Displaying Artwork: Symmetrically
I’ve been exploring the many ways to display art in the home in recent days as I undertake a major art display on my own walls. There are three basic ways to display artwork in your home and they are symmetrically, asymmetrically, and eclectically. Today, we’ll start a three part series exploring these different ideas for hanging artwork on the walls, the first (and easiest!) is through visual symmetry.
Symmetrical art is both centered and balanced, whereas asymmetrical art is not centered but balance is achieved in other ways. It’s a slightly trickier concept, but an in-depth look next week will teach some tricks for pulling it off. Finally, we’ll take a look at some more eclectic ideas to inspire you in the third installment of the series, and also a peek at the popular gallery or “salon” wall.
Let’s first dive into examples of art displayed in symmetrical ways, which many believe is most soothing to the eye. Most symmetrical displays begin with frames of a consistent size. Hanging the same frame in a singular row is a simple way to achieve the look, you choose if it’s a series of three or four.
A second option for hanging your symmetrical artwork is in grid formation. Grid patterns look best when they’re suspended tightly together, allowing no more than two inches between the frames or prints.
Adding a third column to make an even number of six makes for even greater impact. Styles can range from casual to sophisticated! Colorful botanical art is whimsical above a mantel, while classic black and white is elegant and timeless in a master bedroom.
Expanding the grid by adding a third row to create an odd number of nine creates a real moment in a space, especially when the display is of similar subject matter, like this beautiful assortment of colorful butterflies, or the amassing of elegant botanicals behind glass.
Symmetrical displays do not require the same size frame! You can still achieve symmetry with varied sized frames, as seen in this collection of photographs below. Notice how the vertically hung images in the corners and center vary slightly in size from the horizontally suspended frames in the middle of the rows and columns.
The same idea rings true in this display of artwork in a bedroom, with a large scale architectural print taking the spotlight in the center, but balanced by the flanking pair of sea inspired prints on both sides.
This cheerful arrangement of children’s art uses the same size frame to bring cohesion to the display that showcases masterpieces of youth.
Symmetrical artwork is not limited to prints or photographs or two dimensional art. Think beyond the frame and consider mixed media such as plates displayed in shadow boxes suspended in two rows in a dining space.
Baskets are sculptural and textural when suspended above a bed in a symmetrical trio.
Bright botanical wallpaper displayed behind simple painted molding brings fresh color to a clean, modern entry.
With symmetrical displays, choose wall art of a similar style or subject matter and complementary frames and you can’t go wrong. The formation will add balance and greater formality to your space, and is guaranteed to be visually pleasing!
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