Does anyone remember those home décor parties that sold "instant wall décor?" Each kit contained a picture, two candle sconces, and a small shelf to display your favorite tchotchke. You lined them up in a row on your wall, and presto! Instant décor.
Beautifying a wall isn't as easy as opening a kit, but it's not all that difficult either. By combining different elements, you can create an interesting arrangement that's one of a kind.
The Basics Of Balance
Decorating a wall is the art of creating a visually pleasing balance between objects, colors, and textures. Balance is achieved through harmony and is one of the main principles of design.
Balance is easily achieved in wall decor by arranging objects to achieve a symmetrical – or asymmetrical – balance between the two sides of the wall. When a wall has a balanced design, the room's proportions also feel equally weighted.
Consider a set of old-school scales. Place a 15-pound weight on one side and three 5-pound weights on the other, and you have asymmetrical balance. When you place a 15-pound weight on either side, you've achieved symmetrical balance. Both examples result in balance; it's just achieved in different ways.
Balance pertains to the visual weight of an object, not the object's physical weight.
What makes a piece visually heavy? Its size and mass, as well as its color. Reds, greens, and blues are visually "heavy" colors, unlike yellows, pinks, and whites. Metal wall sculptures with open areas appear lighter than framed prints surrounded by thick black frames.
Balance is also achieved through furniture arrangement. Position your furniture so that the visual weight of pieces on one side of a room mimics those on the other. For example, place a large sofa on one side, two chairs on the other.
Or, if you have two bookcases of similar size, shape, and/or color, place them on either side of a room, directly in front of the wall you are decorating. You can also set similar or identical lamps, chairs, or houseplants at each end of a wall for a symmetrical effect.
Now that your more significant pieces are in place, finish balancing the room with wall décor.
Creating A Focal Point
First, consider wall size. You may want to create a central focus by hanging a large painting, print, mirror, or wall hanging in the center of it. A large window in the center of a wall can also be used as a focal point.
But your focal point doesn't have to be a single object. Several identical or nearly identical pictures, mirrors, or 3-dimensional objects work as well. Just remember that your focal point objects need to be in balance with each other and perfectly centered.
Complimenting With Wall Art & Décor
Once you've chosen your focal point, choose wall art with colors, textures, and shapes that blend seamlessly with your furnishings, overall design scheme, and with one another.
Then, place objects on a table or other surface, centered below the artwork, in proportion to one another.
To achieve symmetry, hang pictures similar in size, framing, and subject matter on either side of a chair.
Or, achieve balance with groups of four, six, or more similar pictures by hanging half on one side of the chair and half on the other side. Position each picture arrangement in a square or rectangle with about 4 to 6 inches between the pictures in a single group.
Asymmetry uses different sizes of wall decor to create balance through equal visual weight.
For example, hang a large print to the left side of a sofa. Balance out the right side with several smaller pictures or a combination of a picture, shelf, small vase, and plant.
Although the wall decor isn't identical, the visual weight is distributed to achieve a pleasing balance on the wall.
A Few Last Tips
Hang your wall decor at the same level across a wall to make a narrow wall appear wider.
To help balance a wall with a low ceiling, hang wall art pieces vertically above each other, giving the illusion of a taller wall and higher ceiling.
And lastly, no matter what look you're trying to achieve, keep your wall decor in proportion to the wall space; pictures should typically be about two-thirds the size of the furniture piece that they hang above.