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The Art of Wall Art: Modern Wall Decor Ideas and How to Hang Pictures Like a Pro

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Is your space all set up with the perfect furniture, but still feels kind of vanilla? Do you live in a modern tract home with big, impossible walls to fill? Are you having trouble deciding what size or type of wall decor to choose or how to hang pictures? These wall decor ideas and tips are going to help you conquer those problems.

How to pick wall decor

First of all, take a look at the wall you’re going to fill to decide what size art you should pick. There are many ways to determine this and you’ll see different ideas throughout this post.

To choose a perfectly sized piece of art, measure the blank wall and deduct 12-24 inches. Image: Niche Interiors

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A good rule of thumb is to choose wall art that takes up the width of the wall, minus 6-12 inches on each side, so it looks like it’s centered, like the image above. For example, you have a 36 inch wall. Leave about 6 inches on each side of the piece of art, which means you should choose something around 24 inches wide.

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Pick wall decor that’s the same length or smaller than the furniture piece it sits over. Image: 2LG Studio

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What if you are hanging wall art over a sofa, bed or table? Choose a piece of art (or a series) that is the same length as the furniture piece or smaller. Avoid wall decor that is wider than the furniture piece; it looks totally weird.

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Small wall art boxes or mini square canvases are a great and flexible option for filling a big or oddly shaped wall. Image: Sean Gallagher

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What if you have a gigantic wall? Large canvas wall art can be very expensive or hard to get into your apartment. Instead, choose smaller pieces that can be laid like a collage or gallery wall like the contemporary living room above.

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Use multiple panels of wall art to fill a larger wall. Image: GNE Architecture

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Hang wall art in a diptych or triptych pattern, which is basically two, three or more panels of art that flow. Be sure to leave at least 2 inches between the pieces. You can do bigger spacing if you have a huge wall, just keep it consistent.

There are also large format canvases or removable wallpaper murals you can use to create a big, dramatic focal point.

Last thing, choose art that is vibrant or graphic or powerful. Otherwise, what’s the point?

How to hang wall art

Next, decide how high to hang your wall art. Wall art height is the concept that goes wrong the most. The general rule of thumb is to hang wall art at your sight line, so you don’t have to look up too high or too low at it. That means the center of your wall art area is about 60 inches from the ground.

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Hang wall decor 6-8 inches above your furniture. Image: Taylor Smyth

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What if you’re hanging living room wall art over furniture like a sofa or sofa table? Hang the artwork so the bottom edge is 6-8 inches from where the table or sofa back ends.

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You don’t always have to center your wall art. Create a vignette instead. Image: Works Photography

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Once you have an idea of a general spot, frame out the area with painter’s tape to visualize the spot. Stand back a few feet and see if you like where it sits on the wall. Get artsy with this; maybe you want to hang your wall art slightly off center because there’s a plant in the corner or a chair that will block some of it. Create a vignette, or setting, like the image above, where the art is part of the grouping and slightly off center.

There are many ways you can hang wall art and, depending on the weight of the art, you may be able to avoid putting holes in the walls by using adhesive removable mounting tabs.

Wall decor ideas

Wall decor comes in all shapes and sizes. There’s traditional framed art, lightweight and unframed canvases, object collages, metal wall sculptures and more. Check out these great examples of wall decor ideas for inspiration:

Sculptural and metal wall decor ideas

bedroom wall art ideas - freshome.com

A bamboo wall sculpture breaks up all the tailored lines in this master bedroom. Image: EDS Interiors

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Metal wall decor - freshome.com

Metallic branch sculptures are laid out over a platform bed for a monochromatic and textural effect. …read more      

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