Blank walls in a room can be intimidating; however, they’re also an opportunity to get your creative juices flowing and really make your new house feel like home. The right objects arranged attractively will transform even hard-to-decorate areas into something special. All it takes is a little planning and a few basic tips to get started.
Plan It Out
Before you get your hammer, experiment with groupings by laying everything out on a table or on the floor. Use craft or wrapping paper, trace around each piece and mark the hanging points. Then just tape the paper to the wall, hammer in the nails or attach picture-hanging adhesive strips, remove the paper and you’re all set.
When you have a big blank wall, it’s the opportunity to go big by hanging a large piece of wall art, whether it is framed or on canvas. Be sure you choose an oversized piece that fills about two-thirds to three-quarters of the wall space.
2. Small Spaces
Smaller, carefully grouped pieces open up narrow walls and more confined spaces like stair landings and hallways. Go with lighter wall colors and vivid artwork to enhance this airy effect.
3. Eye Level is Best
Think of your groupings as a single, unified piece. Then place pictures so that the center point of the grouping is approximately at eye level. A major exception to this rule is in the dining room. You’ll want any grouping to be slightly lower on the wall, so they’ll be easy to view while sitting down.
4. Size and Proportion Matter
Art hung over a piece of furniture should not be wider than the width of the furniture, a general principle being that the art should be about 50-75% of the width of the furniture.
5. Go for Symmetry (If Possible)
The goal is to create a grouping that has visual balance. This is especially important for groupings over a sofa, a fireplace mantle, or in a hallway. In the case of hallways, an odd number of pieces is more attractive to the eye and is automatically more visually balanced. Allow about 4-6 inches between each frame.
Do you have two pictures that share a common theme or colors but are different sizes and orientations? Try hanging one lower than the other, so that the top and bottom don’t match. By staggering their placement on a wall, you’ll often be able to achieve an interesting effect and still create a grouping that’s eye-pleasing.
6. Try an Accent Wall
A contrasting – though complementary – accent wall can add a pop of color to an otherwise bland expanse of wall. Try out a bright and bold paint color or bring in pattern and texture with wallpaper or stenciling. These decorative accents work particularly well in a small space.
7. Use Mirrors
In addition to adding brightness via reflected light, mirrors help a small space appear more spacious. Try hanging an oversized mirror in your foyer or entranceway to check your “look” before you go out the door. You can also try grouping smaller mirrors on a stairway or in the hall to add visual impact and “open up” an enclosed space.
8. Install Shelving
Bookshelves look great against a wall and can be used to break up or define different areas of a room’s layout. If floorspace is at a premium, consider floating shelves to display small sculptures, and other odds and ends.
9. Mount Your TV or Monitor
Adding a flat screen to your wall can be a great way to free up space around a media cabinet and update the entire look of the room. There are also TVs designed to look like artwork when they’re off, allowing you to display images of your choosing.
10. If You Have a Fireplace…
A fireplace should be the focal point of the room, making it an ideal place to hang a beautiful painting and display objects on the mantle that you want to spotlight. In terms of proportion, make sure any art or art grouping is about the same size as the fireplace opening. And a word of advice: though it’s tempting, don’t use the space for your TV monitor! Ergonomically speaking, it will be too high up on the wall and you’ll strain your neck.
Looking for more helpful tips and tricks on everything from planning your move to decorating once you’re there? Be sure to check out our blog.