by Miriam Schulman
Whether you’ve been an art-lover all of your life or just recently fell in love, the step from the gallery to properly displaying a newly acquired piece in your home usually feels gargantuan and is filled with lots of questions.
How high should I hang it?
Should it stand alone or be grouped with other artwork?
Where should it be displayed?
What do I use to hang it?
How can I protect it?
Don’t fret. I’ve got you covered with some great ideas on how to display art in your home, how to hang pictures like a pro and some best practices to keep your art investment secure for years to come.
Display art in your home
I know you set out to find artwork to complement a certain room or to put the finishing touch on a remodel. However, just as often, you might just fall in love with a piece of art that you cannot live without. Whatever the route that brought you and your new artwork together, the next stop is to find the proper place in your home to display it.
Since I always get asked the best way to hang art, I have created a Pinterest board for you to use for inspiration and to get the creative juices flowing. While no one but you can tell you what works best in your home, there are a few rules for hanging pictures I wanted to share with you.
Seven key rules for hanging pictures
1. Hang art at eye level
2. Leave 2-2 ½” between pictures to utilize wall space
3. Art reflects your personality; don’t settle for a just reflection (mirrors are not art!)
Even though most of us can’t control our home environment to be as art-friendly as curators can in museums, there is still plenty we can do to protect art in our home. Here are the factors you need to consider to best protect your artwork:
4. Location is everything
Not every room in our home is art-friendly. Rooms with walls that are shared with the exterior of your home typically experience more temperature fluctuations—bad news for artwork. Interior walls are a better choice to hang artwork. For similar reasons, rooms with windows and doors are less stable for artwork. It’s also never a good idea to display artwork where it’s directly impacted by a heat source such as a fireplace or portable heater. Ideally, you want to keep your home around 70 degrees at all times, the optimum temp for artwork.
5. Avoid Sun damage
Light can cause considerable damage to your artwork, but there are alternatives to living in darkness for the dedicated art collector who wants to preserve their collection. First, hang pictures where they will not be exposed to direct sunlight. Be sure to close blinds or curtains when the room is not in use. There are also options to install UV-blocking film to windows and skylights. To create optimum lighting for viewing artwork without overdoing it, use a dimmer switch to control incandescent low-wattage bulbs that have no UV. Picture lights designed to attach to frames should never be used. Light levels in a museums are controlled to 50 lux for art on paper up to 150 lux for paintings, while a piece in your home subjected to direct sunlight would experience 20,000 lux or more. It’s no wonder that controlling the light that directly hits your artwork is critical to its longevity.
6. Frames are your friends
Frames not only complement your artwork and décor, the glass you choose can provide significant UV protection for your artwork. Museum-grade glass, although expensive, can block out 99% of harmful UV rays compared to the zero up to 50% protection you get with non-glare or regular glass from frames typically sold at craft stores.
7. Use Proper hanging technique
The proper materials and techniques should be used to hang your artwork to protect it and the furniture or other art that might get damaged if it falls. When in doubt or if you need to re-hang all of your artwork after a move, consider hiring a professional art hanger who will know based on the weight of the piece and the hanging surface, the right hardware to use.
If you’re on the hunt for a new piece of art to add to your collection, pop on over to my online gallery and we can collaborate on the best place to display it in your home.
(psst… I created this pin just for you!)
About Me (Miriam Schulman)
In case we haven’t met yet, I’m an artist and founder of The Inspiration Place, where I help other artists learn how to profit from their passion or become better artists. Through online classes, business coaching programs, and a top-ranked podcast, I’ve helped thousands of artists around the world develop their skill sets and create more time and freedom to do what they love. My signature coaching program, The Artist Incubator, helps artists go from so-so sales to sold-out collections.
A graduate of Dartmouth College and M.I.T, I initially pursued finance but after witnessing 9/11, I abandoned a lucrative hedge fund job to work on my art full time. Since then, my art and my story have been featured in major publications including Forbes, The New York Times, Art of Man, Art Journaling magazine as well as featured on NBC’s “Parenthood” and the Amazon series “Hunters” with Al Pacino. My forthcoming book with HarperCollins Leadership on how to make it as an artist is scheduled to be released January 31, 2023. When I’m not in the studio, you can find me hanging out with my husband, adult kids, and a tuxedo cat named Ebony. I’d love to invite you to check out one of my free resources for art lovers (of every passion level) at schulmanart.com/freebies