Home decoration: How to use framed art the right way

Framed art above a desk

Purchasing and hanging framed art in your home so that it makes a good design statement is as much an art form as it is an expression of the things you love. You may choose framed pieces in similar colour schemes or maybe one or two pieces in an accent colour to add interest or to brighten up a dull room. In this article, we’re going to give you a few tips for hanging your purchased pieces.

1. UV and heat protection

Framed art on a radiator

UV light will eventually fade your artwork so try and hang it on walls that don’t get much direct sunlight. Heat and humidity can also cause damage to your framed pieces over time so avoid hanging in humid environments such as bathrooms or even the kitchen. Alternatively, if you do want some pictures in these rooms swap them with other pieces on a regular basis so they’re not exposed to the heat and humidity for extended periods.

2. Effectively group your art work

two rows of framed black & white artworks

Grouping smaller pieces together can be a very effective home décor design feature. Before you hang your pictures, lay them out on the floor in the way you’d like to hang them on the wall. Try to maintain some kind of symmetry by creating a rectangular or square display and space your frames about 3 to 4 inches apart.

Once you’ve laid your artwork out on the floor and you’re happy with the display, cut out paper templates of each frame and tape these to the wall so that you’ll get an exact idea of how the finished collection will look. Mark the picture hook locations with a pencil and then you’re ready to hang your art.

3. Make sure the pieces are consistent with your home décor

Framed oil painting above fireplace

You want the selected pieces of framed art to reflect your own personal style and also add character and charm to your home.

Before purchasing any piece of artwork, look around your home to evaluate what kind of pictures would best suit your décor. Consider your dominating colour scheme and your available wall space. You want your art pieces to compliment your décor, not dominate it. You can find a huge collection of interesting and eclectic framed artwork from places like Fine Art America which are sure to suit your particular decorating style.

4. Mount your framed art at the correct height

trio of framed artworks hung at different heights

To maintain the symmetry of your room and its furniture, ensure that you hang your artwork at the correct height. In standard 8-foot ceiling rooms, the middle of your picture should be about 5 feet off the wall. If your room has higher ceilings, you can hang your artwork a little higher.

If you’re hanging a picture above a sofa, it’s a good idea to leave a space of approximately 6 to 8 inches between the bottom of the frame and the top of the sofa. If hanging above a tabletop, you should leave a space of about 10 to 12 inches but this can be adjusted to account for lamps or other display pieces on the table.

Conclusion

Art on the floor propped against a wall

To make the most of your framed art pieces it’s important that you choose and hang them correctly. Choose pieces that not only match your personal style but your home décor as well. Consider the light, heat and humidity of each room before choosing pieces that you want to hang.

Group smaller pieces of art in a nice symmetrical shape by using paper templates to first consider their positioning and ensure that you hang your favourite art pieces at the correct height so that it’s pleasing to the eye.

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Designer Desire: Tamara de Lempicka

Mosaic of Tamara de Lempicka artworks | H is for Home

Tamara de Lempicka has been a favourite artist of ours for years. Her work isn’t from our usual era – mid century modern – it’s straight out of the Art Deco and Jazz age.

de Lempicka’s work depicts her glamorous life and that of the time in which she lived. She came from a wealthy Polish family and lived a bohemian life, socialising with aristocrats and Hollywood film stars. She married a baron, had affairs with both men and women and travelled extensively, fleeing the Russian Revolution and then World War II.

Her painting style developed and changed throughout her career however, it’s her work from the 20s & 30s that’s our favourite. Portraits of fashionable flappers, open-topped sports cars, cubist skyscrapers. Her execution of  fabric – the folds, the ruffles, the shadows – is outstanding!

A range of affordable prints and other decorative objects using her artworks  can be found online. There are also lots of books about her paintings and her long and fascinating life.

Tamara de Lempicka painting a portrait of her first husband Tadeusz Lempicki, c.1928credit

Additional image credits:

Pinterest | Wikiart

Designer Desire: Oswaldo Guayasamín

Mosaic of works by Oswaldo Guayasamín | H is for Home

We’ve only recently discovered the incredible work of Ecuadorian artist, Oswaldo Guayasamín (1919-1999).

Guayasamín was a prolific producer of paintings, drawings, sculpture and jewellery. His award-winning works were often very political and sometimes controversial. He highlighted subjects such as poverty, injustice, political oppression, racism and the class divide in Latin America. His paintings can be haunting, unsettling and, at the same time, exquisitely beautiful.

If you ever get the opportunity to visit Ecuador, visit the Capilla del Hombre (Chapel of Man) in the capital, Quito where many of his works can be viewed. It reminds us of Kettle’s Yard, but on a much larger scale.

Portrait of Oswaldo Guayasamíncredit

Image credits:

1st Dibs | Artnet | Christies | eBay | Invaluable

Designer Desire: Antonio Frasconi

Mosaic of Antonio Frasconi artworks | H is for Home

Antonio Frasconi (1919 – 2013) was an illustrator best known for his woodcut prints, especially the ones in his award-winning 1950s children’s book, The House That Jack Built, a picture book in two languages. and See and Say, a picture book in four languages. He often produced books in multiple languages; namely English, Italian, French and Spanish. A great way to learn a new language – whatever your age may be!

Frasconi was born in Argentina, grew up in Uruguay and, aged 26, moved to the USA. In addition to his work for children he produced very political works on subjects such as the Vietnam War and ‘Los Desaparecidos’ (The disappeared), the people tortured and killed during the Uruguayan Dictatorship in the 197s and 80s.

As well as his own books, he designed numerous covers and illustrations for the works of other authors and poets including:

  • Dylan Thomas – Reading a Child’s Christmas in Wales | Narrating Under Milk Wood (LP records)
  • Herman Melville – On the Slain Collegians
  • Walt Whitman – Overhead the Sun
  • Jan Wahl – The Little Blind Goat
  • Ruth Krauss – The Cantilever Rainbow
  • Henri Pirenne – Medieval Cities: Their Origins and the Revival of Trade
  • André Gide – Strait is the Gate | If It Die
  • Glenway Wescott – 12 Fables of Aesop
  • Titus Burkhardt – Alchemy

Antonio Frasconi at work

Image credits:

Invaluable | Pinterest | Moma | Amazon

Mid century modern golfer

Mid century modern bronze golfer figure | H is for Home

Any golfers with a love of mid century modern style out there? We might have just the thing for you.

Mid century modern bronze golfer figure | H is for Home

We picked up this small bronze sculpture today and were very taken by the design. Long, sinuous limbs and strong facial features. We thought it had something of the Alberto Giacometti about it.

Mid century modern bronze golfer figure | H is for Home

You don’t actually need to be a golfer to appreciate this striking little object. A simple yet bold design – perfect on a bookshelf or desk. It will be available in our web shop soon.

Tibor Reich exhibition

Tibor Reich tapestry | H is for Home

Last week, I made an all too rare visit to Manchester; I was meeting a friend at the Whitworth to view the Tibor Reich exhibition.

Tibor Reich exhibition room at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

Tibor Reich mural at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

Tigoware sketch by Tibor Reich displayed at the Whitworth

Tibor Reich Tigo-Ware 'Florence' and 'Espanola' vases | H is for Home

It was wonderful seeing his work ‘in the flesh’ so to speak, rather than in books or on the internet, to appreciate the scale. The ‘Florence’ Tigo-Ware vase on the left of the photo above is over a foot tall.

Examples of Tigo-Ware designed by Tibor Reich and produced by Denby Pottery in the 1950s | H is for Home

Tibor Reich designed ceramic tiles | H is for Home

His black & white sgraffito designs are very eye-catching and distinctive.

Ceramic ashtrays designed by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

Apparently, he designed and produced these keyhole-shaped ashtrays as presents for friends one Christmas. I’ve never seen one on the open market, they’re absolutely beautiful!

Ceramic ashtray designed by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

Tibor Reich pen & ink sketches | H is for Home

A lot of his ceramic work is concerned with the female form and visage – my friend and I wondered whether his wife Freda, who was pictured in many of the photographs in the exhibition, acted as his muse.

Colour sketches of women by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

A displat of tools and other objects used by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

Tibor Reich's sitting room which he designed himself | H is for Home

Reich may be best known for his textiles (his designs were on the seats of Concorde and the QE II), however his practice was multifaceted. Ceramics, fine art, photography… he even designed his own home including the ‘flaming onion’ fire in his sitting room, shown above.

 

A photo posted by TIBOR (@tiborreich) on

Tibor Reich: Art of Colour and Texture, shown above, was published earlier this month to accompany the exhibition. It can be purchased here (£35.00). The Tibor Reich exhibition runs until August 2016, so you still have lots of time to check it out – it’s well worth it! If you can’t get to Manchester, the University of Leeds (where he studied) have a huge archive of his textile work which can be viewed online.

Wallpaper display at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

In an adjoining room, there was an exhibition of vintage wallpaper (which runs until the 4th of September 2016). With the room’s huge, tall walls the long rolls were shown off to spectacular effect.

Wallpaper display at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

Although I loved most of the designs, it also made me realise how overpowering some of the patterns would be if all four walls in a room were papered. A small feature wall would suffice!

Vintage 'Promenade' wallpaper sample | H is for Home

There were display cabinets of wallpaper samples – here are two of my favourites.

Vintage wallpaper sample with birds pattern | H is for Home