Wall art can completely change a space. But hanging pictures can cause a lot of anxiety and stress. Framed wedding photos, a collection of prints, a single large canvas – it feels like a lot can go wrong. But don’t let the fear hold you back. Follow our step-by-step guide on how to hang a picture and how to hand wall art and get it right first time, every time.
With these easy-to-follow instructions, you’ll be hanging wall art and creating gallery-worthy displays in absolutely no time. So get ready to bid farewell to hole-filled walls and say hello to a refreshed interior – along with that security deposit you thought you’d lose.
Before you grab that nail and hammer, you have to decide where to hang your picture. And we don’t just mean which room. You have to decide where you’ll hang the picture on the wall and if you need more than one. Don't panic – we've got a quick and easy equation that’ll keep your room and artwork balanced.
Measure the width of your wall
Times the width by 0.57 – this’ll provide the perfect art-to-wall ratio
Centre your art to align with the centre of the wall, with an even gap if needed
So you’ve got the width down. What about the height? How high art should be hung may seem subjective, but in reality, it’s a science. To find the optimal height to hang pictures on the wall, follow the museum approach.
Measure 145cm from the floor – this is the ideal height for the middle of your painting
Measure the length of your painting and half it – let's call this A
Turn the frame over and pull the picture wire to full tension as if it was hanging. Measure the distance from the wire at full tension to the top of the frame – let's call this B
Add 145cm to A, then minus B – this equals the exact height to place your nail so the middle of your painting sits on the 145cm line
All rooms are different and the museum approach may not be appropriate for your décor. If you're confident with your artistic abilities, use your eye to judge where to hang your painting. This will allow you to balance your furniture, doors and windows. Just makes sure it's at a comfortable eye level.
If you have multiple pieces, make sure the centre of each sits on that 145cm mark
For a curated group of pictures, make sure the middle of the collage sits at the 145cm mark
You have beautiful furniture. You have beautiful paintings. Don't make them fight for attention. Whether you're hanging art above a sofa, fireplace or over the bed, these techniques will help your artwork and furniture compliment each other. There's even a simple trick to hanging multiple pictures over the stairs – your neighbours aren't wizards, after all.
Measure your sofa - your artwork should be 2/3 of its width
Measure 15-20cm above your sofa – the bottom of your painting should sit here
Measure the width of your fire place – your artwork should be at least 2/3 of the width
Measure 10-30cm above the mantelpiece – the bottom of your painting should sit here
Measure 145cm from the floor – this is where the centre of your first picture should sit
Measure 145cm from every third step to form a diagonal line – this is where the centre of each piece should sit
Finding the right artwork for your room isn't just about finding a painting you like. It's making sure it's the right size and in balance with the furniture and proportion of the room.
Assess your room and the furniture in it.
For busy rooms, choose a larger statement piece
If you prefer smaller pieces, display them as a cluster to give the illusion of one big piece.
If hanging over a bed, centre it to align with the headboard
Always wondered how your friends made that seemingly-random-but-obviously-curated wall of art look so good? It’s easy. Just follow these steps.
Choose a piece to be the focal point of your display
Measure 145cm from the floor - this is where the centre of your middle painting should sit
Build your gallery from the middle out – balance your images and make sure the central line through the gallery sits at the 145cm point
Be sure to keep a standard distance between all pieces
Tip: As people in the western world naturally read left to right, the left side of your composition can hold more visual weight. Think darker colours, thicker frames or even larger pieces
Choose complimentary paintings of the same size
Create a grid keeping 5-7cm between the frames
Balance out gaps with furniture or lamps if you can't create a perfectly symmetrical grid
Article written by: Carly-Ann Clements
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