These 5 Rules are All You Need for Hanging Wall Art

November 16, 2018 3 min read

These 5 Rules are All You Need for Hanging Wall Art

So you have a blank wall and you've picked out the perfect artwork for it. Now you're looking at your wall and are suddenly daunted by the task of deciding the exact spot to hang your art. You've heard that people can easily make mistakes with this task, and you've also come across too many tips about artwork arrangement. Where to begin?

All those tips you've read come from these five most basic rules for arranging and hanging wall art. Keep these rules in mind, and you'll effortlessly display that beautiful piece you've chosen.


1. The "57 inches on center" rule

Artwork is meant to be displayed at human eye-level. How do you hit this sweet spot? Simple: the center of the piece (its focal point) must be 57 inches above the floor. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to exactly measure this:

  1. Starting from the floor, measure 57 inches up the wall and lightly mark using a pencil.
  2. Measure the height of your artwork then divide this by 2 to get its midpoint. Let's say the artwork is 30 inches. Its midpoint height would be 15 inches.
  3. Now pull up the wire on the back of the artwork to simulate its tightening when hanging. Measure from the top edge of the artwork to the top of the tightened wire. As an example, let's say this measurement is 7 inches.
  4. Subtract this 'tight wire' number from the midpoint height of your artwork. The result is your 'hook' measurement. Using our examples above, 15 inches minus 7 is 8 inches.
  5. Add the 'hook' measurement on top of the 57-inch mark on your wall. That is the exact spot to install your hook and hang your art. In our example, our hook would be installed 65 inches above the floor.

Artwork pictured above: "Welcome to Our Crazy Happy Home"


2. When hanging art above furniture

The 57-inch rule doesn't apply when your artwork is going above a semi-tall piece of furniture, like a couch or a mantle. In this case, the principle to follow is that the bottom of the artwork should be six to eight inches above the top of the furniture.

What if the furniture is a little lower, like a bed without a headboard? Of course you don't want the piece to hang just six inches above it, as that would be too low. If the furniture is closer to the floor, you'll want to apply the 57-inch rule instead.

Artwork pictured above: "Love, Laughter & Happily Ever After"


3. When hanging multiple pieces of art

The key to displaying multiple artworks on one wall is to treat all the pieces as one big artwork. First, arrange them on the floor, ideally spaced three to six inches apart. Don't be afraid to play around with the symmetry and variety. What you want here is to determine which piece is going at the center -- the focal point of your gallery. Then you can proceed to follow the steps in rule 1.


4. Create visual balance.

Many people don't realize this, but a piece of art is often just one element in the whole picture of the wall. When you stand in the middle of the room -- your living room, for example -- you turn towards one wall and you see not just the artwork but also the couch, the lamp, and that lovely indoor plant.

Balance this sight by making all the elements proportional to each other. For example, if you have a big couch, a relatively big artwork would be appropriate. With these two large pieces, the rest of the elements -- like lamps and other wall decor -- may be left smaller.

Artwork pictured above: "Home Sweet Home"


5. Use the right tools.

Hooks, plastic nails, and picture hangers work best with light pieces, while heavier artwork may require stronger support like nails, screws, and brackets. Use your tools as prescribed -- wood screws go into wood, dry wall screws go into dry wall.

Additionally, protect your wall from the scratching of the bottom edge of the hanging artwork. You can stick tiny strips of adhesive felt to the back of the bottom edge so it doesn't come in direct contact with the wall.


Are you ready to hang your artwork? If you're keen to add more pieces around your house, you'll find your next one from the Gear Den collection! Check out these bestselling artworks that customers really  love!


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