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How Horizontal, Vertical, and Diagonal Lines in Your Home Impact you

Updated: Feb 23, 2020

The secret to understanding the joy and energy that your art provides revolves around one key concept: The Power of LINE.




They make that happen!

These three types of line are the backbone of all paintings and drawings. The patterns and prominence these lines embody in your art and home will affect your mood, mindset and where you place your art.

Learn this easy concept on how to place art in your home.

Use Horizontal, Diagonal, and Vertical Lines.

Let's break down each type of line.

1.HORIZONTAL – A flat, smooth visual element that parallels the ground. Picture in your mind’s eye a setting sun. See it sinking along the horizon of a vast Nebraska prairie or descending into a still-as-glass Lake Michigan evening scene.

Notice in the picture above the strong, flat line across the horizon line. Adding to the calmness and serenity in the art is the continuation of the horizontal feel in the cloud banks.

The effect of horizontals goes beyond art, so explore its use in design for your residential or office setting.

TIP #1 - When choosing art and considering lines in paintings

Consider placing a painting with strong horizontal elements in a reading room or bedroom for a more relaxed state of mind.

Photograph by Kate Moynihan

In the room above, notice the prominent horizontal movement in the art as the birds perch on the straight red line. Adding to the tranquil feeling is the even, linear movement in the pattern of the bedspread, along with the strong horizontal white woodwork against the soft blue wall.

Next, enhance the movement of the horizontal line by thinking of music.



For example, hear in your mind the soft sound of a flute fluttering. Then picture the flute as a line … a thin, delicate line. Make it gently move up and down like the airy notes of a flute. Now, hear a tuba, deep and low. Picture the line of a tuba as thick and bold in its horizontality. By doing this, you have escalated the power of the horizontal line by adding this wavy movement and its contrasting thick and thin attributes.

2. Wavy Lines Curves and ripples are relaxing like rolling waves or roundness of leaves. Soft edges add a lyrical movement even with bright colors.

In the painting above, notice the wavy and visually significant movement of the green tree line. The continuous row of rounded leaf-clusters adds a gentle movement, yet the painting maintains tranquility from the strong horizontal band of emerald leaves. The tree line is as relaxing as soft rolling waves of water.

Next, the incorporation of circles and curves increases lyrical movement in a visual element. In the painting above, the sharp and dynamic roll of a wave in this abstract beach scene adds energy to the sunset and horizontal water.

The mood of the rose painting below is heightened by the contrasting black, curvy lines. The rhythmic intensity of the art escalates because of the power of the line.

Tip # 2 in choosing art in home decor

Kitchen and dining rooms are an appropriate spot for flowing lines. Wavy lines and curves are perfect for moderate activity in an environmental setting such as an office corridor or reception area.

3. DIAGONALS have greater power than the soft energy of the wavy line. The meandering path of the painting below leads your eye into the art.

The sharp, crisp edge of a diagonal grabs attention. Greater urgent movement is achieved from the sharp peaks and valleys of diagonals. These oblique thrusts will compel attention. They can have cutting, slashing, rushing effects that create strong visual drama. Think of the jagged mountain peaks of the Rockies.

The painting below has a soft, S-shape diagonal making it quieter than sharper diagonals.

Tip # 3 for choosing art and considering lines in home decor

Your room with the big screen TV begs for the added punch of diagonals. It is the perfect room for the energy of these sharp peaks.

4. Verticals, art the most dramatic of all lines, commanding the most attention. Their powerful thrust stands right, declaring, "I HAVE POWER!" They induce the feeling of growth and being uplifted.

Tip # 4: When choosing art and lines in paintings

Vertical formats work nicely when ceilings are low and you want to create the spatial illusion of height in an environment, indoors or out.

Whatever the motif, enjoy your pieces. Perhaps noticing the movement in them you’ll understand why you favor them just a bit more ... and your HOME DECOR.

how to chose art, placing art, effects of horizontal, vertical, diagonal lines in art and your home decor
Notice how the VERTICAL stripes of the rug lead your eye to the art! Then the HORIZONTAL art maintains the conversation area.

Enjoy using a combination of horizontals, diagonals, and verticals in your decorating.

And that, my art - savvy friend, sums up The Power of LINE! Make them work for you! Enjoy the serenity of horizontals, yet when you need more pizzazz, let the verticals dominate!

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