STOP! You’re Hanging Your Art Too High!

Okay, so most of you don’t know this about me, but one of my degrees (#humblebrag) is in Interior Design.  I’m not currently in the design field, but did work in it for a few years before the economy crashed in 2008/2009.  I didn’t enjoy as much as I had hoped…I was more interested in building the house rather than picking out the furnishings.

That said, my biggest design pet peeve is people hanging their art & photos too high.  I will not hesitate to straighten a picture in any room I walk into, regardless of whether I know the person or not; & no offense, but if it’s too high I’ll let you know.

There are a few simple rules to follow:

  1. The middle of the piece of art should be hung at eye level.  In the design world “Eye Level” is considered to be 5′ 6″ from the floor.  You can measure this out precisely, or if you’re like me – 5′ 4″ then I eyeball 2″ higher than the top of my head.
  2. If hanging something above a sofa or chair, the bottom should be 8-12″ from the top of the furniture.  That should be high enough to clear the head, but not so high that you can’t see it.
    1. If it’s a long horizontal piece of art, you can hang it a little higher…think 15-18″ above the sofa.
  3. Also, the art or photo should be centered above the piece of furniture, not necessarily centered on the wall.  You don’t want your art to look like it’s floating oddly in the middle of the wall, when the chair is off-center.  That’s. Weird.
  4. If you’re going for a gallery or collage wall (I’m a big fan!), keep in mind the spacing between the pictures.  Smaller scale pictures should be hung 1 – 2″ apart.  Larger pictures can be spaced out a little more, but no more than 6″ apart.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ll walk into someone’s home and see small pictures a foot or more apart from each other!  It looks unbalanced & ameture; if you feel the need to space them that far apart then the art is too small for the wall. gallery-walls


Other Tips & Tricks:

  1. I’m a big fan of using Hercules Hooks to hang big pieces art, that’s not too heavy with minimal damage to the walls.  For the heavy stuff you’ll want to use weight appropriate anchors & screws (and maybe a professional).
  2. Once the piece in hung, I like to use the wax from Babybel Cheese to stick the corners of the frame to the wall, which keeps it from swaying on the hook.  Yes, you read that correctly!  It’s perfect because it’s pliable & doesn’t stain the wall.  fullsizerender
  3. For art that has multiple hooks on the back, I like to use painter’s tape to mark where my nails should go on the wall.  This makes getting it level super easy the first time.  So, what you do is cut a piece of tape the length from hook to hook.  Then place on the wall & make sure it’s straight (with a level or eyeball it); once straight, your nail should go at each end of the tape.  Wall-la!

I personally have a large painting, done by a fabulous local artist in Austin (Kerri Tullius – check her out on Facebook), hanging above my sofa.  grassfireOn the opposite wall I have a rather large photo gallery on picture rails from Pottery Barn.  All the frames are black in varying sizes, some have white matting & some are just frames.  I LOVE the rail system because I can easily switch out photos or re-arrange as I add more.  I also didn’t limit my framing to just photos – I have some really beautiful fabric handkerchiefs from Mexico that I co-mingled into the gallery, along with some other local art mixed in.

It’s okay, & encouraged, to think outside the frame box.  You could include shadow boxes with mementos from your travels on a gallery wall.  You could include actual art or artifacts in your gallery, or mirrors.  Seriously, use your imagination.  My particular gallery is on the same wall as my TV, & since my TV is a large rectangle I treated it like another one of the frames within the gallery.

Here is a website that has more hanging tips in relation to furniture. Inspire Wet Rust

For cool home decor, check out this Buzzfeed list. Online Home Decor

Do y’all have any good tips?  What’s your decor aesthetic?  Any local artists I should know about?

Kiss Hug,

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