The art of hanging pictures


The room is not complete, it is not truly “your” space, until you hang some artwork up in your home. What you do with your walls should say something about you.

The biggest decision, as always, is what to hang. Photos… paintings… mirrors… collections… singles… groups… store-bought… DIY… the possibilities are truly endless. The great thing, though, about it is that you can change it quickly and easily. So you can choose something trendy that you love at the moment, then change your mind a few months down the road. 

What hardware to use

You can use a nail or a screw, but don’t! Use a picture hook. They’re designed to redistribute the weight of the artwork and push the weight back into the wall. The nail pulls. Not only does it look funny, it can cause damage to the wall. Picture hooks come in all sizes, they’re inexpensive, you can buy them anywhere, they work and they save on damage to your wall.

Where to hang a picture

The art you choose should fit the space you have. Big wall = big art. Don’t hang a single 8X10 on a big, blank wall just to get something up there. By the same token, while a three-piece collage would be stunning on a large wall, on a small wall, it will look cramped.

How high to hang art

Eye level. But how high is that? It really depends on the wall and the room. If people are going to be seated most of the time, like in a dining room, eye level tends to be lower, so you’ll want to hang your artwork lower. The rule of thumb used by art galleries is to have the center of the piece 60-65 inches above the floor. From a visual standpoint, error on the side of too low rather than too high when hanging your artwork

How low to hang art

But how low is too low? Just a few inches from the baseboard works in certain areas when you’re hanging art in a cluster. You don’t want to have a single piece down by the floor. Odd spaces such as under stairways can be made visually appealing with low-hanging pictures. Impact aside, though… be realistic. If you have small children, there’s not much sense in hanging artwork low where it can be touched, hit, bumped or destroyed.

Making the space visually appealing is the key. Barren walls make your home feel cold and uninviting. Be bold; be daring. Take risks. Grab a hammer and some hangers and get started!

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