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Living Space: Showcase your collection on a salon-style art wall

By By Kathryn Weber
Feb. 28, 2013 at midnight
Updated Feb. 27, 2013 at 8:28 p.m.

Grouping your pieces can create more impact than hanging only one per wall.

Enjoying art is one of the great pleasures of life. Too often, though, art gets short shrift in home decorating. It's remarkably easy to showcase what you have by creating a salon-style art wall.

The salon style of hanging artwork involves grouping your pieces versus hanging a single piece of artwork on each wall. Besides being a terrific way to display your collection, salon-style display has the added benefit of turning a wall into your own personal gallery.

Salon-style display has a long history that began as a way to feature works by particular artists. Each artist would have a single wall upon which all their works would be hung. Today, arranging a collection of artwork or photos on a single wall is favored by art lovers and collectors and looks very stylish.

Salon-style placement is especially helpful if you have a lot of artwork but a shortage of wall space.

Before hammering any nails into the wall, design your salon wall on the floor. Begin with a central piece that will be your anchor for the arrangement. The pieces you display don't have to be similar, but they should relate in some way, if possible.

It could be a similar coloring that brings them together or a particular style. If there are no common threads, that's OK, too. Sometimes, it's the differences in works of art that make them look interesting together.

Place your anchor piece on the floor, then begin arranging other works around it. The idea is to keep the arrangement balanced. Once you have a design that pleases you, snap a photo with your cellphone or digital camera. Try to take the picture from above, so you can get a better representation of how your collection will look on the wall.

Another helpful idea that takes a little time upfront is to cut paper templates of each piece then tape them on the wall, rearranging as necessary. Using this technique as you hang the works of art, you'll be more confident about the best placement. Not sure about how high to hang your pieces? Try hanging one work of art centered at the eye level of someone about 5 feet, 8 inches tall - about 68 inches from the floor. Then, hang the other pieces around it.

While your art wall can feature framed pieces, it can also include dimensional works. Small figures or sculptures can be added to the mix. Use small display shelves. Plates or ceramic pieces can add dimension and varied shapes amid a wall of square and rectangular frames.

Once all your pieces are up on the wall, add rubber bumpers on the back of each for stability. You don't want a whole wall of artwork to look crooked after one slammed door.

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website redlotusletter.com.

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