GMJ Interiors



How To Arrange Artwork When Redesigning

How To Arrange Artwork When Redesigning

I’ve written about redesigning your room using just what you already own to give it a whole new look.  There are many steps in the process, and one which I receive many questions about is artwork placement and how to decide. So I thought I’d give you a little more detail on looking at the space you now have for your artwork.

With your furniture, lamps, and floor plants placed, you’re going to step back and look at the wall space you have remaining for artwork.  With a new room arrangement, this will change, so please don’t try and force your artwork back to where it was before.  The redesign process is all about giving your room a new look.

First, bring out all the artwork and lay them against the walls. Don’t stack them in front of each other as you want to see exactly what you have. If there are pieces you no longer want to use, remove them.  Walk around the house and look at what you have hung in other places.  Are these pieces you’d possibly like to use?  Move things around; everything doesn’t need to remain where you originally hung them.  Change things up; it’s what redesign is all about.

Now, I want you to notice the shape of the spaces you have available for artwork.  Are they horizontal or vertical spaces?   The reason this is important is that it will help you decide what pieces you can place where. For balance, you want to fill horizontal spaces with horizontal pieces and vertical spaces with vertical pieces.  So what does this mean?

Start with your larges pieces first and see where they will fit within the wall spaces created from your furniture grouping and the orientation of your artwork.  If you have vertical space, first look to see what vertical pieces you have.  If you only have horizontal pieces, you can create a visual vertical image by stacking horizontal pieces over each other.  Now when doing this, make sure you place the largest and visually heaviest piece on the bottom.  How do you determine which piece is visually heaviest if both are the same size?  Which piece has a larger and darker frame?  If both frames are similar, how are they matted?  Two pieces of artwork, with the same size mats, but where one mat is white, and the other is green, the artwork with the green mat will be visually heavier.  If both are framed and matted the same, which image visually appears heavier to you.  Place this one on the bottom.

So what if you have horizontal wall space and only vertical pieces?  Look to see what artwork you can group together to form a visual horizontal grouping.  All the pieces don’t need to be the same size to hang them side-by-side.  If you have one tall vertical piece and a couple smaller horizontal and or vertical pieces, stack the smaller pieces on top of each other to one side of your vertical piece instead of placing one small piece on each side of the vertical piece.  Just as in accessory groupings, asymmetrical wall groupings are acceptable and even more interesting than symmetrical.

Also, keep in mind artwork isn’t just framed images, even though that is what most people think of, artwork is anything that you can hang on or lean against a wall.  Art can be dimensional, not just flat.  It can be a grouping of many items and not only one piece.  Art is a personal reflection of you and how you want your home to feel.  How about shelves, wall sconces, tapestries, plate collection, baskets, murals, metal or wood wall sculptures, resin, wood or iron plaques, wreaths, clothing items (kimonos, antique dresses, or clothes that coordinate with a room’s theme), clocks, wall fountains, iron or wood gates and doors or greenery in a wall pocket.  This is just a small list of things you can use to help get your creative juices flowing and thinking beyond a standard framed image or mirror.

So, when looking to place your artwork in your newly redesigned room, don’t focus on where it was before, arrange your room and look at your walls as an open puzzle space. Find what artwork pieces you have that will work into your new wall space to complete your artwork puzzle.