Hanging paintings prints and photographs add a dash of personality to your rooms, especially if you plump for the very minimalist look.
- The process flows both ways – so that a room can add to the significance of a picture, as much as a picture adds to the significance of a room.
- When choosing your art, think of the room it will hang in. If you a have very neutral background you will have a lot more choice. If your room is very stylised and colourful with lots of patterns, you will have to watch that the look is not cluttered.
- Ideally your room and art should click together into a combination that seems natural, but this does not mean you can’t mix and match styles. For example a modernist painting or print in a Georgian or a Victorian house can really work well, as can a Pre-Raphaelite print in a very stark apartment.
- The hall is a good place to hang pictures because there’s often little else there and without pictures, your entry-way, no matter what size, can look bleak
- If you don’t have much money, an interesting print in a nice frame will do you until you have saved up for that Picasso.
- If you do decide to splurge, the first thing to do is to pinpoint how much money you want to spend at the outset. Buying the painting is pretty simple – if you adore it the moment you set eyes on it, buy it if you can afford it.
- Think of it like a good coat – something that will be around for a while. Do your research, troop around the galleries and look out for artists that have attracted critical acclaim.
- Don’t display everything at once: rotating paintings keeps the look fresh
- Don’t put a tiny picture in the middle of a vast space
- Do choose pictures that harmonise in some way when arranging groups
There is no need to display everything at the same time. If you have a lot of prints or paintings, keep some in storage. Taking out something different every six months keeps the look of your decor fresh.
Where you hang a picture can make or break a room. What’s the right height? Should frames match? One of the most common mistakes is to hang pictures too high (eye level is the best starting point).
Interior designer Nicola Higgins advises not to match frames to your decor, as you might end up with that ‘hotel’ look. For example if you have a blue sofa – getting a blue frame looks a bit too sterile. Why not dry faded gold instead? Generally, it’s a good idea to opt for light frames made of natural wood that don’t take away from the painting, and always put glass over a picture for preservation. However, a plain vintage style can really add to a painting and does not need to cost the earth.
Some canvases are unsuitable for framing. For example, if the design extends to the point where the canvas folds around its stretcher, adding a frame might hide features of the work. Most smaller pictures need the structure offered by a frame.
Where to shop?
There are hundreds of galleries around Ireland and lots of open areas where artists display their work – for example around Stephen’s Green or Merrion Park at weekends in Dublin. You don’t always have to pay the entire whack on the spot – most galleries allow customers to pay for a work in instalments after an initial down payment.
- You might like to check out The Green Gallery in Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, Dublin.
- One gallery with a wide selection is the Lemon Street Gallery in Dublin. You can view their collection by visiting www.lemonstreet.com. The gallery specialises in prints – produced when the artist works not directly on to paper but on to a wood block, a metal plate or a slab of stone. Prints are not reproductions, but rather have a number of editions and once these are sold, the artist destroys the plate.
- Another place to pick up art is at graduate shows such as the National College of Art and Design annual degree show, the graduate art shows at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Limerick School of Art & Design or Crawford College of Art & Design in Cork. Ring up the colleges and check when they are on. It’s usually around June.