Design Recipes: Series and symmetry

By Cathy Hobbs, Tribune News Service
Published 5:15 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2020

When it comes to artwork and mirrors, what are some of the best and more impactful ways in which to showcase? Whether you have a long wall you wish to highlight, a ceiling you want to elevate or bold design statement you’d like to make, placing artwork or mirrors in a series or with the use of symmetry may do the trick.

Here are a list of do’s and don’ts.


1. Use identical pieces of art to create a diptych (two pieces of art in a series) or a triptych (three pieces of art in a series).

2. Use mirrors in a series or grid in spaces that may not have a lot of windows.

3. Be aware of mirror placement, especially what objects may be reflected.

4. Look for opportunities for drama, especially opportunities to elevate or highlight ceiling heights.

5. Consider neutral color in modern environments such as black and white.


1. Mix too many materials, sizes and shapes. Identical pieces tend to work well for a minimal look.

2. Ignore the power of white. White framed artwork and mirrors may be desirable if you’re looking for items that feel integrated and blended.

3. Hang artwork too high or too low. A rule of thumb is artwork and mirrors should be hung at average eye level height (5 feet above the finished floor to the center of the artwork).

4. Overlook the opportunity to make a statement with finishes such as brass.

5. Forget the power of symmetry. The placement of identical items on either side of a contrasting item can help create a sense of balance.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at [email protected] or visit her website at .

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