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What Do You Need To Consider When Hanging Art Above A Fireplace?

Posted on Tuesday 18th May 2021   |   How To

What do you need to consider when hanging art above a fireplace?

The piece of wall above your fireplace, the chimney breast, is a classic place to hang art – but what are the design rules you need to keep in mind in order to make sure you get it right?  Here at Frames.co.uk we don’t just let you buy picture frames online – we offer lots of help and advice to help you to get the best from your framed artwork.

How high should you hang your art above your fireplace? Should you hang one piece of art or more? What colour scheme is right for you? Read on to find out the answer to all of these questions and more.

Be strategic when co-ordinating

Let’s say you have a dark stone fireplace and so have decorated your room with neutral furnishings to allow it to stand out. You might be tempted in this situation to hang a dark artwork above your fireplace, in order to keep the décor in harmony – but you may actually be better picking a brighter piece that picks up one of the colours in your fire surround for example.

The piece of art that you choose to hang above your fireplace will be a focal point for the whole room – and this is a good thing to keep in mind when you are choosing the piece of art you want to hang in the space. Once you have decided on your piece of art, pick a colour from it and reflect that in other small decorative details around the room. How far you go with this coordination is really up to you – stick to one colour if you want a classic feel, or opt for three or four if you want a more eclectic feel in your space.

Bonus tip: using a mount between your picture and your chosen custom made picture frame can be a great idea if you want your scheme to feel classical and polished, as it tends to add a certain air of formality. A mount can also be used to boost the size of a piece, making it seem larger than it actually is.

Go bold, or go home!

If you have a more subdued fireplace in your home, then this is a great opportunity to choose a statement piece of art to hang above it – something bold and colourful as there are no colours for it to compete against in the rest of the room.

It can also help to make your space feel more eclectic and show your personality. If it doesn’t exactly tie in with the rest of the room then it will give the room a more bohemian feel – but it will make the artwork, and not the fireplace, the star of the show.

If you have a black fireplace and are hanging a vibrant and colourful piece of art, why not go for a black frame to boost the character of the fireplace, and also harness the vibrancy of the artwork a little as well?

Don’t be afraid to fill your space

If you have empty expansive walls then the temptation can be to pick a huge piece of artwork to fill the space and demand attention – but this can sometimes make the space feel a little cold and impersonal. For a more homely style, think about just filling the space between your mantelpiece and the ceiling – bridging the gap with a piece of art that is perfectly framed.

The general rule of thumb that designers use is that the piece of art should measure around two-thirds of the size of the fire surround and mantel that you want to hang it over – although this rule has been broken by many people in the past, and with great effect!

Try and resist the urge to place your artwork perfectly in line with the edge of the mantelpiece as this can mean it becomes just an extension of the architecture. Hanging a piece that is larger or smaller will help people to see it in its own right.

Keep your mantelpiece in mind

Talking of mantelpieces, using yours as a shelf can be a great way to give a more casual feel to a piece of art rather than hanging it on the wall. It also means it is easier to change around your fireplace display when you feel like it, as there won’t be any holes in the wall to hide.

If you want to feature your favourite pieces on special occasions, or hire artwork and swap it around when you get board of it – using your mantelpiece as a shelf is a great way to keep your space feeling fresh and displaying your art in a hassle-free way. 
It’s also a great idea if you are renting a home and are not allowed to screw anything into the wall!

Try a bold backdrop

Quite often these days, people are painting their chimney breasts a vibrant colour – which means they are often striking enough to stand alone in a room without any artwork needed. However, if you choose a piece that subtle blends with the backdrop, and choose a nice, strong frame, then you will ensure that your artwork gets the attention it deserves.

Bonus tip: If you hang your artwork higher up the wall it will draw the eye up and add height to the room, while allowing you to showcase other ornaments and prized possessions below it.

Light it up

Don’t go to all that trouble to display your art and then leave it in the dark. Place some small light fixtures next to it to make sure it still draws the eye when it is dark at night, as well as during the day. 

Even if your lounge has lots of natural light flooding in, your chimney breast is likely to be dark and so well-chosen light fittings will ensure even the most subtle piece of artwork will not fade into the background.

Another option is to choose a classic and traditional picture light, which will cast a warm glow over your artwork – there are lots of options available.

Mix and match

Hanging a piece of art above your fireplace doesn’t mean it has to be the sole focal point of your room, but if you style it well it will stand out from all of your other possessions. 

Art galleries like white walls and frames as they help to make the art stand out, but black frames and mounts can also have the same effect. 

Choose a frame the same colour as your wall if you don’t want the frame to distract attention away from the artwork behind it.

Here at Frames.co.uk we can offer you a wide range of cheap custom frames to enable you to make the most of your artwork, wherever you choose to hang it. 

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Frames.co.uk is a trading name of In The Frame (Manchester) Ltd. Company 05082556. VAT GB738474009. ICO ZA286204.
© 2021 In The Frame (Manchester) Ltd. 56 Ashfield Road, Sale, Cheshire, M33 7DT. All third party logos are respective of their registered owners.