7 Rules for Perfect Picture Hanging

Here are some helpful hints to prevent the most common picture hanging mistakes.
Hanging Art
  • Rule 1 – Picture Perfect
    • Accessorize at the end. Hang pictures only once you have determined a room layout and all your furniture is in place.
  • Rule 2 – Define Boundaries
    • To reinforce a sense of order in your groupings you need to define your positive and negative space. The negative space on the wall is the area you can hang your picture. Take a look at the shape and hang a picture or grouping that reflects that shape.
  • Rule 3 – Space Issues
    • Keep the spaces between pictures 2″ to 4″ apart. Spacing should be consistent vertically and horizontally, throughout the grouping. The larger the art, the wider the space can be. If you have too much space between pictures, your composition will look disjointed. The artwork will feel like it it floating away from one another.
  • Rule 4 Picture Overload
    • You don’t have to hang a picture or grouping on every wall. This often appears too busy, fussy, and prevents you from creating a focal point in the room.
  • Rule 5 – High Art/Low Art
    • As a general rule, hang art at eye level, which is 58″ to 60″ off the ground to centre of image. Don’t hang pictures at different heights in the room. Keep them at the same level so your eye is not bouncing from picture to picture.
  • Rule 6 – Picture Integrity
    • When hanging a picture over a piece of furniture, leave 6″ to 8″ above the sofa, table, chest, sideboard or mantel. Remember you want to place art low enough that it relates to the furniture, but not so low that it gets hidden by the accessories. If you have artwork over a chest, you may need to adjust this height, depending on the accessories that are placed on the surface.
  • Rule 7 – Size Counts
    • A small picture over a big sofa will look awkward. A common mistake people make is hanging a grouping that is too small for the furniture under it. Plan your arrangement so that it covers at least two-thirds of the wall space. For instance, if your sofa is 7′ wide, your grouping or picture should be 5′ wide or more. Although it can be wider than two-thirds of the sofa, it should not be wider than the sofa or furniture itself.

About Johan

A family-owned furniture in the "small town" of Strathroy, Ontario that fiercely believes in the "old fashioned" values that an independent brings to the social fabric of the surrounding community.
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5 Responses to 7 Rules for Perfect Picture Hanging

  1. Terry Prewitt says:

    Thanks so much. This is so helpful and easy to understand

  2. Very helpful and easy to understand. Thank you so much!

  3. fmcrary says:

    Great directions and hints. I appreciate your help!

  4. Julia Warren says:

    So I have a huge wall and I want to hang a large picture on that wall.. Should the picture below be at eye level or take up more of the wall space? There is a rectangular table that is against the wall…

  5. Barbara says:

    This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you.

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