in picture hanging is the single nail supporting a frame hung with a length of fishing line. For its entire stay in your home, this frame will never be exactly straight, and the eye finds this disharmony instinctively. If you don’t have the means to hang your artwork properly, simply lean it against the wall for a layered look.

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