By now you’ve seen a lot of photos of our new place, and you may have noticed the walls look pretty bare. That’s because we’ve been waiting to hang things until we’ve gotten most of the furniture arrangements finalized. But, I just can’t take it anymore. All these (almost) white walls were really starting to get to me. So, even though we haven’t fully settled on an arrangement for each room, we’re just going for it.
Art and all the other stuff you hang on the walls adds so much life to your house. This feels especially true for us because right now most of ours has some sort of sentimental meaning. When I unpacked it all last month it made me so happy to see all the photographs, art and mementos that remind me of special times and points of our lives. And this house, while super special, is still missing the things that make it uniquely ours – our memories and feelings. I’m so excited to breathe a little more life into this place!
In some of our houses it’s been so easy to figure out where to hang everything. Things just seemed to have a natural place. But in others, like this one, it’s a lot trickier. In this house we’ve had a hard time figuring it out because it’s just not as obvious as it has been before, so the process has taken a while. To help you move along a little faster than I did I decided to share a few ideas for hanging art. They’re not technical tips at all. If you’re looking for those I think this post and this one do a great job.
Tips for Hanging Art on the Walls
1. Start thinking. Get talking and thinking about it days or even weeks before you actually start hanging. This way when you do start you’ve got some ideas. Then be sure to start in different rooms. The first few times we talked about it we were in the living room. Because that’s the room that we were in it’s the room we would inevitably start talking about. But, it’s also the room I’m having the hardest time with. It wasn’t until we tried starting in another room that I realized the living room was what was holding me up. I had such a hard time figuring out where anything should go in there that I got really stuck and felt like it was a problem with the whole house. When in reality it was just that room. Once I started somewhere else I could really start to see where some things should go.
2. Try placing things around the house, on the floor, where you think they might look good and then live with that for a few days. When I did this it gave me a much better sense of what things will look like once they’re actually hung than just talking about it or visualizing it could.
3. Start with a few things. Instead of hanging everything all at once, start with the things you’re most sure about and see how you like them. No matter how much you plan or how confident you are about something, you may not like it once it’s up. It just happens. This gives you time to see if you like it before you’ve put everything in its place and it’s a much bigger hassle to move. Plus, usually when I add something new to a space I don’t like it at first. Honestly, that happens almost every time. Because I’m so used to having nothing there that when there is something it looks weird. After a few days I get used to it and then I can really decide if I like it or not.
4. Hang before you paint. If it’s possible to hang your stuff before you paint I highly recommend it. It takes a lot of the pressure off because you know that the wall’s going to get patched and freshened up, so if you make a mistake it’s not as big of a deal. It just happened to work out that way for us this time and I realized it made such a big difference in my willingness to try something and to get it done faster. In our previous apartments where we didn’t have any touch-up paint we agonized over where exactly to put things for a long time before doing it because I knew we’d live with the proof of our mistake for as long as we were in the apartment.
We finally got a few things up on the walls and it feels so good. We started with the infamous garlands. I like having them in the dining room because it’s such a central area of the house and you can see them from almost everywhere downstairs. Oh, and don’t worry they’re that high because we’re going to put a piece of furniture underneath. We also added a mirror to the foyer and you can’t tell as much from the photos, but it makes that space feel so much bigger - it reflects almost all of the stairs and all the way to the back of the first floor. Plus it catches some light from that window over the stairs making that area even brighter. It’s an all around win. The last thing we put up this time around was a beautiful photograph from my brother-in-law (he’s a crazy talented photographer, check him out!) at the top of the stairs. It’s a black and white photo and is really very striking next to the black stairs. Plus it’s a really special photo of us and I like that it’s in such high traffic spot.