How to Hang a Painting

by Lisa Doherty 7. March 2018 11:59

If you’ve invested in buying real art, then you want to make sure it stands out and always catches the eye when hung on a wall. And, although the actual process of hanging a painting is straightforward, how to frame, place and get the right measurements for maximum impact is a different thing altogether.

Here are our top tips on how to hang a painting and get the most out of the art you love.

What frame to choose

A lot of paintings on our site have already been framed, but it is standard practice to expect a canvas to arrive without one, which gives you more scope and flexibility to buy the frame you want.

To make that choice, it’s best to look at the style of painting first and work from there. The key to framing success is to make sure the art does all the talking - the frame simply helps bring that out.

Gold or gilded

Ideal for a simple still life, abstract painting or a clean and uncluttered image. If you’re going for a more classical look, then gold keeps to that tradition.

Black gold II by Birgitte Hansen
Black gold II by Birgitte Hansen The Toy Boat by Stephen Clark
The Toy Boat by Stephen Clark


A frame that uses the same tone as the dominant colour in the painting. This complements the painting, enhances the image and merges the frame with the art into one whole.

Girl in a blue dress ( framed original ) by Christopher Gill
Girl in a blue dress ( framed original ) by Christopher Gill

Natural Wood

A versatile and popular choice, which is great for natural scenes, such as landscapes, portraits, still life’s and photography. They also work with contemporary art and can enhance a minimalist or mid-Century painting.

Starman by Sara Sutton
Starman by Sara Sutton

White Wood

Another popular choice for retro posters or paintings bursting with colour. If you’re hanging a painting against a dark wall, then a white frame can really stand out and show off an image.

Lights in the sky (large) by Paresh Nrshinga
Lights in the sky (large) by Paresh Nrshinga


Black metal is the go-to frame for photography and can be bought in a wide-range of thicknesses. It also comes in a wide range of colours to work with nearly all styles and genres.

Sunset over a Scottish Loch by Louise Cairns
Sunset over a Scottish Loch by Louise Cairns

Choosing the thickness of a frame is purely a matter of preference, but the rule of thumb is that thinner frames take less attention away from a painting than a thicker one. When choosing a metallic frame, it’s always worth veering towards a matte texture to avoid shine taking over the painting.

Selecting the right wall

If you’re hanging a small painting, the it’s best to hang it on a smaller wall or space, a larger area will drown-out the image. If you do want to hang it on a larger wall, however, then smaller painting hangs well next to a bigger image or a cluster of paintings, like a gallery wall.

A painting needs light to show it off, but not too much that it affects the canvas or photo, so look for a bright space that isn’t in direct sunlight. If the wall you want to use does have strong sun, then you can buy anti-fade glass from a framing specialist.

Art should always be hung at eye level, so placing it too high will leave you straining your neck too look at it. the rule of thumb is that the midpoint of a painting should be between 50 - 60 inches from the floor.

Hanging over a bed, sofa or mantelpiece

There is a different rule when hanging a painting over furniture or a mantelpiece. The whole idea of hanging a painting over a bed or sofa is for the painting to work with the furniture and almost be an extension of the interior design.

Basically, there should be a connection between the two, as opposed to an image floating on a wall. To make this work, the bottom of the frame should be 8 to 10 inches above the piece of furniture.

If you’re going for a more relaxed or eclectic look, then a painting also looks good simply leaning against the wall on a mantelpiece.

Buying the right hanging kit

Most multi-purpose or hardware stores sell a wide-range of picture hanging kits for all types of art. A small piece can be hung simply with a nail and picture hanger, but a larger, heavier piece will need hanging wire or strong string for a more even distribution of weight.

Make sure you use nails that are around 1inch in length as anything over that will be too long and will leave the painting sticking out of the wall, and anything less will be too short.

If your walls are made from brick or plaster, then it’s more advisable to use a screw and rawlplug to secure it in place. Always make sure you use screws with a small head.

In all, there is a lot to consider when hanging art, but it’s worth going through the process to have a knockout painting that brings a wall to life, and leaves you feeling it was worth every penny spent!


Buying Art | Exhibitions | The Art World

Art for Interiors: Art Deco Paintings

by Lisa Doherty 6. March 2018 16:56

The Art Deco look has become a timeless classic. Interior trends have arrived, gone, come back and gone again, but Art Deco has remained constant.

The main reason for this is because it is a style that remains modern in its look and feel and doesn’t seem to date. Not only that, but it’s constantly evolving to work with contemporary interiors.

If you’re in the process of recreating this style in your home, we take a look at how Art Deco  painting and photography can help you complete the look.

The Art Deco style

Originating in the 1920’s and 30’s, Art Deco is made up of strong geometric lines and shapes, such as triangles and circles, and also uses bold colours. It was heavily influenced by the latest technology of the day and drew from artistic and creative styles from the Orient and Persia.

The style grew out of a need from Designers, Architects and Artists to create a more ‘modern’ look. This new look was immediately popular and became a key style for almost anything, such as buildings, fashion, furniture, and, of course, art.

For Art Deco artists, the Cubist and Fauvist art movements were the main influences, and you can see this clearly in paintings through the use of strong, ‘block-like’ figures and shapes, and bright colours, such as yellow and red. The key artists of this movement consisted of Tamara De Lempicka and Sonia Delauney.

MANSCAPE 3 by John Varden
MANSCAPE 3 by John Varden

A coffee with Tamara de Lempicka by Jean-pierre Walter
A coffee with Tamara de Lempicka by Jean-pierre Walter

How to choose an Art Deco painting?

An Art Deco painting is very distinctive and easy to recognise. They also tend to stick mainly to three themes, which are figurative studies, abstract shapes or landscapes.

If you’re looking for a figurative image, then the Art Deco movement focused mainly on nude studies or portraits. If you’re especially influenced by the work of Tamara De Lempicka, then look for portraits with accentuated curves, or with a ‘solid’ or ‘heavy figured’ feel to it.

The Art deco period was also a time of innovation in travel and transport, as cruise liners, high speed trains and air travel became more affordable and increased in popularity.

As a result, posters became even more popular during this period and were treated as works of art in their own right, so think iconic London Underground posters or adverts for trains, Cars, or Cruise ships. Who doesn’t love this style?!

Two Figures, Aqueduct by Miles Bodimeade
Two Figures, Aqueduct by Miles Bodimeade

Cat and I. by Carron  Howe
Cat and I. by Carron Howe

In the morning by Florentina(anca)  popescu
In the morning by Florentina(anca) popescu

BSA motorcycle poster by Michael Gadd
BSA motorcycle poster by Michael Gadd

Modern art deco

If you want to create a more modern Art Deco look, then it’s worth looking at abstract art or photography to bring the look up to date.

Modern Art Deco colours are still very much based around monochrome, but they are now mixed with elements of pastel Pink, Gold or Green.

This is the beauty of this style and one of the reasons why it has stood the test of time, as it can be adapted, brought up to date so easily and work with a modern or traditional look.

The City at Night by Neil Hemsley
The City at Night by Neil Hemsley Beginnings by belinda jackson
Beginnings by belinda jackson DUVER VIEW by Suzanne Whitmarsh
DUVER VIEW by Suzanne Whitmarsh

The best rooms for Art Deco

As we all know, the 1920’s are synonymous with partying, so this look does tend to work better in the more social spaces around the home, such as lounges, dining rooms or even the home-office. This style also works in bedrooms and bathrooms, so you can wow house guests when they come to stay.

Overall, Art Deco is quite an indulgent and decadent style, so it works well in a room where you can really show-off. As a result, you can either go all out for patterned wallpaper or go for a sleek monochromatic look, which is broken-up with pops of colour from fabrics or paintings.

The Art Deco style also calls for a lot of geometry, not just through shapes, but also in the use of furniture and accessories such as lamps and chairs, which are always used in pairs to balance out a room.

This geometry is also worth considering when choosing art. A painting that works as a pair – also known as a diptych - can be placed either side by side or further apart on a wall, which could provide balance over a fireplace or desk in a home office.

So, whether you’re in a new build, or even a Victorian home, there is a lot of scope and range to work with. And, even if you’re a modern or traditional Art Deco-ist, this is a style you can have a lot of fun with.

Art is a great way to help you express your look, but don’t think it is something that is the left to the pursuit of the super-rich; there are paintings available to suit all budgets, tastes, and of course, styles…so what are you waiting for, it’s time to get creative!

The Three Hills (Diptych) by David Moore
The Three Hills (Diptych) by David Moore Waterloo by Rebecca Coleman
Waterloo by Rebecca Coleman Surrey Landscape 7 by Jan Rippingham
Surrey Landscape 7 by Jan Rippingham


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