Get the Answers to Hanging Art!

  • How to Decorate Team

Have you ever gone into someone’s home and all the pictures are hanging just below the ceiling line? Well, we would like to help you with tips on learning to hang wall art. The rules are fairly simple and it is truly not as complicated as it appears.

1. How high do I hang my picture?

A good rule of thumb is to hang the center picture at eye level. And what does that mean? You could be 5 feet tall and the person hanging the picture could be 6 feet tall.

Most pictures should be hung with the center of the picture, plaque or clock about 60 inches up from the floor. This height is considered an average viewing area for most people. And most art galleries follow that rule.

2. What if I want to hang a group of pictures on the wall?

One easy way to position the pictures is to lay them out on a large piece of paper on the floor. Decide which print will be in the center and work out from there. Once you are happy with your arrangement, trace around the frames marking the position of the hangers. Then hang the paper on the wall, placing the center of the middle print at 60 inches from the floor and marking the position of all the hangers. It is truly the easiest way to hang a group of prints. If you are hanging the prints in a straight line make sure there is equal space between the prints and use a level to keep things straight.

3. What makes a collection of prints work?

Try keeping the frames similar or perhaps the matting the same. Another way to keep everything together is to have similar themes or complimentary colors in the prints. When the prints are not the same size, keep a common theme.

If something looks out of place, chances are – it is. Try selecting another replacement until you feel the arrangement works.

4. Can I hang something other than just prints?

Absolutely! For an example, try a vignette of antique door knobs, door knockers and antique keys over a table by the front door. If you wish, you can add some photos of front doors to the mix. For a personal statement, maybe you can take the front door photos yourself.

Having a variety of objects that are connected in some way adds interest, style and personality. This is just an example of creating a collection, the sky is the limit – so let your imagination go!

Here are a few guidelines that are invaluable when planning to hang wall art:

  • Try not to hang everything in one area of a room. This can make the room look unbalanced. Leaving the other walls bare can make the room look one sided.
  • Generally, you should never hang a picture wider than the furniture under it. A good guideline is the artwork should be about 75% of the width of the piece it is over. However, rules are made to be broken, so if you decide to hang an oversized piece of art, make it large enough to make it look intentional and dramatic.
  • Hang smaller pictures on smaller walls, larger pictures on large walls.
  • Don’t choose art work that overpowers your room, selecting pieces that compliment the size of the space work best.
  • Instead of hanging everything on the walls, try placing art on shelving or leaning the prints up against the wall.
  • Look for interesting subjects to group together – it will make the space come alive!

We hope these tips will make hanging wall art less intimidating. These are practical solutions to the most commonly asked questions. If you have a specific problem, please contact Style Studio and we will be happy to answer your questions.

Posted 5/5/09

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.