This Designer Makes the Case for Hanging Your Art Off-Kilter

·1-min read
Photo credit: Ashley Whittaker
Photo credit: Ashley Whittaker

“We’ve all seen our fair share of gallery walls,” says designer Ashley Whittaker, but, she admits, “it’s fun to take a salon style of hanging and apply it to a print or series of artwork.”

Whittaker is referring to the practice of hanging art off-kilter—meaning in an atypical or unexpected way. The designer herself has incorporated this unexpected element in both her own home and her clients’ homes.

Photo credit: Ashley Whittaker
Photo credit: Ashley Whittaker

So, what makes hanging art off-kilter work in a particular space? “There is such a thing as too much symmetry, so it’s nice to break up the symmetry,” explains Whittaker— "especially when you’re hanging a series of artwork that is similar in scale, color, or frame.” She adds that “it’s nice to hang it in a way that the eye doesn’t just see the repetition.”

For a dining nook and guest bedroom designed by Whittaker, she chose to instill off-kilter art due to what she describes as a lack of “architectural interest,” because this method “can add playfulness to an otherwise plain bedroom.” Admittedly, the designer wasn’t “crazy about the sill height in this room,” but, she found that “hanging the art lower draws the eye up and down the whole wall.” It's an easy way to add a bit of visual interest without going as far as installing molding or trim (all you need is a hammer and nails!).

For even more art-related design inspiration, peruse our suggestions for transformative wall decor ideas.

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