The Art of Hanging Art

I’ve found that many people have trouble hanging artwork correctly. They have pieces that are most commonly hung too high, smaller pieces that get lost in gallery walls, and spacing that seems to be all off.  I’m going to provide you with a little guide that should be helpful in aiding the art of hanging art :)

  1. Start by organizing your artwork on the floor if you’re creating a composition of different pieces. This will give you a chance to come up with different configurations and choose your favorite, before nailing holes into your wall.
  2. Once you’ve come up with a pleasing design, measure your artwork and cut pieces of paper the same size as each piece of art. Tape the pieces of paper up on the wall in the same arrangement you had on the floor and play with the spacing between pictures. I’ve found that between 1-2 inches works well for most projects.
  3. After the paper is taped up and arranged with a consistent spacing, leave it up and live with it for a couple of days just to make sure you really like it.
  4. Measure twice, hammer once ;) Be sure to pay attention to where the wire or other hanging device is attached to the picture, and secure the picture hook appropriately.
Extra (very important) tips!
  • When hanging art over furniture, you want the piece(s) to be close to the same width as the furniture pieces it’s hanging above.
  • As a rule, hang your art at 57″ on center (meaning that the middle of your picture is at 57″ high). This standard represents the average human eye height, and is commonly used as a standard in galleries and museums.
  • Try to keep spacing consistent so that the eye doesn’t focus on gaps of negative space.
  • Don’t rely on your eyes.. use a level to make sure your art isn’t hanging wonky!
  • Don’t be afraid! Nailing a hole in the wrong place is not going to make your wall fall down. Be creative and have fun with it!
Here are a few DON’T examples for you…
{This piece is hung WAY too high and the scale seems too small for this application}
{Again, the scale is not right, the pictures are way too small, especially considering that they’re matted, and the composition should be about the same length as the couch}
{There are pieces in this composition that are just getting lost in the mix.. a way to avoid this would be to treat a collection of the tiny pictures as one piece and group them together, preferably in a different space where they would be more easily visible. It’s also still a little high.}
 OK, now for the ones that are done RIGHT!

{I like this composition and the repetition of black, white and pink}

{3 large scale pieces over this extra long couch works perfectly}

{I love the scale and architectural appeal this art offers the room. Don’t be afraid to go big!}

{This is the perfect size for its application}

{Notice how the piece over the bed isn’t hung extra high just because it’s large}

{I love the clean lines of this gallery wall}

{The repetition of all of these horizontal lines… perfection}

I hope this helps to guide you in all of your art hanging endeavors!

Images via 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8


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