Hanging a collection of pictures on a wall is an act that doesn’t necessarily require prior knowledge or special ability, but it will not do any harm to familiarize yourself with some basic rules of aesthetics.
After we received a number of inquiries regarding gallery walls, we decided that it might be worthwhile to pass on a few rules of thumb regarding this matter as a public service (#Imogie_of_an_Angel).
And another thing we’d like to note before we go any further, like many things related to interior design – these are not mathematical formulas (except paragraph 2), and always remember that every rule has thousands of exceptions, so no one sets rivets here (at least not in the wall).
The thing about the rules of thumb is that there can be a wall of pictures that will not answer any of the rules and will work fine, but there cannot be a gallery wall that will meet the rules listed here and will go wrong. Comprende? Let’s get started.
1. Have a theme
On every gallery wall, there’s some common denominator for all, or at least some, of the pictures. It can be a frame of the same color, it can be the same passepartout, or it can be a series of images with the same style or color palette. Whether visible or not, the common dominator is always present.
2. The golden ratio
The human eye loves proportion. But what exactly is proportion? Can we quantify this into a mathematical formula? The answer is yes (this is the exception from earlier).
It turns out that there is a very clear size ratio that the human eye, and nature in general, perceive as aesthetically pleasing. We have attached the following diagram to convey the most basic rule of this relationship. If we take a line and divide it in two – our eye will perceive the division aesthetically pleasing when the relationship between AB and AC, is equal to the ratio between BC and AB. This is also a relationship known as the “golden ratio” (1: 1.61).
When this relationship exists, the observed elements will automatically be perceived as proportional and therefore aesthetically pleasing. Incidentally, this rule applies to facial features and many other things in nature. With regard to wall art, it is possible and even desirable that the frames of the images you hang have such proportions.
3. Hang in unconventional places
So, it’s true that you are used to seeing a picture on the wall of the living room above the television, but why not hang a picture on the bottom of the wall or just above the side table by the bed? Think outside the picture and wonderful things will happen. Promise.
On that note, know that in high-ceilinged spaces, hanging the images ceiling-to-floor emphasizes the height of the ceiling in a rather flattering way, which is highly recommended at transit stations in a hallway, toilet, or in the stairway.
4. What is the right arrangement for hanging pictures in a group?
As a start, we recommend taking all the pictures and arranging them on the floor in the composition they’re designated to hang on the wall. After deciding on the composition, bring the pictures closer together. We recommend a close distance of about 3-4 cm, but there is nothing to prevent the images being more distant – all according to your liking.
Overall, we would recommend keeping the same distance range between all images whatever that is. For those of you who got lost in the composition stage – if you find this stage a little overwhelming, look for gallery wall inspiration that you like and try to create a similar composition or a composition that is inspired by the existing one.
Try to figure out which elements in the composition are appealing to you and apply them to your project.
The difficulty part comes after hanging the first image- that is to be treated as the point of reference when you hang the image that follows.
Measure the distance between the top edge of the frame to where the nail is going to hang (the distance between the two fingers in the image below). That way you’ll know exactly how high the picture will be. Why is this important information you ask? Because you have to keep some kind of straight line between the pictures.
If you look at all the pictures in the article, at least one side of each and every one is aligned with at least one side on another picture. The alignment can be top to bottom, or left to right. The difficulty that you experience with creating a straight line is exactly what will pay off in the end and will add that professional punch to it.
5. All the lazy people- this is for you
Although we probably lost all the lazy people in the golden ratio explanation, this is for all the lazy lates that have reached this point. If you are not people of the bar, platoon, dimensions, golden ratios, ladders, and climbing walls – we have the perfect solution for you!
A shelf! Simple as that.
Hang a shelf and place pictures on it, and that is the end of the story. The advantage here is that the composition is more dynamic and less binding. The downside – beware of congestion and confusion. The fact that this is a shelf does not mean that you can completely disperse the pictures.
6. Add additional elements (that are not pictures)
Try to combine additional elements and other monuments that are not in the form of an image, such as a mirror, a wall sculpture, a wall carpet, a metal monument, or even a hat. It will be fun.
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