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Ultimately, hanging pictures on the wall depends on your frame of mind

Finding a picture to place in your home is easy. Finding the room to hang it in requires a little more thought.

There are two fundamental points to remember when hanging art. A small picture should not be hung by itself on a large wall and a large picture should not be any larger than the furniture beneath it. Other than that, anything goes.

"There are no set rules today like there were 20 years ago," said Fred Sischka, owner of Fast Frame in Los Altos.

The latest trend is framing the kids' pictures or photographs and hanging them all over the house, even among well known artists.

"Parents bring in their kids' pictures because it's an excellent means of the child's expression and it's a great esteem builder," Sischka said. "It's an incentive to develop their talent further."

Fast Frame features a store window for kids' art. Parents bring in the children's efforts at painting and they are placed in the window where hundreds of people stop and look.

"Because Los Altos is family oriented, everybody can relate to kids' art," said Jo-Ellen Smith, Fast Frame designer. "Especially the parents, so they hang them anywhere in the house."

In the last several years, family heritage portraits are receiving a lot of attention.

"Family portraits provide a perspective to the past. With the pace of today's life, more and more people want a connection to the past," Sischka said. "They hang up pictures of their ancestors, their grandparents or incidents that happened in the past."

Other items receiving a lot of attention for walls are mirrors. Mirrors widen and heighten space, intensify lighting and give off a shine that complements contemporary interiors.

Most people hang pictures too high. The basic rule for positioning a picture is to hang it so the eye of the viewer looks into the main area of interest.

In living and dining areas the viewer is usually seated. In hallways and foyers the viewer is standing. Vertical arrangement of pictures will make a room seem higher, just as horizontal arrangements will make an area appear wider.

A blank wall can become a focus of interest if you hang small objects with interesting silhouettes such as a collection of masks or college athletic awards.

Pictures need not always be single. Clusters make for an interesting arrangement. As a general rule, a photo collage is usually hung in the hallway.

"Each person in our area has a truly unique personal approach of where to hang their art." Sischka said.

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