3 key tips on how to hang art in your home

By Aoife Valentine Secor 29-03-2017

how to hang art in your home, decorating with hanging frames adviceImage: Emily Henderson

How do you hang art in your home? It's a question we've all asked at one point or another. It can often seem like a bit of a mystery why when you hung one painting on a wall, it looked as it if was painted just for that wall, and others just never look right. As it turns out, there are some common mistakes plenty of people are making when it comes to hanging art in their homes.

Tastefully displaying art does take a decorator's eye in many ways, but there's some easy troubleshooting you can do with our simple tips on how to hang art in your home. Read on to learn how to display your art so it looks the best it possibly can, and adds that extra impact you're looking for in your rooms.

1. Don't hang too high

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they're hanging art is hanging it too high up the wall, as it makes the room feel claustrophobic. You have to take into account the overall size of the wall you want to hang on, as well as any furniture you're planning to put against it.

Art galleries hang their art at eye-level, which is usually around 57-60 inches off the ground. The key here, though, is that the centre of whatever you're hanging should be at that level, not the top or bottom of the piece. If you've got a couch or big piece of furniture against the wall, you're looking at hanging it roughly eight inches above the top of it. You don't want to be hitting your head off it, but any higher will create a weirdly large space between it and the furniture, which will make the room feel disconnected.

2. Go big or go home

how to hang art in your home, decorating with hanging frames advice
Image: Brent Rosenberg

Bigger is better if you've a lot of wall space to fill. People are a bit intimidated or apprehensive when it comes to purchasing large pieces of art but actually it's far easier to do exactly that than to pick out multiple smaller pieces that will work perfectly. Hanging a couple of small, disconnected prints in a big, empty space will only result in the wall overwhelming the art. A bigger piece will very easily fill the space and add character to the room.

It's generally a good starting point to base the size of the art on the size of your room, but particularly if it's going on a wall above a large piece of furniture, you must also take into account that furniture. For example, if it's going above your couch, picking a piece that's about 2/3 of the width of your couch, would look best.

3. Orientation is key 

You've probably never thought too much about the shape of your walls, but it's actually quite important.It's about more than just hanging the piece on the wall - you've also got to take into account where it's being hung. If you've got a narrow enough wall, a longer vertical rectangular shaped piece will fit in far better with the wall's orientation than something square or something wider than it is long.

If you've already got a piece of art and a wall in mind, but it doesn't suit the orientation, you can cheat a little bit. Using multiple pieces of art to create the same effect as one long piece, as per our example with the narrow wall, will disguise the fact that your art perhaps isn't best suited to that particular wall.

You might also like: 8 wall decor ideas that aren't just works of art

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