One frequent question that comes up when doing a room installation is how to hang the art. No one wants to mess up and put multiple nail holes in a freshly painted room. Here are a few tips for getting your art in the right place the first time.
1) The center of the art should rest at 5’ (or 60”) above the floor.
If you aim to have the center of your art at the 5’ level it is at the best viewing placement (eye level) for the average person. In this photo from one of my recent projects, the center of the abstract painting is at 5’ from the ground.
Unless you are hanging a heavy mirror, the basic picture hanging hooks you find at Lowes or Home Depot should support the weight just fine. They are sold by picture weight size (i.e. 10lbs, 20lbs, 50lbs).
Determining where the nail goes requires a bit of math, but the quickest way I have found is to hold the art on the wall (with the center at 5’), make a light pencil mark at the top. Next, look at the back of the art to see where the wire or bracket is. Simply measure the number of inches from the top of the painting to the top of the wire (when pulled taunt) and put your nail in the wall that number of inches down from your pencil mark.
2) Center the art between your walls or above your furniture piece.
The art should be balanced on the wall. In the picture above, this art piece is centered between the corner of the wall and the door opening into the bathroom. It is important to remember the scale of the wall when selecting your art. In this room, we selected a larger piece of art to fill the open space. If we had selected a piece that was much smaller the balance would have been off and the art piece would not have looked appropriate.
If hanging art above a piece of furniture, the art should be centered over the furniture. Another basic principal is that the art should not hang past the outside edge of the furniture piece (see next photo below).
3) When hanging a series of art, use an equal distance between each piece, approximately 1”-2” depending on the size of the art work.
In this client’s home we had 4 very large pieces of wall art from Trowbridge Gallery in London. They are each 35”wide x 31”high. We hung them with about 2” between each of the 4 art pieces.
A series with smaller individually sized pieces can be hung closer together, such as this series which makes one complete scene when viewed collectively. Each piece was hung about 1” apart.
If your series is unrelated, such as a collection of line drawings or photos, do not feel like they have to be on a grid with even distance between. A ‘collected’ look allows for arranging the pieces in an eclectic manner.
I hope this has helped you get started hanging your wall art. If you are still unsure, don’t be afraid to hire someone to come hang your artwork for you. We have a great source in the Austin area and if you live out of town, try contacting your local art gallery or framing source.
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