How to Hang and Showcase Your Artwork September 09 2014

If the walls in your home seem a little too plain, try livening up your living space with some art. Framed photos or paintings are a great way to show your style and add personality to a home. Sadly, many wince at the tricky business of properly hanging art. Fortunately, you've come to the right place. These simple guidelines will help you get that artwork looking great and hanging level in no time.

To start, take your available wall space into consideration. Are you looking for a piece that will dominate the living room, or just something that will add interest to a small section of a hallway or staircase? There are frames and art for almost every situation, so be sure you know what you're looking for before you buy. You'll also want to make sure that the artwork doesn't clash with your existing furniture or color scheme. For instance, abstract works of art will generally fit better with IKEA furniture than a classic Victorian style, though of course the choice is up to you. Also, if you plan on being able to see the art, make sure the area you choose is well-lit.

Once you've got your artwork, it's time to figure out your placing options. Most experts recommend hanging art so that the center of the piece rests at eye level, usually around 60 inches from the floor, although this will obviously not always be possible. Measure and plan carefully before installing hanging fixtures, as you don't want your wall to end up full of holes from botched attempts.

If you're hanging a series or set of pictures together, place the most important one in the middle position, since the eye will be naturally drawn to it. Differently sized pictures will look more level if aligned along their centers rather than their edges.

Now that you've got your artwork and your location, it's time for the hard part, actually hanging the picture. You'll want the picture to rest flush against the wall, and of course, hang levelly. Your own gallery hanging system should be easy to use, simple to install, and most importantly, sturdy and reliable. Avoid using a wire hanging system, as they tend to slide around and become crooked, however, if you must use a wire hanger, try using two hooks instead of one for added stability. Hooks with more acute angles will also hold a picture better and rest flusher with the wall. If possible, though, try solid fixtures such as D-rings or triangle loops instead, as these are much more reliable. Another excellent option are bracket cleats, which securely lock the artwork in place, and are very sturdy. Double-check the fixtures to make sure that they're level. If they're not, you'll have to adjust your wall-mounted fixtures to compensate.

Carefully mark where the fixtures will end up on the wall, and install the other end of your fixtures. Make sure to use a level before and after installation to make sure that you are completely straight. If hanging your art from drywall, make sure your fixtures are well anchored in a stud in order to prevent cracking or tearing.

If you've done everything correctly, you should now have an attractive piece of artwork that looks great, straight, and steady. Enjoy!

Many thanks to guest author Steven Rosen for this post.

Steven Rosen is a marketing consultant and content writer for AS Hanging Systems. He has an educational background in marketing and communications and is quite the handyman in terms of home improvements and decor.