You’ve purchased a beautiful artwork and found the perfect spot for it. But when you grab the hammer and make your way to the designated wall, uncertainty sets in. Suddenly, the spot on the wall that you’ve so painstakingly calculated somehow seems wrong. Should it be higher? Lower? More to the left?
It’s a common dilemma for most of us, and although the general rule of thumb is to hang your art at eye level – this won’t always work, as each person’s eye-level is very different. If you’ve ever gone to admire a piece of art on someone’s wall and had to crank your head to see it, you can bet that it’s been hung by the tallest person in the house. Similarly, a mirror hung by a shorter person could have you staring at your navel! That said, regardless of height, most of us hang everything way too high. The goal is to determine the most aesthetically pleasing viewing level for a person of average height, and use this as a template. This way, all of your artworks, mirrors and photos, can be enjoyed by everyone.
THREE SIMPLE TIPS FOR HANGING ART IN YOUR SPACE:
1. According to the standard used in art galleries and museums, art should be hung so that the centre of the piece is 145cm from the floor. This is the average human eye height. It’s important to take into account the mounting wire, which will be higher than that, but measure so that when resting, it falls at this height. The same goes for a group of artworks. Think of your grouping as one object, and make sure that the centrepiece of your grouping is at 145cm. By sticking to this standard, your artworks will always hang in relationship with each other from their centres, not their sides, creating harmony throughout your home.
2. When centring art on a wall above pieces of furniture alongside one another, like a table and a sofa, the art should not be longer than the width of the furniture. Make sure you are considering the size of both pieces of furniture as one, and keep in mind that the artwork should be about 75% of the furniture’s width. If you are doing a quick job above one furniture piece like a sofa, typically the base of your art should sit about the height of a ruler, or 30cm above the back of the sofa, so you don’t hit your head when you sit down.
3. When you are hanging a group of different sized artworks, make sure you have one commanding piece in the centre to anchor your grouping – rather than just lots of little frames. In addition, when hanging your group, the heaviest (visually) or largest piece of art should be hung on the left as opposed to the right. As our gaze naturally moves from left to right, this is more visually appealing to the decorative eye.
There you have it! Three easy steps to making sure you hang your art right – it seems so simple, but makes all the difference in the world.