Thursday, November 10, 2011

In Home Art Consultation

I am frequently asked "Do you ever go to people's homes to hang artwork?" To which I respond with an enthusiastic- YES! I find that there are three barriers: asking, cost and quality of my skills.

For some people the hanging of artwork is easy-peasy and for others  it is a daunting process fraught with  potential for gauche missteps, faux pas and lackluster results. For these people, admitting to a professional that they have an art hanging deficit is the first step. I am hoping I have helped you overcome this fear by letting you know that a lot of people have the same question and I can definitely help you with it.

The second hurdle is always cost. Will the cost be to bring in someone with the important sounding title of Art Consultant be expensive? If a consultant is good (and worth their fees) they should be able to see and fix problems quickly. So the hourly rate may seem high but the final bill will be reasonable. I have often waived my fees for people who are purchasing art from my gallery. It is a value add to the transaction.

The final hurdle is the dread many people feel when they invite someone into their home to change things around - "what will they do? what if I don't like it?" I try to allay these fears by finding out what are the favorite pieces of art and how is the home used. I listen carefully and then make suggestions based on what I have been told, the spaces available and if the artwork needs to be viewed from afar or close up. I place the artwork throughout the home in recommended spaces and then ask the homeowner to approve my choices. The hanging part of the job is far quicker than the decision making process. I often hear "wow, you are fast and make that look so easy."

I see many of the same problems in each of the homes I have been in. A recurring one is that buyers  tend to buy lots of small works. It may be a combination of being intimidated by the price and the bigness. A variety of scale in art will add another dimension of visual interest. It will also keep a collection from feeling to choppy- think how inadequate a luncheon-size china set  would look on a big formal table. Same idea. One way to overcome your fear of big is to take home large works on approval to see how they work in a space.

Another art hanging problem is when a piece does not relate to the space that it is hung in. Putting a small horizontal in a very vertical space isn't pleasing. The eye wants to look up and down  instead of across. Think of the space as another frame around the art. You wouldn't have a mat that is only one inch wide on the sides and eighteen inches wide on top and bottom, would you? So make the space around the art somewhat proportional too. Consider stacking two smaller pieces in a vertical space or using a very tall piece.

For more tips on hanging art work you can read my post on hanging here.
middle two photos are courtesy of  All In the Details Interior Design.

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