The final touch in completing an interior design scheme is installing artwork. It can also prove the most challenging part of a project. It can make or break the room’s style, atmosphere, and aesthetic.  What’s as important as the art itself is its size, scale, colorations, relationship to other art pieces, and how it’s displayed.

Art can be the inspiration for an entire design scheme, influencing the color palette, materials, textures, and style among other elements.  If you already own a collection prior to beginning the interior design process, it will impact design choices. You might want the art to be the focal point of the design scheme, or to provision, and blend with it.

On the other hand, if you’re just beginning a collection, the furnishings, wall and window treatments planned for each room will influence art selection. Even if you haven’t begun buying, you’ll need a basic outline of your desired collection: locations, sizes, and mediums (paintings, photographs, sculpture, etc.), so that wiring and the type of fixtures that will illuminate and enhance your art can be installed. Lighting has to be determined in advance before walls are closed in. Each type of art adds its own special magic to the mix, and has its own lighting needs. 

Size matters! In the photo below, the poster is too small for the immense wall space, making the 20 ft ceilings seem even higher, and the art is lost. A large rectangular piece, like the panther oil, extending almost the entire length of the sofa makes a better choice.

Hanging art over a fireplace creates a very “heavy” visual appearance.  There are two focal points on one wall. Balance the room by hanging art or placing sculpture throughout the space.

A rule to remember is that art should be centered at eye level. Eye level will vary determined by the type of furniture used in the room. The biggest mistake made by home owners is hanging art too high.

Sit on chairs you chosen for the dining room when calculating the height of art to be hung.

Living room seating is typically lower than chairs at the dining room table. The bottom of a piece should measure an average 8 inches above the back of furniture.

Bedroom furniture can vary depending upon the height of the bed, headboard, and lounges. If you’re hanging art above the bed, it should extend almost the total width of the bed and maintain a rectangular shape.

Mirrors can be considered art. In addition to being beautiful, they lighten, brighten, and add sparkle to a room.

Don’t place lamps in front of important art pieces.

Consider hanging a group of family photos going up stairs opposite the handrail, or on one wall of a hallway. Keep the size of the frame consistent. The photos can vary in size. Make up the size difference with mats.

Want to take up a large space, but can’t afford a large canvas? Use groupings of smaller pieces.

There are experts that will help you select art, its framing, and placement. I often bring in a specialist in this area if an art collection is extensive and very high end.

I welcome your questions and comments. Email

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