How to hang wall art

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How to hang wall art

Paint colors from our 2017 Summer catalog

How to Hang wall art and wall decor

Whether you’re hanging one large piece of canvas wall art or a lot of smaller artworks, determining the proper placement of the piece can sometimes seem daunting. Here’s a guide on how to hang artwork to make the process a little bit easier, and maybe even fun.

How to Hang wall art and wall decor

Tips and Tricks

  • A fireplace is always the focal point of a room. When hanging art over the fireplace, it’s a good idea to make the art grouping about the same size as the fireplace opening. One large piece or several small pieces that appear as one unit is a great solution.
  • A great way to test an arrangement before putting hammer to nail is by laying everything out on a table or on the floor. Move the pieces around until you have an arrangement that you like. Laying the pieces out on a large piece of kraft paper or wrapping paper is an even better method, as this allows you to trace around each piece and mark the hanging points. Then, tape the paper to the wall and hammer in the nails. Remove the paper, and voila!
  • Choose smaller pieces for narrow walls and larger canvas wall art pieces for big walls.

The middle of a piece of artwork or grouping of artwork should be at eye level

  • As a general rule, hang the artwork so that the center point of the piece or grouping is at approximately eye level; think of groupings as a single unit. For example, you may want to consider hanging art slightly lower in a dining room, since you are sitting down when you are looking at it.

Art hung over a piece of furniture should not be wider than the width of the furniture, a general principle being that the art should be about 75% the width of the furniture.

  • Art hung over a piece of furniture should not be wider than the width of the furniture, a general principle being that the art should be about 75% the width of the furniture.


Spacing between artwork groupings

Spacing for Even Numbers

Tight spacing = 1-2”
Normal spacing = 4-6”

Large Spaces:

A tightly grouped even number of pieces works great to balance out a large space or a high wall. Note that large spaces can handle slightly larger spacing than small spaces.

Small Spaces:

A tightly grouped even number of pieces in a small area, such as a stair landing, is perfect and gives a window effect. Light colors enhance this effect.

Use your hand as a general guide for spacing pieces of artwork

Hanging Pieces Horizontally

Perfect for a hallway or sofa wall, hanging art horizontally allows you to achieve some volume without appearing crowded. For this scenario, an odd number of pieces is more attractive to the eye and is visually balanced; a normal spacing of 4-6” is recommended.

Tip: Use your hand, fingers closed, to determine spacing in this scenario.

Use shelving to create a symmetrical arrangement on your wallSymmetrical Placement

Great for pieces that are similar in size, shape, and subject matter, this method allows you to create a grouping that has visual balance and is perfect over large furniture collections or fireplace mantles.

Asymmetrical Placement

This is a great solution when you have a group of prints that aren’t necessarily the same but share at least one similar element, such as subject matter or color scheme. You can asymmetrically arrange the pieces so that they still achieve a nice ‘organic’ balance.

If you have two larger pieces, try staggering them by hanging one lower than the other, so that top and bottom don’t match.

Grouping larger and smaller pieces helps to create interest and energy. The same is true for vertical and horizontal pieces in the same grouping.

Hanging artwork and shelving on a wall

Multiples and the Vertical Line

When you are grouping four or more pieces, one above the other, you should consider a vertical line, meaning that the art should be visually balanced on both sides of an imaginary vertical line. Too much ‘weight’ on one side or the other will make the group seem awkward and unbalanced. Again in this scenario, it is a good idea to make sure the art is similar either in color scheme, frame style, or subject matter.

Hanging a grouping of asymmetrical artwork on a wall

Thank you Ballard Designs for these amazing tips!

Margaret Hirsch
Margaret Hirsch
Hirsch COO runs South Africa’s top independence appliance company that specialises in all appliances, electronics, furniture and bedding. They give the best deals and the best prices and everything is guaranteed.