We moved into our house three years this month – and still have so much we want to do. One of those things is hang more pictures. I have them leaning against walls; rolled up awaiting frames; photos uploaded to Photobox which need to be ordered and framed… (Is everyone’s home to do list as long as mine, by the way?)
In our last house, we had pictures snaking up the stairs, rather like this (but on, ahem, a considerably more modest scale):
I’ve started something similar in our new house – but this time I am keen to mix it up. I have in the past confined myself to a single colour palette for the frames, but I am now engaged in a more ad hoc approach, like Rita Konig’s picture wall [top] and this one – both of which I spotted via Domino, which has now relaunched and is well-worth checking out…
If you do crave a more uniform approach, it does look ultra effective. Ensure you mix up the sizes of frames and what you choose to frame e.g. photographs, paintings (a modern frame around an old painting (I’m not talking a family heirloom or Rembrandt, here; I’m thinking more along the lines of something you might have picked up in a charity shop because it appealed), children’s art, prints, postcards, even fabric swatches. The frames will have a unifying effect.On the subject of unifying, I love the idea of giving vintage/secondhand frames a lick of paint. This works so well in some cases that you may find you don’t even require pictures…
Arranging pictures is, I admit, a bit of an art. As a general rule of thumb, the traditional advice is to hang them at 57 inches on centre i.e. measure from the floor to the centre of the wall, and make a mark: you want the centre of whatever you’re hanging to be over this mark (for more on this, see here). This is gallery height and (roughly) eye level. However, if you’re hanging a gallery wall, the world is, in theory, your oyster. You can always start with the dominant piece, hang that centrally, and work around it.
Don’t feel you have to be exact. There is charm in the slightly haphazard. Look at Rita Konig’s living room [top picture, above] – she’s throw in a picture which leans casually against the wall. In my living room, I have pictures on the wall (hung where it ‘feels’ right) and then more pictures propped on a picture shelf in an ad hoc manner. If you like mixing it up, a picture shelf (you can get them from good old Ikea) means you can play around with height, frames, pictures, even objects, as much as your heart desires.
If you don’t have an innate ‘eye’ for arranging frames en masse (and even if you do, just to be sure you’ve got it right before you commit to hammer and nail), trace around the shape of the frames on newspaper/brown paper, then use these templates to mark out where to hang your pictures. Place them on the floor, then the wall, and play around with them, until it looks right. Rather like this jolly helpful picture I found via Pinterest:
Images: Rita Konig’s living room, Domino; Amanda Peet’s stairway, Domino; Lonny via Pinterest; Indulgy; Design Sponge; Pinterest; Pinterest; Pinterest