how to display pictures in your home

Large artworks can help a space feel more homey, according to art consultant Louisa Warfield.

Andreas Von Einsiedel | Corbis Documentary | Getty Images

There are two common mistakes people make when hanging art in their homes, according to art consultant Louisa Warfield.

“The first is, they hang work that is too small for the space. And often you’ll go in, and you’ll find a sofa [couch] with one tiny picture above it, and that looks lonely and bleak,” she said.

Instead, “Hang a wall… with as big a painting as you can fit.” This helps a room feel homey, Warfield said, while at the same time making the space appear larger. Don’t be afraid to hang large artworks in smaller spaces such as hallways, Warfield said.

The second mistake is hanging artworks too high, which makes pieces harder to “connect” with. “Whether it’s just the visual connection, you just like the look of it, or whether it’s an emotional connection, you feel something from it … if the work is hung too high it feels like it’s not really in the room,” she said.

People sometimes make the mistake of hanging artwork too high, according to art consultant Louisa Warfield. Instead, hang the work so that its center is about 150cm above the floor, as demonstrated by the large painting on the right hand side of this dining room. The work displayed is by contemporary artist David Price and the interior designer was Rachael Harding.

Louisa Warfield Art Consultancy

A guideline is to hang the work so that its center is about 150cm above the floor, Warfield said. Alternatively, hang it so that your eye level is about a third of the way down from the top of the piece. “These are guides — there’s no hard and fast rule,” she said.

The ‘gallery wall’

Having a gallery wall, where several pieces of varying sizes are hung together, is a popular way to display art at home. Most people are not art collectors who buy work around a particular theme; instead, they might acquire pieces on vacation or receive art as gifts, Warfield said.

“As our lives grow and get bigger, [the artworks] often don’t match. But a gallery wall … allows you to draw together lots of quite disparate bits into one quite holistic look,” she said.

Warfield suggests giving the display cohesion. “This might be as simple as everything has a black frame. This might be simple as everything is a flower picture, or … everything is a black and white photo,” she said. She might add a quirk, such as having one picture that has a touch of red in it that stands out against a monochrome selection. 

A “gallery wall” in art consultant Louisa Warfield’s London home. Warfield suggested laying pictures on the floor in your desired arrangement before hanging them.

Louisa Warfield Art Consultancy

In a large home, a gallery wall might be about 160cm in height and about the width of the couch the art will hang above, Warfield said. She said mixing larger pieces with smaller ones is acceptable and recommended laying out pictures on the floor in front of the…

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how to display pictures in your home

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