Make the most of your walls and follow these tips on how to display art in your home from our team of experts. Story: Kara O’Reilly

The interior designer: Abigail Ahern, influential interiors guru, author and owner of Atelier Abigail Ahern

How you arrange pictures can have as much impact as the artworks themselves. While some statement pieces deserve to be hung alone, others (such as drawings, photos and small-scale prints) work best in groups, clustered by a staircase, above a sofa or simply strung along a wall. The important thing to remember is that the images together should create a visual rhythm that is greater than if each one were hung separately.

When placing art around furniture go with your intuition: lowering an image to waist height relates it to, say, the sofa. But if you want to draw the eye upwards to highlight an architectural detail perhaps, then hang your picture higher to help accent it.

Images grouped together should create a visual rhythm

If you’re hanging just one picture or a little row of pictures, for example, be sure to hang at eye level. Too high or too low and the wall will look odd and unbalanced. Horizontal or vertical lines of pictures, hung with ample breathing space in between, create a very modern look. They are fab for transitional areas such as hallways and stairwells, as they have the effect of leading the eye along the space – just don’t squash them too tightly together.

It’s not just about the art, the frame is important too. Mix and match modern with traditional, metal with distressed gold. It all helps up the visual interest.

The modern muralist: Tom Pickford of digital print specialists, Surface View

Unifying themes can help set the tone of a room. Bringing together retro photography, painted landscapes, or classic portraiture will help give your room identity. Why not try to achieve a gallery effect by hanging together art work with similar themes?

Go BIG with full-on wall art. Our most popular products are our full wall murals that cover a whole wall to make a stunning feature. You can choose your favourite masterpieces from The National Gallery or a classic retro photograph from Slim Aarons from our ranges, but you can also use your own imagery. Be bold and you’ll be rewarded.

Go big with full-on wall art

You don’t have to commit long-term: some of the best examples of displaying artwork in homes use shelves or sideboards to prop up framed posters, prints or artworks. If you want to live with something for a while, try it out in this way before finding its permanent home. You can create some beautiful results by propping instead of hanging.

The stylist: Jane Rockett, co-founder of online interiors boutique, Rockett St George

The first task is to ensure that you are creating a coherent collection. By this I mean collating your artwork and editing it by taking away anything that doesn’t fit in. This will make choosing the format in which you want to display it – walls, shelf or mantle and so on – much easier.

When styling wall art use odd quantities

Another tip we always try to stick to when styling is to use odd quantities; it just looks better. Straight lines also make your display look slick. If you are planning on creating a picture wall, make sure you have a spirit level and tape measure to hand – it really will pay off.

Be out of the ordinary and experiment with what you have. You can do something different by picking out an ordinary object and displaying it in a way that brings out its unexpected beauty. Try hanging a rug on a wall, or a musical instrument, for example.


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