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If These Walls Could Talk

Displaying Wall Art

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10/01/2009 - The artwork and ornamental accessories one chooses to place in one's home can be perhaps the most expressive and personal part of the dwelling. Artwork has no utilitarian purpose. It is in the home purely by the choice. It says much about the home's owner and it invites the scrutiny of the room's occupants.

Treat your collection of artwork and accessories carefully--- don't use art simply as a way to fill empty space. Artwork can create mood, balance, and interest in a room. It is perfect for forming focal points and establishing color schemes. It is the main character revealing aspect of decoration, but to be effective, it must be placed carefully and not haphazardly tossed about.

To begin visualizing wall art placement, stand in the room's doorways. From these viewpoints you will notice how the room first appears to someone entering. Take into account where you would like to have your eyes linger. If the room is an entry, hallway, or stairwell, all of one's art-hanging decisions can be made from this standing position. If it is a dining room, living room, or bedroom, view each wall from a position seated in each part of the furniture grouping. Every position should provide a pleasant view of the art arrangements.

If your walls offer large expanses of unbroken space, you can plan massive and dramatic arrangements. Alcoves and recesses can be treated like mini-rooms within the room--- each one a place for a special piece of artwork. A single very large picture automatically becomes the dominant focal point of a room. An important piece should be hung alone so its' full impact is felt. Other items hanging close to it distract and confuse. Smaller artwork however should be anchored over furnishings and not left visually floating awkwardly in space.

A group of pictures that are similar in tone and framing can be arranged symmetrically in a geometric pattern and treated as a single unit. Smaller pictures that vary in size, framing, and content can likewise be used as a unit when arrange asymmetrically. A symmetrical arrangement is easiest to achieve and imparts a feeling of formality and dignity. An asymmetrical one is more difficult to master, but when done well has excitement and drama. One key to successful asymmetrical arrangements is using only a few pieces--- preferably an odd number. Too many items create a cluttered look.

Wall art, because it is attached to the wall, has more of a sense of permanence than artwork placed on tables. By this somewhat permanent placement it declares that it is important to its owner. Carefully chosen and carefully hung, wall art shows the taste and priorities of the homeowner.

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