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Tips on Hanging Framed Art

by Christina Wright

Gallery of ornately framed art hanging at varying heights

Hanging art seems like it should be an easy task, but don't be fooled. Framed art can be harder to hang and display than you might think. Not only do you need to have the right nails to handle the weight of your framed art, but you also need to consider what size artwork fits best in which room, what room to hang it in and how high to hang it. Read on for a few handy tips on hanging framed art so you get a winning decoration every time.

Tips on Hanging Framed Art:

  1. Sizing and room placement: Framed art is available in a variety of sizes, which may make it difficult for you to decide which size is best for your home. Follow these sizing tips to pick the right art for your room.

  2. First, consider the size and shape of the wall where you will hang the framed art. When your art relates well to the size and shape of the wall, it creates a pleasing appearance. If the wall is tall and narrow, framed art that reflects that shape will fit well. For a large, long wall, a larger piece of art is needed to avoid looking like a postage stamp on the wall. You may also want to create framed art groupings to stay in scale. You can easily achieve an art gallery look when you purchase coordinating framed art sets or pieces in a series by the same artist.

  3. Second, you will want to consider the size of the whole room. While large framed art can make a great statement in a small room, small art pieces will only feel lost in a large room. This doesn't always mean that bigger is better, but make sure your framed art is big enough to be easily visible.

  4. Finally, you'll want to consider the size of the furniture over which your art will hang. Choose framed art that is not wider than the furniture below it. A general rule to consider is that the art should be about three-fourths the width of the furniture below it. This measurement also applies to art groupings.

  5. Wall placement: The biggest mistake people make when hanging framed art is to hang it too high. Follow these wall placement tips to get the best look from your art.

  6. Remember that framed art should be seen at eye level. Generally, you want to find the eye level for someone about 5 feet 6 inches tall to 5 feet 8 inches tall, but if your family is taller, you can hang your framed art a little bit higher. If you plan that the art will be viewed mainly from a chair, find the eye level for someone who is sitting. If the framed art will be hung where people are walking, such as in a hallway, hang it at a standing eye-level.

  7. For art that will be hanging over furniture, the lower edge of the frame should be about 6 inches above the top edge of the furniture. This maintains the continuity of lines in the room and helps keep the framed art near eye level.

  8. Many people like to make a newspaper template of the framed art they want to hang and tape it to the wall to help them visualize the best placement. This is an excellent method, especially if you will be creating a grouping with your artwork. Make it even more helpful by marking on the newspaper where the hanger on the back of the art is. That way, you can hammer your nail through the newspaper without any guessing.

  9. As for the nail you hang your art on, be sure to use one that is strong enough to hold the framed art, but not so large that you are doing unnecessary damage to your walls. Picture hangers are the best choice to ensure a strong hold. You'll find the weight rating on the package; many hold up to 20 pounds, which is strong enough for most framed art.

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