Do you have a group of family pictures, artwork, or photographs that you would like to arrange on a large wall? How can you achieve an eye-pleasing arrangement without putting holes in the wall through trial and error? 

One method is to tape off an area on the floor, then lay out the frames in various arrangements until you find one that is satisfactory. You will still need to transfer the layout to paper or take a photograph, so you have something to consult when moving your idea to the wall. 

A better method is to cut an outline of each picture from brown wrapping paper and then tape them to the wall with painter’s tape. The tape won’t damage the wall, and the paper rectangles can be moved around until the best arrangement is found. Nails for hanging the pictures can be placed through the paper, and the paper then removed. Images are visually more pleasing when they are aligned horizontally across the top of the wall. However, if the wall space is narrow, a vertical arrangement may suit the space better. A door, window, or other architectural feature may also affect the arrangement.

Artwork that is all around the same size will be easier to arrange than that of many different shapes and sizes. Stairway walls can be challenging to hang art on. A horizontal or vertical row isn’t usually pleasing. Pictures look best staggered up the wall at the same angle as the stairway. Consider a grouping of all black and white photos or only colored ones instead of a mixture. Group landscapes together in one area and portraits in another. 

If black and white, colored, or artwork of various themes needs to be grouped together, they can be unified by other means. One way is to use the same frame for all the pictures. The frames may all be the same color or material.  Using all antique or contemporary frames is one particular idea or option.

When matting or framing artwork, allow more depth at the bottom of the frame or mat to add weight to the bottom. A picture can appear top-heavy if the top is deeper than the bottom.

The best solution is to get the project started and try out different arrangements or pieces in different areas.  There is no right or wrong way.  Whatever looks best to you is the way to go.  Just keep moving things until you feel satisfied.  

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