Do you ever feel like you need an artwork intervention? Perhaps you have been afraid to hang much of anything on the wall. Some people use the excuse they don't want to put holes in the wall. Personally, it is very important to me to have artwork arranged in a way that makes me happy and looks good. Maybe you are just bored with what you have and need a fresh outlook, pop of colour or a rearrangement.


 I have been feeling unsettled about my living room artwork on the long wall which has the sofa. I had installed a picture shelf, kind of like a mantle, a few years ago. It has allowed me to display and change artwork and accessories and is a good length for the sofa. The shelf being 2/3 of the length of the sofa is perfectly proportioned. A large piece of art also works well over a sofa but a single piece that is too small will always look lost.


A long wall can pose decorating quandaries need to consider whether you want art, lamps or other accessories to fill out the space. I recently moved a long vertical print from the front hall to the right side of the sofa...I have always loved it and it is great to move your accessories around. It is a great colour match for a piece of framed photo art which is adjacent to it. I paired the photo with a small mirror for interest and to take up a bit more visual space.


This past week I have been playing with the decision to remove the picture shelf or change the art arrangement on it.  For now I have decided to use two pieces of art and overlap them slightly and reduce the number of vases to two.


What do you you like picture shelves?


A painted picture shelf styled like a mantle gives the right proportions over the sofa and allows for changing the art and accessories.
Picture shelf gives lots of flexibility!
Sometimes corners are dark and empty but this one has a lamp to read by and an interesting grouping of art and an mirror. The pair of smaller pieces is centered on the taller picture.
This grouping fills in the corner nicely and follows the rules for height when hanging artwork.

I am frequently in homes where I have to suggest that people lower their artwork. So many homes look like the husband who is over 6 feet tall has hung everything to suit his eye level or people feel they need to compensate for a tall wall by hanging artwork high. In almost all cases you need to consider the average persons eye a living and dining spaces that is from a seated position. You don't want to get a sore neck looking up at your art.

A great rule of thumb is to hang artwork 5 to 10 inches above a sofa or headboard or any piece of furniture over 30 inches in height. I like artwork to be lower rather than higher, if there is a choice. You really need to consider what is below the art. They need to relate to each other...a piece of art hung too high above a sofa or table will look like its floating. They need to "talk" to each other. And it doesn't matter how tall your wall or your husband is!

New art and new colourful cushions enhanced this home to sell quickly! The only thing needed was to lower the artwork about 5 inches.
This staged home sold very quickly! The artwork the client found to add colour to her neutral space is beautiful but I suggested that she lower it as it is too high to connect with the sofa. Tall family and tall wall does not change that.

For artwork hung in hallways or anywhere there is nothing under it, the best height is 60-62 inches from the floor to the centre of the art. Conveniently, my eyeball height is 61 inches so I don't always have to pull out a tape measure. 


This rule applies to a gallery wall as well (centre the arrangement at that height). Gallery arrangements are very on trend right now and allow you to fill a wall with a very personal collection. My son, Sean, recently researched and created a gallery wall in his apartment. He did a great job without spending a lot of money. He chose to use black and white photos and combine with wall boxes for an extra dimension. He found photos on-line that he liked and had them printed the sizes he wanted. I suggested he check for black frames at a dollar store and he purchased 10 frames in a variety of sizes for $30! He used my suggestion of creating a focal point and to set the design out on the floor. He correctly hung all the pictures the same distance apart...this was made easier by cutting out paper the size of each frame and taping it to the wall. 


Another example of a picture grouping done using a client's personal photographs can be seen here ...from a previous blog.


Dollar store frames, black and white art printed off the internet paired with personal momentos created a cool gallery wall for very little expenditure!
Dollar store frames, black and white art printed off the internet paired with personal momentos created a cool gallery wall for very little expenditure!

A fireplace mantle is another tricky spot for people...the range in height of artwork is from 3 to 10 inches above the mantle. I know this is a big range but it depends on the height of the mantle. The higher the mantle the lower the distance. Of course, the mantle itself should be accessorized and that affects the height of art hung above it.

I have found that the simplest way to change the height of artwork by an inch or so is just to shorten or lengthen the wire at the extra nail holes! For a simple update I have often painted clients' frames to better suit the room or recommended a change in mat colour. What a difference it can make...and at very little cost!

Over Easter weekend I had help to hang a terrarium in my bedroom. I had painted a piece of barn board and found an old spike which we mounted to the wall first. I had to be very sure of the positioning this time as it had to be into a stud plus the spike is holding glass and lots of weight. I love the interest it adds in a room that has a cottage feel. Do you like it? 

Cottage style bedroom suited this raindrop terrarium hanging from a rustic rope and spiked into a piece of barn board creating unique wall decor.
I love the current terrarium trend...this raindrop one has artificial greenery. I will be doing one with succulents. I love unique wall decor. Rope! Barn board!!

Kudos to you if you are still reading! I love comments and questions.

I have to let you know about the South Dundas Home & Trade Show! It is April 17,18 at the Morrisburg Arena. I have 3 special giveaways as it is also my 25th ANNIVERSARY IN BUSINESS!! I would love to see you there. Watch Facebook and my website for details.

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Remodeling and Home Design