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Pauline's Blog

How to balance the scale

Posted on October 7, 2015 at 7:10 PM

I noticed watching the home improvement shows that whoever decorated the home (most likely the homeowners) they do not know scale. What do I mean by scale? Scale is a balance in sizes. For instance if you have a fireplace mantel and display pictures above it they should not be so small in size that they get lost on the wall. The picture should be large but not to large that it is placed wider than the mantel. If you have several smaller sized frames then hang them in a decorative way. Smaller frames can be hung on the diagonal giving height as well as balance. Place several in a horizontal line to give the appearance they are larger then the piece below them. Do not space the pictures to far apart they should look connected two inches to four inches apart keeps them connected and not disjointed in style. Another good trick if you want to display smaller sized photos is to have them framed using the same style and color of the frame and choose the same color matting for all. Also, using black and white photos gives a harmonious look.

Did you know that some folks also hang pictures way to high on a wall? A good rule of thumb to keep the scale correct when hanging a picture is to hang at eye level height. If it is comfortable to view it you most likely have it hung the right height. However, if a person is six feet tall and another is 5 feet the eye level of course is different for each. If the picture is to be viewed standing up in a hallway or foyer then 60-66 inches from the floor is a good rule of thumb.

Many folks hang pictures so high that the pictures look like they are floating over their sofa.To create balance, your artwork (or grouping) should be at least 2/3 the length of the sofa. Again if you need a larger piece use two or more pieces in a group to create the size you need. Pictures should not be wider than the sofa or the artwork will overwhelm the furniture instead of enhancing it. As a general rule, the bottom of your frame should hang 8” to 10” above the back of the sofa. There are exceptions when you’re hanging a grouping of frames and in this case, you may have to play with the measurements a bit. If possible have someone hold your artwork in position while you step back and have a look to ensure it's perfect.

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