August 25th, 2010

ML GUEST BLOG: Expert Advice for Adding Art to Your Home

August 25, 2010 in Mountain Living by Christine

In Mountain Living’s “Best Of” Issue, I revealed in my editor’s letter that I was once one of those people who hung her artwork way too high on the wall. Thanks to my husband’s advice, I’ve reformed and our artwork is now happily hanging at an appropriate height. But I must admit that hanging artwork, especially groupings of art, can still be pretty daunting.

Fortunately there are helpful folks out there like Maren Bargreen, owner of Park City’s Gallery MAR (pictured above in her gallery), who upon reading my editor’s letter sent me an e-mail offering her expertise and this helpful tip: “I typically recommend a height of 61 inches for the center line of an artwork,” she told me.

I wanted to hear more of Maren’s advice for incorporating artwork into my home (and I thought you might too), so I asked if she wouldn’t mind sharing a few more tips. Here’s what she had to say:

Use your eclectics to create a “salon-style” wall:

“Several framed pieces can look fantastic on a wall, in a non-traditional collage. The key to success is to choose one element and go with it: genre, medium, frames or spacing. Lay out your pieces on the floor and negotiate the spaces between the works. You can measure and even use blue painter’s tape to lay out the installation on the wall. Or do what I’ve done in my own home (below) and freely hang the works, allowing for a more organic look that is less precise. Choosing a salon-style hanging, where the spaces between the paintings are never the same, keeps the wall from looking too regimented and lets you add to and expand the installation.”

Art as architecture:

“Sometimes the obvious choice for an architectural element in your home is just that: too obvious. Why not spice up your space with some unexpected and functional art pieces? Try using blown glass for a powder room sink and rinse your hands in fine art. One of my favorite ideas is to use a wall hanging or large canvas painting in place of a headboard. To hang the piece, allow about 5 inches above where your throw pillows sit. I recommend a 60-inch wide painting above a king-size bed. Or, commission an artist to paint a three-paneled folding screen for your living room. I saw a piece like this in a collector’s home in Scottsdale and it was the favorite piece in the collection.”

Fill your home with memories:

“Adding art to your lifestyle doesn’t have to be expensive. Do you make a beloved trip to Martha’s Vineyard each year? Next time, bring back a watercolor scene of your favorite private beach. Or stop at a glass blower’s workshop in Seattle for wine goblets that you can use all year to remember your trip to the Emerald City.”

About the expert: Maren Bargreen is the owner of Gallery MAR, an art gallery located on Main Street in historic Park City, Utah. The modern space showcases a selection of fine contemporary art, from detailed still life works to abstract landscapes and whimsical figurative pieces. To learn more, visit

Posted via email from Mountain Living Magazine