The Art of Hanging Art: Tips for Hanging Art and Pictures

I’ve written quite a few posts about hanging art, but when a friend recently moved into a new house and asked me what is appropriate to go where… I decided to revisit the ‘must-know’ tips to hanging art! Hanging pictures and artwork can be tricky and intimidating, and often result in bare walls, so don’t let that happen to you! Here are a few helpful and foolproof tips for having beautifully designed walls!

1. Hanging Pictures at the Right Height

Never have a tall (or short) person hang photos, as it’ll result in pictures being hung too high (or too low). The center of a larger photo /artwork (or the center of a grouping of photos) should (typically) be hung at an average person’s eye level, which is between 5′-3″ and 5′-6″.

2. Plan Your Design

When laying out a grouping of photos, lay your arrangement on the floor and make a template of each photo using newspaper or brown craft paper. Make a tracing and cut them out. Then position and lightly tape the paper onto the wall. Move them around until your design and layout is perfect! Lastly, measure where the nail would be installed (the hanging hardware on every frame is different) and put the nail through the newspaper or craft paper. This will result in a perfectly hung photo.

3. Creating a Grouping or Photo Gallery

When laying out a grouping of pictures on a wall, think of them as one unit. Use a continuous thread between the pictures, ie: different frames with all black and white photos, the same frame with all color photos, all black frames, all brown frames, all white frames…you get the idea. Even though the pictures are different and separate, this similar thread will allow them to relate and read like one. Try this same effect up the stairs = beautiful! Start something that you can continually expand on. You and your family are continually growing, and so should your pictures!

4. Choose the Right Size Picture for the Wall

For narrow walls, choose one small picture or grouping of smaller photos. You should follow the same rule of thumb for larger walls. Choose a larger piece of artwork or grouping of larger photos for a wide wall. When hanging art/photos (or a grouping of pictures) over a piece of furniture, it (they) should not be longer than the width of the furniture. For example, the artwork shown in the photo below is in proportion with the size of the sofa, and keeps to the principle of being about 75% of the sofa’s overall width and equal to the ottoman width. Too many or too large of pictures / artwork will overpower the wall.

5. Safety with Symmetry

When all else fails, using symmetry, both horizontally and vertically, is always a safe bet for a good design…you can’t go wrong.

6. Be Unique

Try something unexpected and different…have fun with your artwork and the way you display it! Use a combination of photos, artwork, and pieces you’ve collected. Make a statement!!

For a fun effect, just fill your ENTIRE WALL with photos!!

For more posts on hanging art, check these out:
Creating a Photo Wall Display
Useful Ideas and Layouts to Create a Photo Gallery Wall

And if you want to check out my EASY tip on hanging a picture or artwork, check out this post:
The Best Tip to Hang a Picture

Images Courtesy of Mod Nest, Inspired Room, Elle Decor, BHG

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  1. says

    Excellent tips & what eye candy with the pictures you selected.

    Hanging pictures is a true art & when done well sure can make a statement in a living space!