Ensure precious art gets the best spot on your wall with our guide to hanging, framing and displaying art, with professional advice from The Hang Man expert Matthew Adams
Hanging, framing & displaying
Purchasing artwork is only part of the process – deciding where and how the piece will be hung are the next steps. Often we may not have a specific place in mind when we buy art, or perhaps a house move has prompted the need to rethink where an artwork will ‘live’. Taking time to hang art properly and precisely will help preserve the piece and keep it safe and secure.
When hanging more than one artwork in a room, or creating a ‘gallery wall’, choose a colour story and make sure to connect the pieces with a common thread such as a similar style or matching frames. If you are hanging a single feature piece, consider the backdrop wall – a dark wall can create impact behind a white box frame; or a large retro poster can bring a pop of colour to an all-white interior.
Attempting to hang heavy artwork, or a grouping, can be tricky, and if you are DIY-challenged this is where a hanging service can help achieve and maintain a professional finish.
Ideally, pausing at the very beginning of the process (before you have gone out and chosen a piece) and thinking about how art will be displayed in your home is a great way to start exploring different mediums, shapes and colours.
Expert Q&A Matthew Adams from The Hang Man
How high should artwork be hung?
An often asked question. There is no set rule here; a rough guide is to have the middle of the piece at eye level, but you must take into account the overall balance of the visible wall above and below. Don’t attempt to line the item up with architectural elements such as doors and window frames – there is no link so don’t attempt to make one.
How much space should be left between pictures when hanging multiple pieces?
Again, there are no set rules. However, the bigger the picture, the more negative space it requires. For example, it looks cramped to put large poster frames at 40mm spacing, but for A4-sized frames this would work well.
What do you need to consider before hanging art?
Other than the aesthetics of the framing, the main things to consider are protection against sun and light damage and potential reflection problems. To combat sun damage, use glass with UV protection. If reflection is a problem, consider ‘museum glass’ which is non-reflective but does not dull the image too much.
When should you call in professional hangers?
Professional art installers use a number of technical skills and tools to attach pieces in a manner that is beyond the capability of most DIY installers.
DIY Framing & hanging options
- Frames endemicworld.com; factoryframes.co.nz; briscoes.co.nz
- Wooden frames nest-direct.com; countryroad.com.au
- Glass/copper frames teapea.co.nz
- Neon frames teapea.co.nz
- Gold bulldog clips madeoftomorrow.com
- Wooden hangers moodstore.co.nz
- Washi tape teapea.co.nz; madeoftomorrow.com
Words by: Tina Stephen. Photography by: Maree Homer/bauersyndication.com.au.