There are a variety of approaches to placing art in the home, but for now, let’s talk about a traditional and modern approach. Traditionally, in residential design, art is carefully placed in each room creating a dynamic balance with the furniture layout. Here larger pieces create strong focal points, smaller pieces are grouped together to create vignettes or carefully placed in discreet areas. However, remember that the home is a three-dimensional environment and that art, when viewed from one room to another, encourages movement in the direction of the art. 

In a modern design with a less formal approach, an art rail can be used to display larger pieces  leaning against the wall or shelves to display smaller pieces. Artwork can also be placed on the floor, propped against the wall, with modern and traditional works displayed side by side, often overlapping. Sculptural pieces can be incorporated into the display. There is an ease to this approach that allows for a random display of art that can be changed to reflect the changing the mood and sensibility of the owner. Whatever approach you take, be sure to display art in every room in the home including the foyer, hallways, kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Often neglected, these areas provide unique opportunities for vignettes and treasures that create memorable spaces.

Keep in mind, if you are hanging pieces on the wall, a general rule of thumb is to hang paintings or prints so that their centerline is at eye level or between 5’-0” and 5’-6” above the floor. The same applies when grouping pieces together, keep the centerline of the group at eye level. When placing artwork over furniture, hang the bottom of the piece 8 to 10 inches above a sofa, console, or headboard.

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