Hanging art is a vexing minx. A riddle wrapped in an enigma and cash…. wait that’s Erika Jaynes RHOBH tag line, crap. Disregard that… My point is hanging art is hard!
Where do I start!? How high is too high? What size is too big or small for this space? Sweet mother of all things holy, how do I hang a gallery wall? Screw it, I’ll do it next week…
Until you don’t; and the walls stay bare for weeks, or months until you finally get the courage to try and hang something annnnnnnnd, ta-da…. cue spouse: “did you mean to hang it that high”? The monster; did they not see you consider nail placement for the last 20 minutes!?! Their remark is probably followed by frustration and likely eating ice cream as you curse Joanna Gaines for making it look so easy on TV. Or maybe that’s just how I handle stress?!? Hmmmm. Anyway, is this ringing a bell for any of you?
If yes, have no fear, you’re not alone. Art is where most people get stuck. That’s why I picked it as my first design centric post.
Though, to be frank, as I write this Im realizing I may be a horrible guide on this venture because I myself am not exactly a rule follower when it comes to hanging art, as you can see from the pictures. BUT here are 2 rules I do follow:
- When hanging art in a traditional location, (not in fireplace or under a window) you should try to hang it so that the middle of the print/canvas is about eye level with an average height woman. In my opinion average height women are about 5’4-5’5. Not quite short or tall, just somewhere right there in the middle. Sometimes center will end up just slightly higher or lower than this but not by much. This rule also helps with gallery walls too. If you start the center of your gallery wall using this rule and build around it. You won’t end up with a gallery wall that’s hovering an odd 3 feet over a table top. If you have a gallery wall over a console table, and you place lamps on that table, the lamps will likely hide some of the art. If the bottom of all of your art begins at the top of your lamp shade(assuming it’s a standard height lamp), your art is hung too high.
- Scale matters. Even when you follow the above rule, if your art is too small or too large for the space it will look silly. Let’s say you have a single row of family pictures and they are all in 5×7 frames. That is not large enough. That scale will look dwarfed on any wall. Instead maybe try a 5×7 print in a 11×14 frame with matting. You need more surface area covered by either the frame or the print when hanging more minimal art installs. Small 5×7 frames can work in gallery walls BUT use them sparingly. Too many little pieces will start to look messy.
Other than these two rules I say try new things….
Be innovative. Hang art under the console table-top, between the legs. Or hang your art inside an inoperable fireplace.
Hang one large bold print by itself…
Heck, hang art behind a blanket ladder because it makes your textiles pop! The point is there is no true right or wrong with hanging art. So you can take my 2 rules or leave them. Art is personal, home is personal. Make it right for you! Please feel free to ask questions in the comments below. I know I didn’t give a ton of guidelines here but that was intentional. My way is not the only way, so I don’t want to flood your mind with “my way”!