3 Tips for Collecting, Lighting and Hanging Wall Art in the Home

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) May 31, 2012

When it comes to hanging wall art, museum curators have it easy. With large white walls, open floors and a massive collection to draw from, it seems like they can hang art on the walls just about anywhere and it looks good. Collecting and hanging art in the home, and blending it seamlessly with furniture and other home dcor items, is much more of an art.

By following a few simple rules for buying and displaying art in the home, it's easy to ensure that artwork looks great on the walls for years to come.

Collecting Art Love It to Live with It
When looking to purchase wall art, it's best to look for art that has a personal appeal. Art is a long-term relationship, not just an object, explains Lesley Myrick, designer and blogger at Lamps Plus. Ask yourself, Will I love this piece after the initial thrill of buying has worn off? If the answer is yes, then youve found a piece worth collecting. It doesnt matter if your budget is $10 or $10 million.

Next, consider where the work will be kept in the home. A photographic print or a sketch on paper will tend to curl with prolonged exposure to humid environments such as the bathroom or kitchen for long. Ceramic or acrylic sculptures on the other hand will hold up just fine. For the outdoors, consider metal sculptures with protective patinas such as bronze or stainless steel. Less extreme environments such as the bedroom, living room and den are more amenable to just about any type of artwork, from paintings and framed photographs to unframed drawings and posters.

Hanging Art Place, Trace and Hammer
Museums hang art at a universally standard height of 57 inches on center, meaning that the center of a given piece is exactly 57 inches from the floor. This isnt so easy to do at home. With furniture, built-ins and windows sharing the walls with artwork, conforming to the museum standard is not always an option, so Myrick offers an alternative for hanging wall art, Use your eye, not the tape measure.

To place work on the wall, Myrick recommends a simple three-step process: (1) place art on a table or floor to perfect the layout, (2) trace it on paper to mark the hanging points, and (3) tape the paper to the wall and hammering nails directly into the traced points. Once the nails have been hammered in, simply pull the paper away and hang the art.

For a how-to video demonstration of this process, click on the video link.

Hanging more than one piece of artwork on a single wall? Use the paper tracing process to hang multiple works too. Simply arrange the paper tracings on the wall to see which combinations work best. Its often best to begin with a single piece which will serve as the focal point of the wall. Arrange other artwork outward in all directions from there. There are no steadfast rules for how to hang pictures. Hanging artwork at varying heights creates an intimate, lived-in feel, ideal for living rooms and bedrooms, while hanging the artwork at a uniform height has a museum quality well-suited to a library or den.

Lighting Art – To Light Art Is to Protect It
First time visitors to the Louvre in Paris will often remark about how dark da Vincis Mona Lisa appears to be. The explanation for this is simple: over time excess light will fade the colors of a painting. Preserving artwork, whether its the Mona Lisa or a favorite rock 'n 'roll poster, requires one to be sensitive to the light around it.

A balanced spectrum of light is best for viewing a piece of art, explains Marcia Prentice, designer and blogger at Lamps Plus. Incandescent lights can be too warm, revealing a disproportionate amount of yellow and orange tones in an artwork, while fluorescent lights contain harmful UV rays which can fade artwork over time. For art lighting, I recommend using low-watt halogen lights for the rich, full spectrum of color they provide.

Theres one lighting option that Prentice recommends against at all cost: Absolutely keep artwork out of direct sunlight. Textiles can fade after only a few months of sun exposure, and photographic prints dont last much longer. While UV-protective glass can minimize the effect of sunlight upon art, prolonged exposure to sunlight and the heat that accompanies it is never recommended.

Starting a home art collection is a fun and gratifying way to personalize the home. By following these simple tips, consumers can be certain their collection will stand the test of time.

About Lamps Plus
For more than 30 years, Lamps Plus has been synonymous with excellence in the lighting retail industry. Established in 1976, Lamps Plus is the nation's largest specialty online lighting store with more than 40 superstores throughout the western United States. Together with their retail lighting stores and online business, Lamps Plus serves customers nationwide with the largest selection of functional and decorative lighting fixtures, accessories, furniture and home dcor. This selection includes hundreds of products available exclusively from Lamps Plus. Services include in-home lighting consultations, in-store lighting workshops and installation from expert, licensed electricians. American Lighting Association certified lighting designers are available to offer product recommendations and lighting advice in all our stores, by phone or online at LampsPlus.com.

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