Good Questions: How To Hang Artwork in Groups?

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Hello AT,

Instead of spreading my small art collection around in my apartment, I wanted to designate a space specifically for it. I have temporarily used thumb tacks to hang these pieces up on my wall of choice, along with a wall mirror. Coming up with the right arrangement seems to be the problem.

I have played around with two different ways, but still am not satisfied. The two small pieces leaning against the wall at the bottom are needing to be incorporated in there somehow as well. Can you help me?

Sincerely, Tara in Tennessee

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Dear Tara,

It's a bit hard to describe exactly how to hang your pieces because there is an art to it, but a few design rules will help you:

1. Lose the mirror: In this group, the mirror is dissimilar and takes away from your intention to draw attention to your art. Put it on another wall.

2. Use the floor: Assemble everything on the floor first, so that you can move things around without marking up your wall.

3. Start with the largest: Your lovely square flower print is the largest piece and will anchor the assembly. Start by laying it down first.

4. Big things at the bottom: The larger the piece, the more weight it conveys, so place these nearer the bottom for more balance and harmony. This doesn't mean that you can't put a small piece on the bottom, but in general this rule helps the whole.

5. Hang similar with similar: Be sure that your assembly has a clear theme. Odd pieces that have no relation will disrupt the harmony of what you are trying to accomplish. An assembly is equivalent to one piece, so treat it as such.

6. Themes can be creative: Not all your pictures need be "about" the same thing. They can be grouped together because they're all in black and white, they're all by one artist, or they're all the same size. Kinship between pieces can be on any number of levels.

7. Keep your pics in line: While you don't want to put everything on a hard xy axis, you definitely want some consistency to the way the edges of each piece line up. Starting with your first piece, add one at a time and be sure they line up along one edge.

Anyone else??

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.