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Hanging your photographs
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Photographs can expand a space both visually and emotionally, give us a window to the world, bring back certain memories, bring interest and color to the wall spaces, and generally liven up the place.

Here's concise hints how to arrange photographs in a room. In general, photographs should be hung so that the center point of the photograph or grouping is at about eye level for the average person. While this won't be possible in every situation, it's a good guideline to keep in mind.

Size and Grouping

  • Relate photograph to wall size. Choose smaller pictures for narrow walls and larger works for big wall spaces.
  • Relate photograph to furniture size. When hanging a framed photograph over a piece of furniture it should not be longer than the width of the furniture.
  • Don't hang the photographs too close to each other or you will end up with a cluttered look. Don't hang them too far apart or you'll lose that unified look.
  • Proper use of line can set the mood in a room:
    • Strong horizontal lines in photograph, or in the way it is hung, tend to be calming and can give the illusion of width in a narrow room.
    • Strong vertical lines in a photograph or in the arrangement on the wall add to the feeling of height in a room.
    • Strong diagonal lines either within a photograph itself or in a line of photographs arranged on the wall add drama and excitement.
  • Use symmetrical or asymmetrical arrangements of photographs to create either a formal or a casual feeling. Symmetry adds balance and formality to an arrangement and is generally pleasing and calming to the observer.
  • A grouping of photographs should be thought of as one unit.
  • One large photograph makes a statement and keeps things simple.
  • A number of photographs framed in one mat and frame will have more impact.

Themes

  • Support your room theme with photographs, repeating the colors, motifs, and style of the room's interior.
  • Landscape photographs visually open up a smaller space. The view of a distant horizon acts as a sort of window.

Color

  • Vibrant colors bring excitement to a room, neutral colors are more calming.
  • Photographs will have greater impact if matted in a contrasting color to the wall. Choose a dark mat for a light wall and a light mat for a dark wall.

Framing

  • Choose frame colors and styles that match the style of your home.
  • To harmonize a set of photographs, mat and frame them alike.

Lighting

  • Illuminate photographs well. It can be lost unless well lit.
  • Depending on a given place, one can use a picture light, track lighting or recessed lighting.

Hanging

  • Hang photographs securely. Rate picture hooks for the weight of the framed photograph.

Care of Photographs

  • Frame your photographs properly or have a professional frame it for you.
  • Unframed photographs will collect dust, humidity, and eventually won't last!
  • Never hang photograph in direct sunlight: it can fade.
  • Never hang photograph above a working fireplace.
  • Never hang photograph on an exterior wall without adequate insulation: it can dampen.
  • Try to maintain a constant room temperature and humidity.
  • Mat boards and adhesives must be acid-free, otherwise yellowing will occur with time.
 
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