Day 20: The Final Touch - Hang Artwork

Apartment Therapy's Style Cure

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Day 20: Wednesday, August 28
Assignment: Hang (or re-hang!) artwork in your room

Often the most personal aspect to a room's decor is the artwork on the walls. From memory-filled framed photos you've taken yourself to a collection of carefully curated originals from professional artists, it's all good. What you choose to decorate your walls with is one of the things that makes your style truly yours and all that matters is that you love it! Whether it's high or low, rare or mass produced, permanently placed and lit or a constantly changing casual display, taking your time and hanging the artwork with care will make the most of it. Today's the day to get the job done right...

Today's Assignment: Get that artwork on the walls!

• A good guideline from one of our perennially popular posts on the topic...

Hang your art at 57" on center. "On center" means that the middle of the picture is at 57" (obviously, the hook will be higher). Interestingly, the 57" standard represents the average human eye-height and is regularly used as a standard in many galleries and museums.

What we have discovered is that if you stick to this standard, you create a harmony among all the pictures in your home, as they will always hang in relationship to one another from their centers, not their sides. Additionally, we have also found that this helps solve the problem many people have, which is that they hang their pictures too high.

Step By Step:

1. Measure and lightly mark 57" on the wall
2. Measure top of your picture to the middle (or take height and divide by 2)
3. Measure top of your picture to the tightened wire (a small amount)
4. Subtract this last amount to tell you how far above 57" your hook should go
5. Measure up from 57" with this last amount and lightly mark on the wall

Example:

1. Picture is 20" tall
2. Middle is 10" down from top (this should rest at 57")
3. Wire comes to 2" below the top
4. 10" - 2" = 8"
5. Lightly mark 8" above your first mark OR 65" on the wall

Though this may seem complicated to read, it is quite simple when you do it. The thing to always remember is that the CENTER of all your pictures are hanging at the same 57", and you are just figuring out where the hook goes above it.

This 57" also applies to groups of pictures. Think of a group as ONE picture. After you arrange how you want them all to hang (doing this on the floor makes it easier), start with the center picture/pictures and get them at 57" on center. Then surround them with the rest of the group.

An exception to the rule, from Maxwell: One exception is artwork hung beside the bed. Because you want artwork over your bedside table to be cozier and closer to the table, I find that I hang art here lower. Rather than 57" from the floor, I look for a distance like 12"-24" above the bedside table - whatever that may be - and just make sure to keep it consistent on either side of the bed.

More helpful info:

  • A thorough "how to" for hanging artwork in groups
  • A smart trick for hanging artwork that's been framed with two hooks on the back
  • 3 Tried and True Guidelines for Hanging Art
  • How To Hang Artwork and Not Screw It Up
  • How To Create a Gallery Wall on a Budget
  • How To Hang Art in a Group That Can Grow
  • How To Hang Art in Groups
  • The Style Cure Calendar: Download our PDF to see the full upcoming schedule (and print it out if having a hard copy is helpful to you)

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    Questions? Comments? Pictures? Email us about your progress at stylecure@apartmenttherapy.com
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    (Image: Abby Cook/Justine & Angus Cook Up Some Style in Toronto)

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