Art that doesn’t suit your home, is hung badly or is poorly produced is very hard to hide.
It’s right there, after all, sticking out at visitors like a sore thumb, and no amount of colourful throws or expensive soft furnishings can make up for it.
Format Framing co-founder Misha Glisovic agreed there was an art to, well, hanging art, but encouraged people to give it a go, no matter their tastes.
“You can hang everything from art bought from a gallery, to home decor and personal things,” he said. “There is room for both styles, and you don’t have to be an art collector to hang nice things.”
In the past, walls were largely reserved for traditional art and posed family photos, but these days it’s a much more eclectic affair.
“We’re seeing a lot of iPhone snaps from people’s holidays (that people want framed), and we frame illustrations from artists who run their own online stores and sell directly to our clients,” Mr Glisovic said.
Instagram has also become a surprising source of wall art.
“You can print (pictures) directly from Instagram (via apps and websites), and people will often create nice little clusters of a few framed images on the wall,” Mr Glisovic said.
“It’s a good idea, but you just need to make sure you get permission off the person whose image it is beforehand.”
He said many great artists and illustrators were selling images directly to customers via social media.
Honing your taste
If you’re not sure what kind of art floats your boat, search interiors websites, Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration.
“Or check out affordable art fairs or local exhibitions for reasonably priced art,” Mr Glisovic suggested.
Should you focus on contemporary art if you live in a contemporary home? And should you match art with furniture?
Not necessarily, according to Mr Glisovic.
“(Art) needs to complement the interior scheme of your room, but doesn’t need to match exactly,” he said. “So, don’t try and get it to match the couch, as the most important thing is that you like it. That way, you won’t feel like changing it in a year’s time.”
When it comes to choosing a frame, just make sure you steer clear of anything too garish if you’re after a contemporary look.
“The idea of a frame is to make the artwork look good,” Mr Glisovic said. “Good framing disappears and blends into the background, and I wouldn’t recommend any loud feature frames.”
On the subject of placing artworks, Mr Glisovic said it was important to consider the room temperature and environment.
“Direct light can actually be very bad for artwork and can fade it,” he said.
“It can deteriorate quite quickly in natural sunlight. Also, if there is airconditioning or heaters near the work, it can be bad for the work.”
Tread carefully with kitchens and bathrooms, too.
“Placing artwork next to sources of heat can be a problem,” Mr Glisovic said. “And be careful about bathrooms because of the moisture from the shower. A smaller separate powder room may be OK, though.”
Don’t be afraid to experiment with arranging pictures in artful groups, aka “salon style”.
“It’s a fun way to use lots of different artworks and bring them all together,” Mr Glisovic said. “Be bold and don’t be afraid to move a few around.”
You could also opt for three perfectly even artworks in a row.
“You have to be more careful about selecting the artwork with this approach, because it helps if they’re the same size or the same style with the same framing style. But it looks great.”
Here is Mr Glisovic’s advice for hanging pictures:
• Create a focal point with one large cluster of framed images or artworks in one area, rather than spreading artworks across many areas of the wall.
• Hang works in a salon style, using different frame sizes and styles, grouped together.
• To help you create a salon-style hang, first arrange your cluster of artworks on the ground, starting with the biggest piece in the middle, to get an idea of how it will look.
• Perfect the art of the salon hang by ensuring a consistent distance between each frame and keeping the cluster loosely square for geometric symmetry.
• Print your favourite photos and hang them in small groups in your bedroom.
• Hang whatever gives you meaning. This could be an abstract piece of art from a local artist or it could be a family picture. Whatever gives meaning to your life is the right thing to hang on the walls.