You have spent hours searching for the perfect piece of art to compliment your favourite room in the house, and finally, after much debating, you’ve decided to buy it. You likely spent a reasonable amount on it too. Now, how do you hang it so it won’t get lost on the wall? Hanging pictures is an art itself. If you are like most people, you spend quite a bit of time adjusting it until finally, many tiny holes in the wall later, you decide it’s good enough. Let’s take out the guesswork and make good enough, great. Showcase your artwork so it shines on the wall and compliments the room.

A Universal Rule

Many people hang their artwork too high on the wall as well as too far apart. This causes it to either get lost in the space or become a disjointed mess. If you have more than one piece of art to hang (and you should if the pictures are smaller), they should present as a single unit on the wall. The one consistent piece of decorating advice when it comes to hanging artwork is that it should be at eye level. When hanging pictures, measure 1.5 metres from the floor to the centre of the picture. This is eye level for the average person. If you have high ceilings then raise the centre a few centimetres higher. If you are hanging pictures above a couch or a table, measure 15 centimeters from the frame to the top of the furniture. You want no more than about a 15-centimeter space between the picture and the furniture. The width of your art should not span more than two-thirds of the length of your furniture. Basically, don’t hang a picture over your sofa that is the same length as your sofa. A medium sized piece of art complimented by a few smaller pieces works well above sofas.

To Get Technical

Some people like specific step by step instructions. Here are five steps to hanging your artwork:

1. Measuring up 1.5 metres from the floor, put a light mark on the wall. 2. Measure the height of your piece of artwork and divide that number by 2. (This will give you the centre.) 3. Measure the top of the picture to the hook, tightened wire, or wherever you will hang it from. This will likely be a small number. 4. Subtract that small number from the result of number 2. Now you will know how far above the 1.5 metre mark you need to go to make your picture hang in the centre. 5. Lightly mark the spot where your hook should go and place your nail there.

After you do this step-by-step process once, you’ll see how simple it is. You likely won’t need to use the instructions for the rest of your pictures.

Wide Open Spaces

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If you have a large space to fill, you have two options. A large picture (err on the side of too large over too small), or an arrangement of pictures that form one large unit. When choosing the second option, allow at least 5 centimetres of space between each piece of art. You can either align the centres of the pictures using the above method or align the tops of the frames. First, find the ideal placement for your largest piece. Keep in mind that large heavy pieces look best centred or just to the left of centre. Once you have it placed, work in the rest of your pieces. Some people do this by using paper cutouts placed on the floor so they can see how rearranging their pieces will look without putting holes in the wall.

Hang It Up

Now that you have the basics of how to hang the artwork you have so lovingly chosen to compliment your room, you can go ahead and hang it up with confidence. Carefully chosen pieces placed in the right places on the wall will bring your room together, and your artwork won’t get lost in the crowd.

Top Tip:

Avoid using any of the removable adhesive hooks for your artworks, especially if they have glass in the frame. Effectively these hooks mean your artwork is only supported by the very paint on the wall which can tear away from the plasterboard underneath. This not only leaves a bigger patch to fix than a nail hole, but can cause damage to your artwork and surrounding furniture or humans when it falls! As tempting and as ‘convenient’ as they may seem, removable adhesive hooks can be a real disaster in the long run. Now you have the right information you can happily go shopping to fill your walls with art that inspires you! Enjoy!