A large piece of artwork becomes a focal point in any room, and makes an immediate impression on the viewer. Whether that impression is positive or negative often depends on how the art is hung on the wall . . . scale is so important.
As home décor becomes more minimalist, with simple, clean lines, one large piece is often preferable to a grouping particularly over a sofa and definitely over the mantle. We want that space to be full, at the right scale, to get the right ‘wow’ factor. Even with an 8-foot ceiling, don’t be afraid to fill the space; it can actually add the illusion of height when art is displayed properly.
Perhaps the most important rule of thumb is to make sure the art is not the exact width of the furniture. Smaller or larger is the way to go; artwork the same size as the furniture piece can often look boxy. If larger accessories such as lamps or tall vases are part of the mix, then we definitely recommend the furniture piece be larger . . . and the art should be contained within those accessories. However if the accessory piece on the buffet table, chest, etc. is going to be a simple bowl, tray or hand-thrown pottery,then the art can go beyond the edges of the furniture piece to make a bold statement.
Another key tip is to hang the artwork so that the center point of the piece is at approximately eye level; though you may need to adjust for furniture underneath so that you’re not creating an awkward large gap between the art and the sofa. You may also choose to hang your piece lower in a dining room or den where you’ll appreciate it seated.
A well-known piece of advice is to trace your art on brown craft paper, mark where the nail(s) should meet the wire, cut it out, and tape on the wall with painters tape. When you have it positioned exactly where you want the art, hammer in your nail(s) through the paper for a fool-proof display.