People often hire me to hang artwork for them, because they tell me they are unsure where to put it. Unfortunately, people often hang their artwork awkwardly – either crowding too many pieces together or frankly, hanging pieces way plain too high.
A general place to start is to layout all the artwork you want to hang. I take the pieces and lean them against the wall they will be displayed on. Once each piece has a home, I begin the hanging process. You will need at least a hammer, picture hangers, level and putty tabs (the stuff you hung your posters with in college).
Lets talk about centering. Always hang your artwork at 57” on center. Confused? “On center” means that the middle of the artwork is always at 57” (obviously, the hook will be higher). Interestingly, the 57” standard represents the average human eye-height and is regularly used as a standard in many galleries and museums.
In addition to being a pleasing height, the 57” on center tends to be a lot lower than most people naturally hang their artwork. Like I mentioned earlier, people hang things too high (I don’t know why people do this!). It also means that your artwork is going to hang in closer proximity to the other elements of your home, such as furniture, rugs, lighting, etc and will therefore “read” as group, like they are friends and belong together.
- Picture is 20” tall
- Middle is at 10” (this mid point should rest at 57”)
- Wire comes to 2” below the top
- 10” – 2” = 8”
- Lightly mark 8” above your first mark OR 65” on the wall
Now lets move on to hanging groups of pictures. The first thing you need to do is trace all of the items you want to hang. This picture shows a grouping of 7 photos. All of them are 8×10 size, so 7 pieces of scrap paper all the same size. The 57” also applies to groups of pictures. Think of a group as ONE picture. After you arrange how you want them all to hang (doing this on the floor makes it easier), start with the center picture/pictures and get them at 57” on center. Then surround them with the rest of the group.
Put small pieces of tape on the back and start trying different arrangements. Let the wall dictate the shape of the arrangement.
Now you need to mark the place for each of your nail holes. Take each piece of paper off one at a time and place it on the back of the picture, then make a pencil mark where the nail will go. After you mark the nail hole, hang the paper back up. Then take a nail and put it right through the pencil mark. Repeat for all the pictures you are hanging. Then take off the paper and hang up your artwork.
Groupings can be tough to keep straight, this where you use the putty. Place two pea sized pieces of putty on the bottom corners of your art work. Tilt each picture till you get it straight, your level will come in handy now. When it is where you want it, press it against the wall in the place you put the putty. Now it won’t swing back and forth on the nail and you should be able to keep them aligned with the other pictures in the group.
Happy Picture Hanging!
Regina DiLauro-Fay has over 15 years of design experience. Her company, DF Designs, specializes in Interior Design, Home Staging & Color Consultanting. She can be reached at (843)906-9663 or email@example.com.