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The Art of Hanging Art

The Art of Hanging Art

How do we know what’s the correct height to hang a piece of art?  All too often art is hung too high!  And all to often hanging art may seem subjective – in other words, “what feels right.”    

Let’s take a different approach:

I like to start from the floor up to 60 inches.  This is the imaginary horizontal  line that falls across the middle of your art piece.  This simple formula will assure you the best position for your eye to follow, and for you to enjoy more details in the piece and in new ways. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re tall or short, standing or sitting, most humans are within a 12 inch range of each other – excluding children and babies.  By lowering your art to 60 inches from the floor, you’ll be placing it at a height that makes it more available to your eye.  Museums often follow this guideline creating the optimal location for contemplation.

If you have a large empty wall don’t be tempted to high the art too high.  It actually could have a negative impact of breaking up the space.  This is especially true when hanging art above a sofa.  Take a place in your room across from the art and consider how it looks when you are relaxed in your favorite chair.  If it doesn’t fit the space because the scale of the piece is either too large or too small, then you have the wrong piece of art for that location. 

If you are moving in to a new home and have numerous pieces of art, take time to study the scale of each piece, and study the available wall space.   Mix your media up in each room.  For example, you may have oil paintings, water colors, 3 dimensional pieces, lithographs, photography, mirrors etc.  Don’t just place all the oil paintings in one room and all the photography in another space – mix it up.   You might choose to create a story with similar size pieces and group them together.  Take your time and lay out the pieces before getting the nails and hammer out!  Every piece of art will find it’s perfect location for enjoyment to its fullest extent! Enjoy!


Joanie has created beautiful interior & exterior designs in Scottsdale, Denver, and now Charlotte. She makes interior design fun for her clients by creating unique visions with their style. Joanie also incorporates green ideas & materials into all her projects.