The Complete Guide

Hanging Art

Bring Your Story Home with Expert Tips

The Complete Guide to Hanging Art & Canvas Art Prints

Bring Your Story Home with Expert Tips

Adding artwork to your home isn't just about filling blank spaces—it's about bringing a bit of your personality and story into your home. A lot of my art is designed to redefine what we call home. Our homes aren't just the rooms we live, eat, and sleep in. Our homes are the places we leave our hearts and minds in, which, can often be outside our physical house.

I live in Alberta, home of the Rocky Mountains and vast, sweeping prairies, but I was born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. So the art in my home is a reflection of that. Two large paintings of fishing boats adorn my hallway, while a massive prairie sky hangs above my head.

Where are your homes away from home and what story do they tell? Let's look at how we can make sure your art speaks the way you want it to.

Part One
Curate Your Collection
Grouping by themes or styles is a great way to show intention with cohesive and visually appealing displays.

Displaying Art by Theme

By no means does anyone have to follow a set theme for the art in their home, but it can often be a great starting point to not only discover what is important to you, while also giving you a guide to follow for future purchases. Whether you lean toward nature-inspired groupings, minimalist arrangements, or eclectic mixes, let your creativity guide you as you transform the walls of your home to better reflect your story.

This won't be an exhaustive list of themes and styles, but definitely some of the more popular ones. Let's get started!

Option One
Theme Based Groupings
Bring the outdoors in with a collection of nature-themed art, including landscapes (that's me!), botanical prints, and wildlife illustrations. Create a serene atmosphere by grouping together pieces that evoke the beauty of the natural world.

Travel Memories
Showcase your wanderlust with a gallery wall featuring art and from your travels (that's also me!). Arrange pieces chronologically or by destination to tell the story of your adventures around the globe.

Abstract Expressionism
Make a bold statement with an eclectic mix of abstract art pieces (that's me sometimes!). Experiment with vibrant colors, bold brushstrokes, and unconventional shapes to create a visually dynamic display that sparks conversation and intrigue.
Option Two
Style Based Groupings
Eclectic Mix
My personal favourite is a mix of everything that creates our personal story. Showcase your diverse tastes and interests by combining artworks from different styles and periods. Mix contemporary pieces with traditional artwork, eclectic finds with family heirlooms, to create a visually dynamic and deeply personal art collection.

Modern Minimalism
If you know me at all, you know I'm not a minimalism girlie, but you might be! If you are, embrace clean lines, simple forms, and a monochromatic colour palette with a collection of minimalist art. Opt for abstract paintings, geometric prints, and sleek sculptures to create a contemporary and refined aesthetic.

Vintage Vibes
Add a touch of nostalgia to your space with vintage-inspired art pieces. Mix and match retro posters, antique photographs, and nostalgic illustrations to evoke the charm of bygone eras.

Grouping Strategies

Color Coordination

Arrange artwork by color to create a visually cohesive display. Group together pieces with similar color palettes to create a harmonious composition that ties the room together.

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Arrange artwork in a narrative sequence to tell a story or evoke a particular mood. Start with a focal point and arrange pieces around it to create a sense of flow and continuity.

Symmetry? Maybe.

Experiment with both symmetrical and asymmetrical arrangements to create visual interest. Balance larger pieces with smaller ones, and mix shapes and orientations.

Part Two
Wall Positioning
Captivate attention and engage guests by hanging your art at just the right height.

I'm not usually one to follow the rules, but I have to admit, these ones are almost always worth sticking to if you want your artwork to have maximum impact.

A Few Hanging Rules

Eye Level

It's best to hang single artwork at eye level, and 60 inches from the centre of your piece to the floor is the magic number.

Above Furniture

If you're hanging your art above furniture, try and aim for it to be 4-8 inches above the piece.

Above Sofas or Beds

If the art is going above a sofa or console, the piece should be approximately 2/3 the width of the furniture.

Part Three
Gallery Walls
Everyone loves a good gallery wall! Not only can you fill a large space with one, but it can reflect a lot of different styles and memories.

Plan Your Layout

Start with a Vision
Before you start hanging, envision the overall look and feel you want to achieve. Consider the style of your space, the colors of your walls, and the mood you want to evoke.

Mockup on the Floor
Lay your art pieces out on the floor to experiment with different arrangements. Play with various combinations of sizes, shapes, and orientations until you find a layout that feels balanced and visually pleasing.

Consider Proportions
Pay attention to the proportions of your wall and the spacing between each piece. Aim for a balanced composition with enough breathing room around each artwork.

Mix and Match

Variety is Key
Mix different types of art pieces to add depth and interest to your gallery wall. Combine paintings, photographs, prints, and even three-dimensional objects for a dynamic and eclectic look.

Play with Sizes
Experiment with a mix of large, medium, and small art pieces to create visual contrast and hierarchy. Place larger pieces towards the center or anchor of your gallery wall, with smaller pieces radiating outwards.

Frame it Right
Choose frames that complement your art pieces and enhance their visual impact. Opt for a cohesive frame style or mix and match frames for an eclectic look. Consider using mats to create visual space and add depth to your display.

Create Visual Cohesion

Color Harmony
Consider the color palette of your art pieces and how they interact with each other and your wall. Aim for a harmonious color scheme that ties the gallery wall together and complements your overall decor.

Theme or Story
Infuse your gallery wall with a cohesive theme or narrative to create a sense of cohesion and intrigue. Whether it's a collection of botanical prints, family photographs, or abstract artworks, let your gallery wall tell a story that resonates with you.

Balance and Symmetry
Strive for balance and symmetry in your gallery wall arrangement. While asymmetrical layouts can be visually dynamic, maintaining a sense of balance ensures a cohesive and polished look.

Part Four
Who Makes the Rules, Anyway?
Knowing the rules will help you know which ones to follow and which ones to break.

Rules to Follow

  1. Secure with Care
    Invest in quality hanging hardware to securely mount your artwork without damaging your walls. Choose hooks, nails, or picture-hanging systems that can support the weight of your pieces. Say no to flimsy hardware that could lead to unfortunate accidents.
  2. Illuminate Your Masterpieces
    Lighting can work wonders in highlighting your art's beauty and nuances. Install adjustable spotlights or track lighting to accentuate your artwork and create captivating focal points. Avoid harsh overhead lighting that could cast unflattering shadows or cause glare.
  3. Embrace Change
    Keep your space dynamic and inspiring by periodically rotating your art pieces. Switch things up seasonally or whenever you crave a fresh perspective. Let your home evolve with you, reflecting your changing moods and interests.

Rules to Break

  1. Symmetry Is Best
    Symmetry is good, but don't be afraid to break the rules and hang a smaller piece off centre, or hang various pieces at different heights. Art is intuitive in its creation, as well as in the way it's displayed. Listen to your gut!
  2. Hang Art In High Traffic Areas of Your Home
    Hang art in unexpected places. There are so many spots other than above your sofa that are often overlooked. For example, the end of a long hallway, powder rooms, the wall at the end or beginning of a stairwell... turning the corner and seeing the unexpected is always fun and can also be home to pieces with particular sentimental value. Also, go beyond your walls. Smaller art looks great styled on a bookshelf, or leaned against a wall on a console table. 
All Done
You did it!
If you need some prints to apply what you just learned, head over to my shop!
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