Practical Picture Framing and Hanging Strategies

January 16, 2013 at 5:08 pm Interior Design

By Jessica Gersten

Picture Hanging Strategies
When it comes to placing artwork, its best to follow your eye!  If your wall has a obvious vertical or horizontal orientation then so should your artwork.  For example, in this pre-war dining room, the wall space between the banquette and the ceiling beam begged for something visually horizontal. An abstract watercolor series was a perfect solution here.  


Another dining room, with gracious 11 foot high ceilings, begged for a very tall vertical piece like this nude drawing. 

If you are trying to fill an entire wall, consider a series of like-pieces, such as these vintage Barbie comics, placed symmetrically in a square shape on the wall.


Or, cluster all of your favorite pieces of varying styles and sizes and stagger them on the wall in an uneven manner.


Framing 101
Don’t let framing your artwork get you panicked.  There are a plethora of in-stock and custom options to choose from here in NYC. If you are framing pieces of high monetary or sentimental value, go the custom route.  Believe it or not, the custom frame shops on just about every other block in Manhattan will do just fine and tend to have similar framing options. A 1” modern flat surface (no ridges) white lacquered frame is my default for just about everything.  To add a little shine and luster, choose an antique brass or nickel style.  For very high-end artwork, consider going to J Pocker in Lenox Hill East on 63rd Street or Laumont Studio in Midtown on West 52nd Street.  These professionals will lend their keen eye in pairing your artwork with the right mat and frame.

If you’re on a tight budget for a children’s room or a starter-apartment, Sam Flax on 3rd Ave in Midtown or West 20th Street in Chelsea and Lee’s Art Shop on West 57th Street.  Pearl Paint on Canal Street are great options and have many wood and metal stock frames and mats to choose from.  As a rule of thumb, matting should be 3-4” wide all around and should be in a white or off-white color.  Try to stay away from colored mats and very dark picture frames unless it nicely accentuates the dark colors in your artwork.  Otherwise stick with metal or white wood frames that don’t distract from the beauty on the wall. This white wood stock frame from Sam Flax comes in many sizes that should accommodate most artwork.  The silver Structural Industries flat frame collection is also a great option

Don’t let placing and/or hanging artwork intimidate you.  There are plenty of great local resources to help. For example, ILevel on 7th Street in the East Village can send a highly trained professional to do all the placing and hanging work for you.  Their staff comes in your home and gives great advice on placement as well as how best to sturdily hang your pieces on the walls and even child proof with velcro and other materials.


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  1. Frank says:

    You may need to add to your collection…go to and check out their art under the catagory “In Living Color” Sub-catagory “Nail Holes” or “Wildly Tasteful Finds”

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