How To Hang Art Around High Chair Rail?

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Q: Hi! My fiance and I recently moved into a Victorian terraced cottage in England. Our living room and and dining room are finally coming together and we’re ready to hang art on the walls. But there is this awkwardly high chair rail (or dado rail as the English call it) around the walls of both rooms. It is 44 inches (102 cm) from the floor [see photo below]. We’ve already hung two prints on one wall in the living room and they are okay (although a little too high in my opinion). I would like to hang something large-scale above the sofa, but I’m not sure how to work around the rail…

(Image credit: Christa)

Could the bottom of the piece hang over the rail? Similarly, in our dining room we want to do a gallery wall, but I think it will look weird with this stark dividing line. Maybe a picture ledge instead of a gallery wall? Thoughts? -Sent by Christa

Editor: I chose this Good Question because after seeing the photo and measuring 44 inches from my floor, I was amazed at how different my perspective is from Christa’s. That chair rail does not look high at all to me, I definitely would not want anything hung above the couch to be any lower than that, and it wouldn’t occur to me to to have the lower edge of art to hang lower than 44 inches! Unless it was an absolutely massive piece, I suppose… Anyway, is it a height issue? I am 5’11”, so perhaps higher-hung art looks right to me? And I don’t want to hit my head on art when I’m sitting on the sofa! Any thoughts? And with this chair rail in play, would you recommend Christa install a gallery wall or a picture ledge? Thanks!

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