Fantastic prints and how to hang them

hallway 7:14 3

My hallway: slightly less boring now. I finally hung some prints! I’m proud of the light restoration work we’ve done so far (the walls, the door frames), even though there’s more to go (LIGHTING) so it feels good to add some personality.

frame templates

The frames themselves:

I collected a few frames from the tip shop. Secondhand frames can be such good value; none of these cost more than $10, and they’re all sturdy timber frames with glass panels. It took a couple of trips to collect enough similarly-sized frames in good condition, which didn’t worry me.

I painted the lot: one coat shellac-based primer to go over any existing glossy paint, two coats satin white enamel. Sure, the frames aren’t identical in size, but neither are the prints. The colour draws them together into a set. And as for the fastenings, I used d-rings and picture wire attached about ¾ of the way up the back.

I’d like to invest in a more polished set at some point, but this’ll do me for now.

Hanging the frames:

I went a bit nuts and made templates of all my frames by tracing them onto newspaper and cutting them to size. I then taped them up and made a few small adjustments to get them into the right position. This was definitely overkill, though — I’m not sure I’d do that again.

Apartment Therapy advises hanging artwork so that the center of each frame is exactly 57 inches high, because it’s close to eye level. I also learned way back that 60” is a gallery standard, so, pick whatever height feels best to you and roll with that. I went with 59 inches. As long as the center of each frame in a group is aligned, the result will be visually harmonious.

I’ll repeat their hanging advice here:

1. Measure and lightly mark 57″ on the wall
2. Measure top of your picture to the middle (or take height and divide by 2)
3. Measure top of your picture to the tightened wire (a small amount)
4. Subtract this last amount to tell you how far above 57″ your hook should go
5. Measure up from 57″ with this last amount and lightly mark on the wall.

The prints:

Well, after all that work in readying the frames and hanging them, I may as well show you the pretty pictures, right?

inaluxe print

1. Blossom 3, Inaluxe

I’d wanted to get a print from Inaluxe for some time. They’re a little studio based in the Grampians whose work is inspired by the natural world and how elements interact. They’ve got a groovy retro vibe and the colours are excellent. I particularly like their fun, graphic take on Australian flora in this collaboration with Earth Greetings. That waratah is so great.

Their online shop went on hiatus for a few months, so I admit it, I ordered this print from Urban Outfitters. Next time I’ll get one direct from the source.

beach balls print

2. Beach Balls, Beth Hoeckel Collage

I received this print as a Christmas gift from Nick and Alyssa, my brother and his girlfriend, so I’m happy to say that it’s finally up on the wall! You guys chose well. It’s like the beach is getting rained on by giant Fruity Pebbles.

It inspired me to look through more work by Beth Hoeckel, who is a prolific collage artist. The settings are perfectly realistic, except for the obvious. I dig it. (Have a look at the illustrations she’s done for Rookie Mag – the subversion of advertising and of feminine ideals fits right in with Rookie’s mission to be a smart, interesting voice for teenage girls.)

mountain fabric art

3. The Mountain

This work pieced together with fabric was a secondhand find. I really liked the picture itself, but the frame was covered in padded, ruched blue satin, which had to go. Sure enough, once I stripped it down to its MDF base, the picture looked a lot less ratty.

It might be folksy kitsch, but I’m into the combination of textures, the representation of Hobart distilled down to its layers. Mountains, hills, houses, shorelines, waters. I like living in a city that has all of those things.

folk dance poster

4. Folk Dance

Finally, the last of these four prints. I never knew that there’s a goldmine out there of ‘60s-’70s graphic posters from Japan, but there totally is. I got this print from an Etsy shop, where the print itself came from a 1970s book of dance posters. Research pointed me to Tadashi Nadamoto, who designed this poster for a folk dance organised by the Osaka Labourer’s Musical Union. I really wish this was a full-sized poster!

(Seriously, look at some of these posters. KILLER.)

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And back to how the hallway looks now!

I also got a couple of runners. Couple of, because the hallway is long enough to necessitate a double length. (4m total!) I would have preferred a single rug, but that severely limited my options.

My criteria: durable, non-lightweight, natural fibres, not colourful but ideally with a bit of pattern. These guys are reversible cotton/jute — “Funky Normans” brand, available on Wayfair, bought new on eBay. I like the black on neutral, it breaks up the brown-on-brown in this space. It also feels nice on cold feet in winter; the cotton keeps it from being too scratchy.

I don’t love the hessian bag hung up on the wall (again: too much brown), so I’m looking for something neat to hang up in its place. Maybe a large b/w printed photo, or a textural wall hanging, or even going with a very tiny hall table and a mirror? Ohhhh, the suspense.

4 thoughts on “Fantastic prints and how to hang them

  1. I love the art, especially “The Mountain”. Ruched blue satin?! You were so right to get rid of that! Eclectic mix but they all are great.

    1. Thanks mom, I like ’em all too. I’m glad I can finally share what Alyssa’s print looks like in a frame, it only took me seven months!

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