12 Quick Do's and Don'ts for Decorating with Art

Black and white living room with large art piece
The Ultralinx

There's nothing more depressing or empty looking than a blank wall. But decorating with art can be tricky, so much so that it's easy for us to get scared off before we even begin. So before you decide to start buying art or running for the hills, check out these artwork dos and don'ts that'll save you time and effort.

Dos

  • Use your walls a showcase for your own photographs. Have your photos blown up and then use a spray adhesive to mount them on a piece of foam core.
  • Hang art in every room in the house. Don't forget about the dining room, bathroom, and even the mudroom.
  • Use picture-hanging hooks rather than nails or screws. They can take a large amount of weight (up to 100 pounds for some sizes). Use two hooks per piece because it helps it remain level.
  • Treat several pieces as one unit during the hanging process.
  • Plan out a photo wall in advance. Place them on the ground in front of the wall and play around with the arrangement until you find one that satisfies you.
  • Lean artwork against a wall in some areas. A piece sitting on a console table or mantle leaning against the wall can look very stylish. Layer a few pieces together for a striking display.

Don'ts

  • Art doesn't have to be expensive. You can hang gallery walls of family photographs or mount pieces of fabric or wallpaper. There's also a growing number of affordable online galleries available to peruse.
  • The center point of either a single picture or a grouping of works should be at eye level. Don't hang the artwork too high.
  • If you have a small piece, put it in a frame that has a large mat. Don't hang a tiny piece on a big wall.
  • Don't hang art by yourself. It's always better to have at least two people so one can hold it in place and the other can step back and make sure the placement is correct.
  • Approximately two inches (sometimes less) on either side and below and above is enough space. Don't hang pieces too far apart from each other.
  • Don't hang all the large pieces in one area and all the small ones in another. The same goes for similar frames. Mix things around until you feel they're visually balanced.