Hang Wall Art the Right Way Every Time

Figuring out how to hang wall art correctly is one of the age-old conundrums of interior design. Everyone knows that an improperly hung work of art sticks out like a sore thumb, but it’s tricky to get right, until you know the unspoken rules you need to follow.

Julie Wynalda – TrueVine Creations

Choose the right size artwork
First and foremost, you need to make sure the piece of wall art you choose is appropriately sized for the spot where it’s going to be placed. Even if our hanging skills are flawless, a piece of art that’s too big or too small for its wall is going to end up looking out of place.

“Decide if the space needs framed artwork, metal or dimensional wall art, a mirror, or even some floating shelves, says Julie Wynalda of True Vine Creations. “Try to mix it up and find elements that make you smile.”

If you’re putting the wall art directly behind a piece of furniture — like a painting over a sofa or buffet — you’re in luck. There’s a trick that allows you to eyeball your measurements. Ideally, the furniture piece will be slightly longer than the wall art on either side. You should aim to find a wall hanging that is two-thirds its length.

If you’re planning on putting the piece of artwork on a standalone wall, the math is a little more complicated. (Though, nothing that can’t be solved with the help of a calculator.) Conventional wisdom states that artwork should take up four-sevenths of the wall on which it is placed. To figure those dimensions, start by measuring the length and width of the wall. Then, multiply each number by 0.571, which is four-sevenths as a decimal,

Julie Wynalda – True Vine Creations

Adapt the placement to the room
In the past, the rule of thumb was that all artwork should be placed roughly at eye level. But someone who is 5’1” will have a vastly different eye level than someone who is 6’5” so it ends up being fairly arbitrary. These days, the school of thought is that the center of a piece of art should generally be 57 inches from the floor.

To find that spot, start by measuring the height of the picture and then dividing that number by two to find its center. Afterward, measure the distance from the picture wire or nail hook to the top of the frame. Subtract that distance from half of the picture’s height, and finally, add your result to 57. Whatever your final number ends up being, measure that distance up the wall to find the point where you should put your nail and mark it for later use.

That said, math is no substitute for perception in interior design. While you can use these figures as a guide, don’t be afraid to make adjustments accordingly. For example, when a room has high ceilings, it may make more sense to hang your wall art slightly higher than usual to account for the extra space.

“Additionally, you may want to stack a series of framed artwork pieces vertically to allow for the higher ceilings and pay tribute to the the architecture,“ Wynalda continues.

How to hang wall art
Once you have your wall art and it’s placement selected, it’s time to get hanging. While this is usually considered a two-person job, there is a simple way to make it work on your own. All it takes is some paper and a little tape.

Start by tracing your piece of wall art on a piece of paper. Then, cut it out so you have a template to use. Make a mark on the template to show where the picture wire or hook will be by measuring out the same distance as from the wire to the top of the frame. With the marking-side out, match up the nail mark on your template to the nail mark on the wall and secure it in place with tape. This will give you a chance to step back and see how the wall art will look from farther away. Feel free to make adjustments as you see fit.

Once you’re happy with how the wall art is placed, break out your nail and hammer. Place the nail in the spot you’ve marked. Then, peel away the template. From there, all you need to do is put the picture in place.

Julie Wynalda – True Vine Creations

Tackling gallery walls
People have a tendency to shy away from gallery walls because they believe putting one together is overly difficult or they won’t be able to put together an aesthetically pleasing arrangement. In reality, hanging one of these doesn’t take that much extra effort.

This difference lies in how you start. Once you’ve collected all of the pieces, decide on the arrangement. Do this on the floor rather than on the wall so you can easily make changes. Choose a center item first and then build your layout around it.

Once you’re satisfied, follow the same processes described above. Start by placing a template of your center photo at 57 inches and add in the other templates according to your layout. Then, one by one, use the templates to place the nail for each artwork.

Wynalda says, “It’s important to remember these are just guidelines not hard fast rules, use your best judgement and most of all make it feel like your home.”

If you’re unsure how to hang wall art the right way, trust us when we say you’re not alone. Many homeowners struggle with one of interior design’s most fundamental tasks.

“Finding the perfect placement for each piece can make or break how connected and finished a room feels,” continues Wynalda.
You can always call in the experts. To find an interior designer visit myGRhome.com.

Mid-Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

After the dust settles on your Independence Day celebration, you may notice that your home has begun to show the signs of an active summer – both inside and out.  Take the time now to do a few maintenance tasks to keep your home humming through the rest of the summer.

Keep hot air out. Hopefully you’ve already had your air conditioner serviced this year to ensure it can hold up during a heat wave. Now it’s time to re-check your windows and doors for drafts and air leaks that may have developed with kids more frequently coming in and out of the house. Caulk any seams and re-glaze windows if needed, and replace any worn weather-stripping around doors to help keep cool air from escaping. Also, replace or repair any screens that have tears.

Swap your HVAC filter. If your air conditioner has been working overtime this summer, check to see if the filter needs to be replaced. While some manufacturers recommend replacing your filter about once a month, the actual time will depend on your household: how often air conditioner runs, the number of furry pets in your home, the age of your unit, etc.

Secure loose fittings. It’s a good idea to check the railings and posts on your deck to ensure that they are not becoming loose. If you have playset in your backyard, check to see if any connections need to be tightened. This is especially important during the summer months when playsets get the most use.

Drain the rain. Summer rains bring extra water that can take a toll on gutters and downspouts. Visually inspect your downspouts to be sure they are draining away from the foundation. Clear your gutters from the debris that gathers during summer storms. Also be sure there is no standing water around your yard, which attracts mosquitoes and other pests. Water pools around your house also attract termites, so be sure to drain all the excess water.

Hidden in Plain Sight

Intelligent universal design fades into the background and makes everyone happier

Today’s biggest demographic trend poses a challenge and also presents an opportunity. That’s because more and more working-age people are asking for a home with space to accommodate senior parents with age-related mobility or physiological issues.

The challenge is that they don’t want the senior suite to look like an assisted living residence; the opportunity is that, done right, it can end up as one of the home’s most appealing spaces.

What these homeowners want is universal design. Universal means the space works for people of all abilities, but that doesn’t mean it has to be clunky or ugly. A good design build team will emphasize the design, creating a finished space that looks and feels like just a great place to live. In fact, the possibilities of universal design make it a good choice for the entire home.

Consider the accessible bathroom. Some people may remember a hotel with a bathroom that looked like it belonged in a hospital, but that’s a poor comparison. Hotel baths are more about meeting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements than they are about aesthetics. In a well-designed home bath, what you will notice instead are the high-quality finishes and the fact that there’s plenty of elbow room.

And those grab bars? A skilled designer and builder can incorporate them into the shower in subtle ways. Or if you won’t need grab bars for a while, the builder can put blocking behind the wall to make it easy to bolt the bars in place later.

Other universal features can be made to look and feel like amenities:

  • A zero-step walkway can be a convenient entry that flows naturally from the driveway to the front door.
  • If the parents won’t be moving in for a while, the senior suite can serve as a convenient guest space or TV room.
  • Wide interior doorways help everyone move around more freely and make it simpler to move furniture in and out.
  • Young family members find it easier to open a large casement window than a heavy double-hung window.
  • Light-colored walls make the space more cheerful overall.
  • And no one objects to having more overhead lighting.

Even if you don’t think you need universal design, there are reasons to consider it in any home. One reason is that the over-65 slice of the population is growing every year, so universal design makes the home more marketable when you decide to sell. And if you plan on staying put, it will serve as future proofing.

Of course, no one likes to think about their mobility decreasing. Maybe their mother lived until 90 and never had a problem climbing stairs, so they expect the same for themselves. Fair enough, but also we’ve known people who broke a leg or had a knee replacement and were grateful for a first-floor bedroom and a front door with no steps.

Any competent builder can add universal features, but making them look and feel great requires an experienced professional design build team. Ask potential builders or architects for examples of work they have done. Look for pros who have built accessible homes that you would love to live in.

The point is that thoughtful universal design features combined with good architecture will make a home more comfortable for all family members—both today and ten years from now. Once you get used to these features, you may wonder how you lived without them.

Rich Kogelschatz, CAPS, CGB
Heartland Builders

5 Houseplants That Thrive Indoors

Move over, succulents. Today’s houseplants are going lush. That’s right: Indoor potted plants are finally getting their day in the sun. Succulents and cacti eased us back into the idea of tending to some pots on our windowsills. Today, some of the trendiest decorators lean heavily into houseplants as key design elements.

If you want to try out this new fad, you’re in luck: This home decor trend is one of the most affordable to incorporate. A visit to your local nursery or home improvement store gives you an idea of just how many options you have. The only limit is your imagination and the amount of natural light in your home or apartment. If you want to get started with houseplants that are known to like indoor living, these are all excellent choices.

1. Pothos

Most plants are limited by their pot size. Not so with this showy grower. Pothos is known for its snaky vines, which you can either keep trimmed or let grow to give your space a truly verdant vibe. People love pothos because it’s fairly flexible. It thrives in a variety of light conditions, including low-light environments. If you notice the leaves turning pale, that’s a sign your pothos is getting too much sun.

Pothos is also good if you often forget to water your plants. The pothos plant does best when its soil is allowed to completely dry between watering. (Although note that wilting, browning leaves are a cry for more moisture.)

2. Snake plant

This plant also goes by the name “mother-in-law’s tongue,” but we’ll call it by its friendlier moniker. The snake plant is as hardy as it is visually interesting. Its variegated spears like indirect light and, again, prefer dry soil in between waterings.

Not only is this a very forgiving plant, but it’s also a giver. The NASA Clean Air Study found that snake plants filter out benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene. That’s a sophisticated way of saying that it gives you cleaner, purer air inside your home.

3. Split-leaf philodendron

If you’re looking for a tropical vibe, the large, glossy, heart-shaped leaves of the split-leaf philodendron will serve you well. They also grow quickly, rewarding plant owners who keep them alive with regular shoots of new leaves. These houseplants want bright, indirect light. If you see brown marks on them, it could be a sign that the leaf has been burned by exposure to direct sunlight.

Because the split-leaf philodendron comes from a tropical climate, it’s important to keep its soil relatively moist. Many owners find that watering once a week is perfect If the leaves take on a yellow hue, scale back. Fortunately, this philodendron is fairly forgiving; occasional overwatering or missed watering won’t have any long-term ramifications.

4. Air plants

Do you love succulents because of their no-fuss maintenance? Did you know there’s a plant that’s even easier? Air plants require very, very little from their owners and are one of the most trending houseplants in 2018. Their upswing in the design world is largely thanks to the visual interest they lend to a space, due to the fact that they don’t need soil.

Yes, you read that right. Air plants grow soil-free. All they need is a supply of air, as their name suggests. If you do bring these fascinating plants into your home, water them once a week. A quick rinse in the sink or thorough spritzing with a spray bottle will suffice.

5. Ferns

There’s a huge range of fern varieties, but all of them love humidity. If you want to add a pop of green to your bathroom, turn to these feathery houseplants. A hanging basket in your shower is a perfect way to help ferns capitalize on your bathroom’s humidity and give them access to a natural light source.

Decorating with houseplants

Whether you’re an expert grower or just growing out of your black thumb, these forgiving plants can help you add a sense of vibrancy to your home or apartment. Now that you’ve got your indoor garden thriving, it’s time to have some fun with the decor. Here are a few houseplant decorating ideas to get you started. Happy growing!

The post 5 Houseplants That Thrive Indoors appeared first on Freshome.com.