Tips for us­ing art­work in your home’s stylist shares her tips on how to brighten up spa­ces


ONE thing I’ve no­ticed with my clients over the years is that most of them at some stage say to me, “I have this great piece of art but…” and then they pro­ceed to tell me one of the fol­low­ing rea­sons why it is not hung: “I don’t know how to hang art.” “I am not sure what height to hang it at.” “I don’t know where it goes.” “I don’t know whether it goes with my other art.” That’s just to men­tion a few.

Here are a few point­ers to help you be more con­fi­dent in us­ing the art you have around your home and even cre­at­ing some your­self.

1. Hang at eye level

Around 99% of my clients hang their art at the wrong height, usu­ally far too high, which means you don’t get the chance to ad­mire it as it was in­tended. The cor­rect height to hang art is at eye level, with the av­er­age eye height be­ing ap­prox­i­mately 160cm from the ground for an adult.

With large pieces, re­mem­ber to hang the cen­tre of the piece at eye height, not the bot­tom of it.

2. Get cre­ative with fram­ing

The ‘mat board’ and frame can have a big ef­fect on the over­all ap­peal of the piece, so be­fore you throw a piece out for char­ity think­ing it doesn’t work in your home, con­sider what it might be like framed dif­fer­ently.

Start by re­mov­ing it from the frame and tak­ing a fresh look at it.

You can re­fresh a piece with a new frame, or un­leash hid­den char­ac­ter in a piece by adding an older, in­ter­est­ing frame.

3. Use art to ac­cen­tu­ate the room

If you have beau­ti­ful tall ceil­ings, use art to draw your eyes up­wards by hang­ing one piece on top of the other, rather than the more tra­di­tional way of side by side.

Use or­nate de­tail to em­bel­lish or high­light art pieces, and vice versa. Choose art that brings out the best of the room, and can help mask the less in­spir­ing el­e­ments of a room.

4. Mix & match

Don’t be afraid to hang dif­fer­ent shape, size and colour images to­gether on a wall. Your pieces don’t have to be per­fectly match­ing.

When this is the case, use another el­e­ment to unify the dis­play, such as: Us­ing frames all the same colour Use frames all the same size (but maybe dif­fer­ent styles)

Us­ing frames in the same pro­file (all land­scape, for ex­am­ple).

5. Don’t con­fine your­self to walls Who said art be­longs on walls? Think out­side the box and use art at dif­fer­ent eye lev­els within the home, and on dif­fer­ent sur­faces. For ex­am­ple you could lean a frame on a hall ta­ble or side­board with smaller dec­o­ra­tive pieces or books at its base; or hang a small piece on the side or front of a large book­shelf.

6. Make sure your art is lit cor­rectly

This doesn’t mean you have to in­stall gallery light­ing all over your home, but be con­scious of the light­ing around your art.

Some art will only shine when light dances onto its sur­face in the cor­rect way and the beauty or de­tail of your favourite piece could get lost if it’s catch­ing some rays.

7. Ex­plore the home­made

Hav­ing art in your home is all about hav­ing things you love around you. Your col­lec­tion doesn’t have to fea­ture Blake or Do­bell prize win­ners. Your art can be home­made, hand­made and of­ten sim­ple. Some great ideas are: Frame up your favourite gift card Find some pat­terned wrap­ping pa­per you love and frame it up

Use trea­sures you find as art, like leaves from a hol­i­day, trin­kets from a char­ity store or even quirky art you cre­ate your­self.

Never be afraid to have some fun and ex­per­i­ment with art and images in your home.

Art doesn’t have to be all about bright white gal­leries and ex­pen­sive pieces. In­stead it can be all about you, and help­ing you cre­ate a home you love to spend time in.

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