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How to hang wall art and pictures

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.

How to measure your wall and art

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.

Step 1: Measure

Measure the width of your wall

Step 2: Find the art-to-wall ratio

Times the width by 0.57 – this’ll provide the perfect art-to-wall ratio

Step 3: Align with the centre of the wall

Centre your art to align with the centre of the wall, with an even gap if needed

How to determine the right height to hang pictures on the wall

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.

The museum approach

Step 1: Measure the height

Measure 145cm from the floor – this is the ideal height for the middle of your painting

Step 2: Measure the length

Measure the length of your painting and half it – let's call this A

Step 3: Measure the tension depth

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

Step 4: Find the height

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

Use your intuition

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.

How to hang a cluster of artwork

Step 1: Line up the centre points

If you have multiple pieces, make sure the centre of each sits on that 145cm mark

Step 2: For a curated group, follow a centre line

For a curated group of pictures, make sure the middle of the collage sits at the 145cm mark

How to work with the furniture within your room

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.

How to hang pictures above a sofa

Step 1: Measure the width

Measure your sofa - your artwork should be 2/3 of its width

Step 2: Measure the height

Measure 15-20cm above your sofa – the bottom of your painting should sit here

How to hang pictures above a fireplace

Step 1: Measure the width of your fire place

Measure the width of your fire place – your artwork should be at least 2/3 of the width

Step 2: Find where the bottom of your painting should sit

Measure 10-30cm above the mantelpiece – the bottom of your painting should sit here

How to hang pictures over the stairs

Step 1: Find the centre for your first picture

Measure 145cm from the floor – this is where the centre of your first picture should sit

Step 2: Find the centre for your next pieces

Measure 145cm from every third step to form a diagonal line – this is where the centre of each piece should sit

What art should you have in your room?

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.

How to utilise the proportions of your room

Step 1: Size up your room

Assess your room and the furniture in it.

Step 2. Make a statement

For busy rooms, choose a larger statement piece

Step 3: Consider a cluster

If you prefer smaller pieces, display them as a cluster to give the illusion of one big piece.

Step 4: Align with your headboard

If hanging over a bed, centre it to align with the headboard

How to hang a group of pictures

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.

How to create a scattered display of artwork

Step 1: Choose a focal piece

Choose a piece to be the focal point of your display

Step 2: Find the centre of your middle painting

Measure 145cm from the floor - this is where the centre of your middle painting should sit

Step 3: Build your gallery out

Build your gallery from the middle out – balance your images and make sure the central line through the gallery sits at the 145cm point

Step 4: Check your spacing

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

How to create a grid gallery

Step 1: Choose your paintings

Choose complimentary paintings of the same size

Step 2: Use a grid method

Create a grid keeping 5-7cm between the frames

Step 3: Make it symmetrical

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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