How High Am I Supposed to Hang Art?

How High Am I Supposed to Hang Art?

Adrienne Breaux
Apr 6, 2016

If interior designers and other experts compiled the most frequently asked questions about home decor and design, I bet I could guess what would make the list. They're the kinds of questions I've seen readers ask before; they're questions friends have asked me before. And, admittedly, they're even questions I've had myself occasionally. So consider this the first in a series of posts that will help you find the answers to frequently asked questions for home decor. Today's question: How High Am I Supposed to Hang Art?

If you're looking for an actual number, remember 57" on center.

Find the center of your art piece (or the center of whatever pieces you are hanging in a collage) and hang your art so that the center of the piece (or pieces) is at 57" inches measured from the floor. But when you have a space without furniture, like a hallway, hang your art so that the centers hit at your eye level.

Of course, 57" on center isn't going to work for every single art hanging situation. It's a great place to start, but you might have tall ceilings, low ceilings, tall furniture and other unique elements in your room that force you to consider different art hanging placement heights. This is where "eyeballing" can come in handy.

Eyeballing is the rigorously unscientific act of determining the best spot on a wall for something. It's usually conducted by stepping back, having a friend hold the art up against the wall, and telling them to move it up, down and side to side an inch or two at a time until the art piece lands in the "right" spot.

If you are working solo, a sheet of wrapping paper, cut to the size of your art and a piece of tape will allow you to try out a few different heights as you "eyeball" the general dimension of the piece on your wall. Take a few minutes to try it; it's definitely a worthwhile step.

But what exactly is "right?" Well, it's when an art piece doesn't feel too big or too small in the space available. When it doesn't feel like it's hanging up so high on the wall you have to crane your neck. It's when it doesn't hang so low you knock your head against it when leaning back on a sofa or bed. It's when the art blends seamlessly with the rest of the decor because it's proportionally sized and placed intentionally in harmony with the furniture, lighting and other artwork that surrounds it.

Because of how varied everyone's homes are, three's no one hard fast rule anyone can really follow, aside from starting with the 57" on center advice above. However, you can visually learn when something looks "right" by looking at lots and lots of examples of rooms that get art hanging right.

For the visual learners out there, check out these two posts; they're collections of rooms that are hitting the Goldilocks-sweet spot of art hanging heights in a variety of different situations. Seeing these rooms—and where on the wall they hang their art—might help you find the right spot in your own home.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

More art hanging helpful links:

→ Have your own FAHQ (Frequently Asked Home Question)?

Unlike our Good Questions (which are about very specific design dilemmas in your home, FAHQs are more general design questions that anyone might be wondering about home design. Ask your FAHQ in the comments below and we might answer it in a future post!

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