Picture hanging height suggestions

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Hang dramatic artwork at the right height for the best effect
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Picture hanging height suggestions start with not hanging artwork too high

If there is one thing that can make a room look unbalanced or off kilter faster it is photographs, wall art or wall hangings that are hung too high on the wall. For some reason, people have a tendency to hang their pictures too high.

The rule of thumb is that photographs or artwork canvases should be hung at eye level. Of course, if you are seven-feet tall your eye-level is significantly higher than the rest of the population.

Hang your wall art so that the center of the picture is at eye level, which, of course, means different things to different people but generally the position of the center of the picture should be about five feet, six inches above the floor because this is the most common eye level position.

Try this. If it doesn’t look right to you lower it or raise it a few inches until it suits you.

On the other hand, if the wall art in your home or office is going to be viewed by people who are usually sitting down, hang the art at seated eye level, which is going to be lower than standing eye level.

When dealing with art work or photographs that are in varying sizes, consider a lengthwise display in which you alternate small pictures and larger ones. Two smaller pictures should equal the size of one larger picture or be about one-half to one-third the size of the bigger picture.

If you are hanging your photograph over a piece of furniture the picture shouldn’t be wider than the furniture. If it is, the picture is going to look top heavy. When hanging a picture over a mantle there should be three inches to seven inches between the top of the mantle and the bottom of the picture.

When placing a picture over a sofa or table, leave approximately four to eight inches between the top of the table or sofa and the bottom of the picture.

Mat and frame your photographs. Choose different mat colors and textures and assorted frames. You can find some gorgeous frames in used-furniture stores (or in your attic or basement) that you can paint and add some gold leaf to or whatever suits your fancy. This is fun. The frames become a piece of work themselves. People are going to say, “Where did you get that gorgeous frame?” “Oh, out of the dumpster and I restored it.” High five!

When shopping for the perfect mat for your picture know that dark mats look very good when juxtaposed against a dark wall and light mats look great up against a dark wall.

Other tips include don’t put one small picture on a great expanse of wall because it will look weird and lost. Do groupings of pictures instead.

When hanging a vertical picture, the top third of the picture should be at eye level. That means that the bottom two-thirds is lower than eye level or less than 66 inches from the floor. Of course, if the vertical picture is hung over a piece of furniture it will be higher.

When doing groupings of picture, leave about three- to five inches in between the pictures. If this doesn’t look quite right to you, move the pictures closer together or farther apart to achieve the balance that pleases you most.

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