Wall You Need to Know – Part Three

Pictures hung in corners, above doorways, up the stairs, on side or flanking walls, or where the eye glimpses them in passing, surprise and delight for longer than those on prominent display.

I have always found it interesting to place pictures on bookshelves.  It invariably looks good to see books and pictures interspersed, but I think pictures look best randomly propped on small easels or placed atop a stack of books.  I try to achieve “ordered randomness” for every collection I hang – easier to say than do.   I use mantels and shelves, too, making the pictures and objects propped against the wall part of the impact.
Size really does matter here.  The smaller the picture, the harder it is to display on its own.  Anything smaller than an average size vase runs the risk of being lost among the general furnishings of the room. The key is scale.  Put a small picture on a large wall and it will look foolish, as it floats – lost in space.  Put it on a smaller wall and it will demand a closer look and firm appreciation.
A good way to start when hanging pictures is to gather together the images you want in a certain room and then think of the room as a whole rather than each picture in isolation. It is useful to remember that it is the room you are decorating, not the pictures you are displaying.  Where to hang them will eventually become clear when you move around the room.  Keep in mind the angles your pictures will be seen from and look out for walls that will benefit from a splash of colour or strong linear line or horizontal arrangement.
Photographs usually look better if they are is some way differentiated from other works of art, either in their framing or their mode of display.  Most look better framed in simple frames.  They can be window-mounted or ‘float-mounted’, so that the edge of the paper is visible.  Note that seldom can you combine black and whites photographs with colour photographs.