Affordable Decorating Ideas: Hang Art

Ellen Miller
Written by Ellen Miller
Updated June 2, 2014
The art in this home's dining and living rooms is hung at a lower height, which works well for folks who are seated. (Photo courtesy of Kim Trouten of Staged for Selling)

Hang artwork correctly to quickly update a room design.

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To freshen an outdated room, look to your walls. Art can make a big difference, especially if chosen well and hung correctly, say home stagers who are highly rated by Angi members. Here are some stagers' tips:

Banish bare walls

Plain walls can be boring. Hang art, photos or other items to add interest, says Maureen Bray of Room Solutions Staging in Portland, Ore.

Adding matched artwork over the nightstands, she perked up a bedroom of a house she staged for an Angi member. “For a bedroom, use anything you find calming or pretty,” Bray says.

Let the space speak

Take time to examine your walls before you buy anything to hang, says DesAnn Collins of Design by DesAnn in the Cleveland area.

“A decorating mistake that people make is to go out and fall in love with something and come home and try to make it work. You should really look at the space; it will tell you what it needs,” Collins says. “For instance, with the long horizontal line over the sofa, you can put one long piece up or you can hang three smaller pieces side by side.” 

Don't hang it high

Lowering the height of artwork is an easy, free way to update a room, say home stagers.

Collins says many people hang art too high, often placing the art in the middle of the space above a sofa or other piece of furniture. “That’s too high up. About 6 inches above a horizontal line (such as above a sofa or chair) is where art should be hung.”

Catherine Morrow of Room Reflections Interior Redesign & Home Staging of Marietta, Ga., offers more tips for properly hanging artwork:

“A general rule of thumb for hanging art above a sofa, is that the total width of what you hang should be approximately two-thirds the length of the sofa, and 6 to 9 inches above the sofa," she says. "The idea is that you view the sofa and the artwork as one grouping. Try to hang art at a level that’s easy to view when you’re in a space. Hang artwork so that the middle is at eye level for hallways or other places where you are generally standing. In areas where you are seated, an easy height to view is in the tip above.”    

Tip: Framing the art from a calendar you like is an easy and affordable way to have 12 related pieces you can hang in a grid, Collins says. “You can do three rows of four or four rows of three. Keep the distance between horizontal and vertical spaces the same, one inch or whatever.”

She offers an affordable way to add drama to a bare-walled bedroom: “Hang the grid over the bed, taking it almost to the ceiling. Then, use inexpensive curtain panels to frame the grid. You can even paint the wall behind the grid a different color, with the panels hanging to the floor so you can’t see the break where you changed the paint color.”

Next: Accent accessories

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