How to Hang Art

Posted By Tim on Aug 22, 2016 |

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Many struggle with hanging art too high, too spread apart, too small or too little on a big wall. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a home, restaurant, or office, and had to bite my tongue because something was hung so high it would create a crook in my neck if I stared at it too long; or, how often I’ve seen a small piece centered on a big wall – which literally looked like a postage stamp on a large envelope.

If you’ve ever walked through any Ralph Lauren store virtually anywhere in the world, know that that’s where I spent 20 years ‘growing up in the design world’, my ‘university’ if you will. It’s where I learned how to coordinate furniture, how to mix fabrics, arrange objects and how to hang art.

When I hang art for a client, they generally tell me that they don’t have the vision regarding how to hang … common struggles include having no idea what to hang with what, or how high to hang their art in their own home.

It’s amazing how many times I’ve walked through a client’s home on the first visit and realized they didn’t need to buy new art – instead they only needed to re-frame what they had and then hang it so that it made sense. (Framing art – that’s a whole chapter in and of itself!)


Let’s start with Three Easy Baby Steps


Hang in odd numbers

If your hanging collections of items (2 or more), try to always hang in odd numbers. There does exist the rare occasion when it’s OK to hang 2 items together – but it is rare! One’s, Three’s, and Five’s are far more interesting to look at and enjoy than Two’s, Four’s or Six’s.

Hang at ‘sitting’ eye level in a room

Museums hang art at eye level, because when one walks through a museum, one is walking – not sitting. I’ve heard countless times that eye level (when one is standing) is the correct height to hang. That is true – if you are in a museum, but more than likely you don’t LIVE in a museum and you’re not always standing in your living room. You’re more often sitting in a room in your home than you are standing in it. And in bedrooms your eye level is much lower than it is in your living room. Therefore hang art where you can enjoy it without straining your neck.

Hang with Proportion in mind

Don’t hang too small a piece by itself on a large wall – an incredibly common mistake. I’d rather enjoy an expansive wall that is void of content than wonder why someone centered a postage stamp on it in hopes it would make a statement. Trust me: it doesn’t – it just gets lost.

If you would like to discuss these tips or how I might be able to help you with your design needs, please contact me through my Contact page.

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