I would never have thought to hang this piece in its spot to the right of the bed, and yet when I look at the room, I can't imagine it anywhere else. Its placement bridges the gap between the headboard and draperies and lends a needed touch of height.
This is a perfect example of the relationship between art and the other elements in a space. With the strong black console and wall sculpture, the composition needed a little negative space to keep from reading as too heavy. Yet a single photo or painting centered over the table would have looked lost. The solution? A group of several works arranged in a way that creates fluidity and leaves breathing room, but still holds its own.
Can you picture a teeny-tiny piece of art hung over the console in this space? Neither can I. The oversize picture that anchors the gallery wall balances the modest scale of the furniture, and the staggered placement leads the eye along the surface.
Similarly, this petite console and chairs would feel too timid against a big, blank stretch of wall. Off-center art swallows some of the bare space and connects the furniture with the horizontal window near the ceiling.
On its own, each of the works above the mantel would be too small to fill that slice of wall. The solution? Elevate one, then prop the other to create a sense of motion and even out the visual weight.
In this case a grouping of vases offsets a painting that's been shifted to the left. The placement plays up the energy of the bright orange fireplace and keeps the architecture from feeling static.
These homeowners could have mounted the smaller pieces on either side of the larger one and called it a day. But switching up the order tilts the balance of the space and adds a quirkier sensibility.
If you have an architectural element that demands attention, try hanging art where it won't compete. This quartet of pictures aligns with the asymmetrical fireplace rather than the mantel.
In an eclectic space where nothing matches, would you expect to find a piece of art mounted precisely over the middle of a chest? Of course not. Scooting it just a smidge to the left yields a pleasing graduated-height effect. This is a lot like what I did in my living room — though my lamp is nowhere near as cool as that lava version.