So you have two vintage pictures you would like to hang together? You could choose two by the same artist, or two works with similar themes or subject matter. You could choose paintings where the palette chimes or indeed where they are completely different, or you could choose pictures in totally different media and frames. The main thing is to choose things that resonate with you and that interest you.
Then you need to decide where you are going to hang your “pair”; are they going to fill the whole space or are you looking to create a focal point? There is no end of places you can place your duo; above a sofa, a console table, or a chimney. I really like two paintings on either side of a chimney. I might use four different sized paintings but you could equally well have four paintings of the same size, for instance four botanical prints. A bit of symmetry can be very calming and elegant although it is a little harder to hang! Super clever @melindalp has hung four different but linked pictures either side of the mirror in her ultra glamorous bed/bathroom and it looks amazing. (Melinda is the Creative Director of @loupe_uk, and is always coming up with fun and interesting things in the UK)
Officially we are told that the centre of the paintings should be at eye level so that your picture is easily visible but obviously if you are hanging one above another they can’t both be at eye level, so make sure the lower of the pair is a little below eye level and the upper one is not too far above it. You will create a much more cohesive and attractive hang if the gap between the two is not too big. If you're hanging them above furniture, make sure there's about 15 to 20 cm of space between the bottom of the paintings and the top of the furniture.
I have to admit I just eyeball where I am going to hang a painting but I put pictures up all day every day, so I have had a lot of practice. If it’s not something you feel comfortable with, measure the distance between the two pieces. It is much easier to hang different sized works as you don’t have to make sure the edges line up! If you do need to line them up use masking tape. Once the first one is in place run a strip of masking tape up or down (depending on whether you’ve hung the lower or upper one first) the side of the picture. You can then measure where the second needs to go between the masking tape tramlines. This will help you avoid mistakes.…..but remember if you do make a mistake it will probably be hidden behind the picture so don’t be nervous!
When hanging pairs of paintings, think about creating balance. If your pieces are similar in size, hang them at an equal distance from each other centred in your chosen wall. If one painting is bigger you could line up their centres or you could hang them off centre for a less classic look. This is probably a better approach if you think you may buy more paintings as you can just slot them in to create a gallery wall.
Basically there are no rules; it is simply a question of creating something that looks good to you. And remember the first one is always the hardest. Once you’ve plucked up your courage and put the first hook in and hung the first painting there will be no stopping you!