Trade Secret

As seen in Vogue Living

T R A D E    s e c r e t




It was a job for a professional: 21 Redouté rose prints to be hung in precise alignment, with a picture rail in the way. Enter Greg MacInnes of Hanging Around.
      "We painted the rail the same colour as the wall and its width determined the space between the horizontal rows. Now it virtually disappears." Hooks were installed at different heights for each picture. "They always look exactly the same, but the height of each picture can vary by a millimetre or two, depending on the length of the hanging wire. If the framer has done them all on the same day, he will generally stretch the wire to the same amount. But an assistant next to him will do it differently."
      A common pitfall, says Greg, is to hang the picture too high. "A rule of thumb is to have the centre of the painting at eye level. With a grouping - rather than have the tops or bottoms of the frames in line - imagine an invisible line through the centre. For example, with a tall portrait and three small landscapes stacked next to it, the central landscape would be in line with the middle of the portrait. If it's a 'rogues' gallery it can be less formal, randomly spaced." Greg plays with the composition by laying out the pictures on the floor first.
     "With upholstered walls, one pulled thread will be seen right across the wall." An incision is made in the fabric and the padding eased aside as the hole is drilled.
     Remounting, reframing and rehanging pictures will transform a house. "So will mirror," says Greg. "It brings in light and the reflections make a space seem bigger and more welcoming. Mirror on mirror is extremely difficult - being glass, you can't just drill into it like brickwork." To hang a heavy antique mirror on a mirrored wall, Greg had the mirrored panels removed and two holes professionally drilled, and hung the antique mirror on two bolts for safety. A final tip: distressed frames rather than bright gold or new timber is the trend.       BETSY BRENNAN

Clockwise from top left: a picture rail 'disappears' between rose prints framed by Peter Naef; quilt from Catherine's Cottage, Gordon, NSW. Portraits, prints and mirrors. A mirror on an upholstered wall at Leslie Walford Interiors. Greg MacInnes carefully handles the gold frame of a Robert Dickerson work. Mirror on mirror.
Hanging Around, Sydney, 0418 416 444.


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