Since purchasing our first house 8 months ago, Paul and I have worked nonstop to turn this house into a home, as evident by the this blog and all the DIY projects that we have accomplished. The home is where the heart is so our house automatically feels like "home", but in order to make it feel "homey" we have focused on making the space better reflect our style. We have spent 8 months making this house better reflect our style, but the truth is, I can't exactly tell you what "our style" is. If I had to put a name on it, I think I would call it farmhouse coastal, but instead, my style is a byproduct of things I see and love on Pinterest, Instagram, or styles in my daily life that I try to mimic in one way or another or use for inspiration. Although this is a great way to define "your style" and stimulate creativity, if you (meaning me) take it too seriously or are too concerned on doing things according to the rules it can be quite limiting at times.
For me the best analogy is like writing papers when I was in college. In order to get a good grade, I often wrote papers based off what I thought the professor wanted to hear, instead of writing exactly what I wanted. Some may call that being a suck up or being a coward and not staying true to yourself, but I called that working the system in order to ensure my long term goal which was graduating with a good GPA. In design, I surely don't always make choices based off what others would find pretty or what would be "acceptable" in the magazine worthy design world, but there definitely has been times that I've contemplated not doing something in fear that the design experts (aka my favorite designers and bloggers) would disapprove. The truth is though, your home should be a reflection of the people who live in it, so sometimes rules need to be broken so that we can truly make a home reflect our personal style and to make it more homey. After all, we are the judges of our own home so it's up to you to determine what is and isn't acceptable. That said, today I'm going to be sharing a design rule that I break and one that I follow when it comes to wall art.
RULE TO BREAK:
There is no doubt that I love wall art, and in my books the more diversified types of art within a house the better. One type of wall art I have strayed away from, until very recently, is framed photos of Paul and I or family photos in general. Why you might ask? Many designers would say you're not "supposed" to hang family photos in the family room of your house, or really, any main part of the house except for in bedrooms or other private spaces. So for the last 8 months I followed that rule and the only place we had family pictures was in our bedroom, but even those are now gone since the frames got stolen away for our guest bathroom makeover. I personally don't like family photos consuming a lot of the walls in a house (I don't mind it in other people's homes, just not ours), but I do love how family photos bring a sense of warmth and homey feeling. That said, when I got these three gallery frames for my birthday and my original plan for them fell through, I decided to break this rule and finally get some wedding and engagement photos printed up on the wall in our hallway and I couldn't be more thrilled with the end result. Every time I now see these photos on our wall, they bring back such great memories and make me smile in a way that my store bought canvas art can't. This said, in your home, hang what you want on your walls because YOU need to be happy with your home regardless of what the design experts say.
RULE TO FOLLOW:
I shouldn't call this a "rule" because, after all, it's your home and you should do things in a way that makes you happy, so rather I'm going to call this a "design tip" that I highly recommend people to follow if they want everything to tie together in their home. That is, hang your wall art at eye level and have the center of all your artwork hung at the same height throughout your home to create harmony. The average eye level height is 57", but I've heard anywhere in the range of 57" to 61" works too. In our house, the center of all the artwork (excluding artwork that is hung over pieces of furniture and therefore can't follow this rule) is hung at 58". Most people hang their artwork too high, so by following these steps it helps to ensure that things are hung at the same height which helps to streamline everything and keep the eyes from having to constantly move around.
1. Measure 58" from the floor and mark on wall. ( I use painters tape behind my mark so that I don't have to mark the wall)
2. Measure out height of artwork and divide by 2 (this will give you the center of it)
3. Measure top of the artwork to the top of the wire or picture hangers located on the back. (Usually this is no more than a couple of inches)
4. Subtract the amount calculated in Step #3 from the half height amount calculated in Step #2 to determine the "nail height". The "nail height" is how far above 58" your nail needs to go
5. Mark the wall above 58" with the "nail height" ( I use painters tape and a mark) and insert nail.
So although I might have broken the rule about hanging family photos in the main part of the house, by following the second rule, at least they now blend in perfectly with other wall art in the house! Additionally by using gallery style frames and printing them in black and white it makes them look more like pieces of art as well, but that's just my somewhat biased opinion;)
What do you think about either of these "rules"? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!
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