Positioning Frames
November 23, 2022 6:47 AM   Subscribe

Gallerist-filter: One blank office wall, two framed companion pieces of significantly different size. What's the most pleasing arrangement?

I have a 24x36 framed poster from an exhibition, and I've mounted the entry tickets and promotional post card in a frame that's almost exactly half of that, so it's 1/4 of the total size of the big poster. Does the big frame go centered on the wall, and the small frame go somewhere off to the side (centerline aligned? bottom of frame aligned?) The entire collection centered based on the combined width?

I'm not planning anything else for this wall, so these two frames are it.
posted by hwyengr to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: If it makes a difference, wall is about 6' wide + door, and has a light switch next to the door.
posted by hwyengr at 6:58 AM on November 23

Ah, the question with multiple correct answers!

Consider the most often viewed location; is it standing or sitting.

Position yourself there and find the place/level at which your eye naturally rests. That's your centerpoint.

If you are a left-to-right reader, I'd place the largest image on the left with the small one on the right where your eye naturally lingers.

And I personally find it more pleasant to have the middle-line of dissimilar framed images correspond to your eye level.

One impulse to avoid is hanging things too high. Don't do that.

Now, consider that someone else will come in and say just the opposite of all that I have been saying.
posted by mightshould at 7:27 AM on November 23 [2 favorites]

If it's just these two things in the collection of related items, I'd likely hang the tickets centered directly underneath the poster for the event that the tickets were for. Rationale: Tickets may have details that I'd like to read and reread, or would like guests to read. And this positioning tells a story. However, the tricky part of this is it risks hanging the poster too high. So I'd pay attention to mightshould's advice about where the eye rests.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 8:57 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]

Hanging 2 mismatched things usually feels unbalanced. It might be better to get a third thing and group them together, with the big tall poster on the left, and the tickets on the lower right with a long narrow item above them. (Largest thing goes on the left because it just makes more "visual sense" for people who read left-to-right).

The third thing can be an irregular shape, perhaps a vintage mirror, a small faux feather, classic macrame, minimalist macrame, a real or faux plant wall hanging, a candle wall sconce, a metal decor item, quirky vintage item like a wooden badminton raquet, a vintage musical instrument like a trumpet or ukulele, or, personally what I think I'd do is track down a vintage felt pennant from the relevant city (check ebay and etsy).

Hang the third thing vertically above the tickets, so that the tickets+item together take about the same amount of vertical space as the poster, and then the wall will feel more balanced.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 10:53 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]

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