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How can I hang art without ruining my walls?

The question:

I have beautiful, new walls and lots of art. Aside from a picture rail, what is the least-damaging way to hang art?

The answer:

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The words "beautiful, new walls" are intoxicating, as they evoke pristine, freshly painted or papered surfaces. In a way, the walls themselves are art, so I can see why you want to protect them.

Hanging paintings or prints can be messy. You could hire a professional to hang your art, but if you are a do-it-yourselfer, find some gloves, a level and a buddy to help. Be careful not to scratch the walls with the frames and be sure to use proper hooks – not nails. Ideally, use two hooks per piece to share the load.

Another option is to forgo hanging and simply lean the art against the wall; you can brace the bottom of the frames on the floor or shelf where they sit to prevent slipping. Alternatively, you could hang art from cables in the ceiling. Your walls will escape without a scratch and it will give your room a certain Cirque du Soleil appeal.

Architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace's new e-book, Dee Dee's Rules, is available on iTunes. Follow her on Twitter @ddtaylordd. Have a design problem? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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