The Salon Hang – Grouping art to showcase more

Grouping a collection of paintings or images together is one way to turn your home into a personal art gallery. Called a “salon-style” hang it’s about, assembling multiple artworks in one area, this came about in 18th century Europe, where artists would hang their works together on a single wall.

Often created for practicality, the salon hang evolved into a way to display art at home, and it certainly can have contemporary appeal.

You can create a small collection of three to five works as a feature on one wall, or if you have the space put lots of works to create more complexity and intrigue the viewer.
Interior designers often suggest that a salon hang can accommodate varying tastes, making them appealing for a range of art styles and collections.

Let’s begin

Creating a salon hang from scratch can be daunting, but look for one artwork you really love; make that the centrepiece of your collection, and then create around it. Generally it will be the biggest piece in the group of works you want to showcase.

Drawing up a plan of how you will lay out your gallery can help the finished product come together. Start with  some paper and a pencil and roughly create a sketch of the proportions of the pieces you have and play around with them until you are happy.
Still not sure about your design working? Trace out the shapes of the artworks onto paper then use Blu Tac or similar to put them in place on the wall, now take a look at how the scale of the images work. Move things about to suit.

Creating cohesion

Consider staying with a theme to help your salon hang feel harmonious, particularly if you’re a beginner. For example, focus on paintings or photographs exclusively, or select designs that have a similar colour in them, perhaps some of the frames or mat boards are similar and create the connection.

Think about if you want to create a calm space, or something more vibrant and creative, these core values for the layout can give solid direction as you develop your ideas.
Another way to develop the harmony is to keep the spacing the same, or in proportion to other works.

Once you’re happy with the positioning you are ready to hang the actual pieces! Have fun creating your salon hang, and remember the tiny holes in the wall for the picture hangers can be quickly patched and painted if you change things about.

Regards – Steve Gray

the Picture Framing Guy

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