What to Hang on Your Walls - Tips from an Interior Designer
This past week, I received a handful of direct messages on Instagram with questions about wall art. And I understand why! Art in general seems to be a source of mystery for a lot of people, and when you throw in challenges like sizing and scale it can seem downright overwhelming. Although this won't be a comprehensive guide to picking out and hanging wall art, I want to share three tips to reframe your approach to wall art that I believe will take some of the stress out of the job.
Design: Hackett House Studio (link: burl wood frames)
Tip #1 - Don't overthink it, and don't overdo it!
Oftentimes, I think people think they need more wall art than they actually do. However, in my opinion, quality is usually better than quantity! Yes, I think every room in your house should have a something on the walls (even the bathroom), but that doesn't mean every wall in every room has to be adorned! Out of curiosity, I walked around my house to see how many walls had something on them in each room. In bedrooms, the average is 3 out of 4 walls, whereas any other room is closer to 1 out of 4! Sticking to this guideline can help take some of the stress out the process by just knowing that you might need less than you think.
Tip #2 - Go Bigger
If you're choosing to pick quality over quantity, then scale immediately becomes incredibly important. I would say that in general, people typically pick wall art that is too small. If you are hanging art above a sofa or bed, a good rule of thumb is to cover about two-thirds of the wall behind said piece of furniture (even if, for example, your sofa isn't fully against the wall). You can do this with one large piece of art, a diptych or triptych, or even a gallery wall. If doing multiple pieces, you'll want to group them together so that they look visually cohesive.
Gallery wall frames hung as a triptych
One large statement piece of art stands out behind a neutral sofa
Tip #3 - Consider Negative Space when Creating Gallery Walls
Gallery walls are a great way to show off family photos or your favorite pieces of art in an intentional way. In my opinion, there are two main types of gallery walls. First, you have the super exciting gallery wall that leans toward more of an eclectic style. Second, you have a more minimal gallery wall that is less occupied and more refined. Neither is wrong, just understand that the result you're going to get comes down completely to the amount of negative space you leave. Let's look at two examples!
Image via Framebridge
In this more minimal example, the frames have large white mats that create a ton of negative space. The larger the mats you use in your gallery wall, the more minimal your final result will be.
Design: Emily Henderson
In this more eclectic example, even though most of the frames are simple and refined the resulting wall is still busier due to lack of negative space. Grouping items closer together and having little to no matting on your frames is going to create a much more varied and eclectic result.
If you're struggling to figure out what to hang on your walls, I want to help! Local and nationwide clients alike are welcome take advantage of my Concierge Interior Styling service. In this service, I'll help you edit the pieces of art you already have, arrange them in a more refined way, and help you add to your collection of wall art if need be. To sign up, visit the services page of my website to submit your project inquiry.
Shop our favorite art pieces and gallery wall frames:
Hackett House Studio is a boutique interior design firm located in Columbus, Ohio offering full-service and virtual interior design services, as well as concierge styling and interior photography. Please visit the services page of our website to learn more about us, and to inquire about working with us.
*Affiliate Link Disclaimer*
Hey friend! Here's the skinny: when I post links to products, they are usually affiliate links. This means I get a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you purchase something through one of my links. Every product I share is something I love and, in many cases, is something I've bought for either myself or for clients. It's one the ways we keep HHS running, and why I'm so grateful you choose to read my blog! From the bottom of my heart, thank you for shopping with me and leave me a comment below to let me know if you're enjoying your purchases!