Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hanging your Artwork + Accessories: what are the rules?

Hanging    art    on    the    wall   can   be   a   daunting   task !

It's nice to have a professional installer,
but not always necessary.

A few simple rules of thumb will get you started...

Interior Designer, T. Keller Donovan
makes the following suggestions:

 "Take your framing cues from museums: everything looks more important with at least a two-inch-wide border of matting....
Frames of similar sizes, shapes, and materials give continuity to a room
If your frames are a hodgepodge of styles and sizes, painting them one color
gives your room a sense of order."

"Select a sturdy hammer, and don't choke the neck. If you hold it lower, the nail will go in more smoothly.....Buy a contractor-quality metal measuring tape. Cloth ones are too flimsy and don't lie flat on the walls.....Use a pencil to make markings -- ballpoint pens leave indelible marks.......A level is a must for placing frames, mirrors, and brackets....Your ladder should have an attached surface or tray for holding tools.....
Hang with a friend:
you'll need an extra pair
of hands and eyes."

"Consider the room's purpose...You will want to see your living room's pictures from a seated position; if you're straining your neck to look at them, they're too high."

"In a hallway,
where you are always standing,
hang pictures higher.

"Arrange small-to-medium-size frames in friendly groups with no more than six inches of wall between any two pictures (2"- 3" is better). Do not hang anything near doors."

"Mirrors look smashing over a fireplace if you hang them low enough to see also makes your ceilings appear higher.......If you hang a mirror or picture over your fireplace and it looks too small, it probably is too small. Err on the side of larger pieces.......Never hang mirrors less than two feet above a sofa -- or you'll be seeing the back of everyone's head all evening......Do not hang pictures any lower than ten inches above the top of the sofa (guests' gesturing arms and arms and hands grabbing glasses should not come in contact with your prized possessions)."

"Try to
create a relationship between
the wall and the art
so that the way the art is hung on the wall is in response to the architectural shape of the wall." - Mary Douglas Drysdale

sarah's fab day

-- very important advice from Drysdale (above) as
items are so often
placed in too-small spaces 
and appear "jammed in"
against one another and/or the window and door casings!

"To work out spacing for hanging a group or art, first measure the space on the wall. See how the pieces relate to each other by size and subject matter, then transfer your final composition to the wall. Place items close together, normally not farther than two inches apart. They have to be interconnected and form a whole. When you stand back you should see one shape."
- Fred Dilger

"Frames can make a huge difference.
Don't be limited by the current frame on the piece; you can always change it. Spend more on the frame than you think you ought to." -Southern Accents

Interior Designer Barry Dixon suggests assembling an
odd number when hanging a group
of disparate pieces. He especially likes groups of nine. "To achieve balance with a group of pieces that are different in size and scale," 

traditional home

Dixon says,
"draw an imaginary axis
vertically and horizontally
on the wall

phoebe howard

and make sure
the pieces have equal weight and balance
in each of the four quadrants."

  "Handle important art with reverence.

Negative space is important.
Have enough bare space around it so the eye can focus on it, and light it properly. Surround the art with enough room to breathe." - Southern Accents

Sometimes you go into a space where every inch of available wall has something hanging on it. I always remember this cue from my first job working for an interior designer,
"Your eye needs a resting place."

la dolce vita

 When confronted with artwork 
and decorative accessories at every turn,
one has difficulty appreciating
any of the pieces

You may fill your abode to the gills with decorative accessories and art all over the walls - successfully - by purposefully leaving a few spots blank.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Let's Dish!

Many of us have dishes we stack away and use once a year.

Might they be serving some higher or happier purpose?

Although displays of Transferware on the wall used to be reserved for old English manor houses,

(which are beautiful!:)

dish and plate 'collages' have come a long way in recent years.

So whether your goal is creating a focal point,

displaying a collection,

or covering a blank wall


a grouping of dishes can truly invigorate a space.

I've seen this Cottage Living pic fifty times if I've seen it once and always enjoy it.  The all-white, slightly haphazard-but-utterly balanced grouping is sophisticated...serene...and not stuffy.

What a fun, exterior wall decoration Kelly Wearstler used for the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica.

This collection seems traditional, almost dainty.  It fills out the narrow, tall space, plays off of the table legs, and draws your eye upward.

Although I normally prefer symmetrical arrangements

some of the most fun,

most creative displays

are the complete opposite!

 These need not be huge displays either.

Sometimes a few carefully placed pieces are all you need.

A circular grouping is also appealing.

Of course, decorative wall brackets are great for displaying dishes.  I've found good wall brackets to be fewer and further between in recent years...and the only ones available are often times supersized.

Aerin Lauder's East Hampton home features extraordinary displays...although most of these pieces are not plates, the brackets themselves are works of art.

So whatever your taste and collection may be, go check into those stacks you haven't touched since the holidays!