Hanging art is a tricky business, and I often see pictures hung too high. I'm here to help you display your art at the right level.
Calculation rules for hanging art
There are many convoluted ways to calculate the correct height to hang art by measuring from the floor, down from the ceiling, etc.
- In rooms with standard 8-foot high ceilings, most artwork should be hung so that the middle of the picture is approximately 5 feet off the floor.
- In rooms with high ceilings, artwork can be hung a bit higher and this will visually lower the ceiling height.
- When hanging pictures above a sofa, you should leave a space of approximately 6–8 inches space between the top of the back of the sofa and the bottom of the picture.
- Over a tabletop or counter, allow 10–12 inches between the table surface and bottom of the picture.
However, it is much easier to use the rule of thumb that art should be hung at the average human eye level. Here are two examples of a good height to hang artwork.
In these two examples I have used the art to enhance a grouping of furniture and other items. I've not worried too much about different styles as I like an eclectic mix. Hopefully you think it works as well as I do!
Groupings of artworks
If you have all the pieces for a groupings, it's a good idea to first lay the pictures on the floor and decide how you want them to appear on the wall. Groupings can be hung with some symmetry, but I am a firm believer in not getting hung up on symmetry or style as there is no right or wrong way to do it.
Start in the middle and work your way out. I currently am creating a group of disparate images — based around a very old portrait — to sit around an antique bureau in my sitting room. I am adding to it as and when I find suitable pieces. I recently added three original bird prints of kingfishers which are stunningly beautiful. I've placed two above the portrait and one to the right of the lamp.
Adding an element of surprise
I am fortunate enough to have a close friend who is an artist Foster, and she has advised me how to hang art. She took a watercolour of my grandmother's and placed it directly on the wall with masking tape inside an old glassless frame which I found in a charity shop.
In the photo below I have hung an original oil by my friend Foster next to two original photos. I don't get too hung up on mixing styles and colours!
I have placed artwork on a surface rather than hang on the wall. One is even in the bathroom on the cistern! The artwork next to the television serves to distract from the ugly television.
Try to have fun when you hang art and not to worry about getting things perfect. It's also a good idea to change displays of art every so often as it can freshen up a space.