Did you know there is an art to hanging an artwork? How to display a statement artwork I realised is a complete topic in itself. If you want to make a statement, you really need to do just that and not something that is just halfway there. Large pieces of art can be a big investment and it's important therefore to understand the dos and don'ts when it comes to hanging them. Let me show you here how to display a statement artwork to complete your room.
There is no better way to bring personality to a room than by adding artwork. This will say more about you and your style than any sofa, cushion or table lamp could ever do. In neutral spaces where we use so much white and grey now, artwork really does come into its own. We have all been faced with a blank wall and wondered how to make it more appealing, rather than just a dead space to look past or pass by.
There are a number of approaches to make it more interesting. You can employ a collection of interesting items to group together so that the eye can meander slowly along the wall. Or you can use a large mirror, which is particularly effective if it reflects a beautiful view. Or you can use a statement artwork to create the perfect wow factor..
I love this last option as a statement artwork adds the perfect finishing touch to a space, creating a dramatic effect and adding a personal element that ensures the room has impact, character and appeal.
My top tips for how to display a statement artwork
- You have to LOVE it! Anything that is a statement will become the focal point in a room so ensure that each time you see it, you are still really happy with it. Too often I see people select artwork they think they SHOULD buy rather than something that they really love. This is fine when you can hide it in a corner but if it will be the major artwork statement in a space, you really need to love it.
- You also need to ensure that it suits the look of the room and that the scale is right for the wall space.
- A statement artwork will draw the eye directly to the area where it is displayed so ensure that you are not placing it where it will be in competition with a beautiful view. Remember though if you have something you are trying to hide, an artwork like this can actually be used to great effect to draw the eye away from a less flattering part of the room, perhaps from an air conditioning unit or a dull outlook.
- Statement artworks also look great over a bedhead but you need to ensure that the scale of them is such that it is in proportion to the size of the bed.
- Artworks on a wall should be hung at eye level. You shouldn't have to tilt your head too far up or down to look at the piece comfortably. Don't get too concerned with lining up an artwork at a set point, for example a door architrave. It is more important to hang it at the average person's eye level.
Related: 5 tips to create a calm bedroom environment
You don't have to restrict a statement piece to a single large artwork. A pair of artworks from a series look very effective together.
How to display a statement artwork on furniture
Remember too that you don't have to confine a statement artwork to a wall in your home. The trend for propping up artworks on shelving or on pieces of furniture is very popular and brings a casual note to the scheme.
Rather than finding the perfect space and committing to hanging a piece on the wall, it is very effective if you just prop up an artwork on a sideboard or chest of drawers. This can still be quite a statement piece and displayed on an item of furniture really brings it into the styling vignette.
Statement artworks on a dark background
What to consider with the background colour:
- As a statement piece, the artwork is likely to contain strong colour and this will usually look much more effective on a dark background.
- A white background will make the artwork appear fresh and clean, however a beautiful rich dark background colour will really ground the artwork and ensure that it belongs in the space.
- Your eye will also be drawn directly to the statement artwork rather than the white space around it. I'm not a big fan of feature walls anymore but if you have a wall where you are going to hang an artwork and group it with a chair then I think this is a good reason to have a feature wall. I'm just past the picking a wall out of four and plonking a colour on it – always think about the reason you are doing anything like this in design.
- Consider the colours that the artwork contains and draw out one of the darker hues to use as the background for the wall. You will need to view large samples of your proposed paint colour behind the artwork to see which ones really work the best and display the artwork to its best advantage.
Related: How to work with a dark colour palette
A statement artwork should never be just isolated on a wall. Artworks always look far more effective if they are part of the room, so above a chair or sofa, in a decorating vignette with a side table and plant or a gorgeous landscape piece over a bed.
If you are struggling with putting together a scheme for a room or even a vignette for a corner you may find it useful to put a mood board together. By pulling together your ideas onto one board, it helps you to see what is working well and what should be taken away. I have a step by step guide on how to put a mood board together in my FREE Resource Library. Click here to download.
I generally prefer gallery walls along hallways, as being part of a collection they become a vignette on their own. Unless you have space for a slim console table that you can then hang a statement artwork above, I find it is preferable to use these walls for a gallery. Possibly a family photo collection that you can appreciate as you meander past.
Alternatively you can hang statement artworks along a hallway if you group them. The designer here in the image above has done a very good job with these four statement pieces as the frames tie in with the pendants. The large expanse of white within the artwork ties in with the white painted background creating a very pleasing rhythm along the wall.
So think carefully when you have an area like this that you would like to hang artwork in to avoid a beautiful piece looking lost and stranded on a large long wall.
Related: 7 tips for the perfect welcoming hallway
My final piece of advice is to enlist the services of a professional art installer, if you can find one. I use one and even when I think I have the right spot chosen for a piece, he will just tweak it slightly and make it look so much better. He can also hang large pieces in difficult to access areas and ensure that the beautiful statement artwork over the bed doesn't land on your head in the middle of the night!
Failing that and you want to DIY, bear in mind the points above and you are sure to find the perfect spot for that beautiful piece.
If you are a keen photographer you will have lots of beautiful photos. One of the best ways to display these, and certainly one that provides the greatest impact, is to turn them into gorgeous canvas prints that you can use to decorate your home. The appeal of this is that the artworks are unique, have a personal meaning and are relatively inexpensive. I have a related post on this here How to decorate with canvas prints.
Do you have questions about how to display artwork or comments about this post. If so don't forget to comment in the section below and follow me on Pinterest where I have a board dedicated to ideas and inspiration about displaying artworks.