How to Hang Art in Your Home

Pin and click to read a gallery wall guide and how to hang artwork by #thehandlettershop

Whether you’re planning out a gallery wall, or looking for a large statement piece of artwork for your space, knowing how to display the artwork in your home isn’t always the easiest thing to figure out.

Before you get started with hanging artwork, it helps to have simple, neutral prints to fill your empty frames! Here are a few of my favorite minimalist prints:

If you live in a small space like I do, or in a home with plenty of walls to work with, the artwork you choose and where you display it is important. It can guide your eyes around the room and make the space feel finished, or it can distract and just add to the clutter.

Here's a simple guide for how to best hang your artwork.

 

Art-to-wall ratio

If you’ve got a blank wall to fill and you’re not sure what size of artwork you should hang, follow this simple formula:

Wall width x 0.57 = ideal artwork width

*If you’re hanging multiple frames together, treat the grouping of artwork as you would one larger piece of art.

 

Work with your room

Above the sofa: Your artwork should total about ⅔ the width of your sofa. Leave 6-8 inches between the bottom of the frame and the back of the sofa.

Above the fireplace: The artwork should be at least ⅔ the width of your fireplace mantel. Leave 5-10 inches between the mantel and the bottom of the frame.

Above the bed: The artwork should be at least ⅔ the width of your headboard. Leave 8-10 inches between the headboard and the bottom of the frame. You want the artwork to be low enough that it interacts nicely with the headboard, and high enough that you don't hit your head on the frame when you're sitting in bed.

Dining room: consider hanging the artwork a few inches lower than normal so it is easier to view when seated.

Two-story wall: When working with large open wall space, you can move the artwork up 2-3 inches. Remember that even though the wall may be very large, peoples' natural line of sight is still around the same level.

Stairs: Measure up 57-60 inches from every 3 steps to create a diagonal line of artwork.

Tip: One easy way to make a room feel tied together is to keep the centers of the frames all at the same height. If you’re hanging different sized frames in a row, line up the centers rather than the tops or bottoms. This helps your eye move around the room.

 

Getting the height right

How high or low should you hang your artwork? Make sure you’ve got the right height for the space you’re working with!

The museum approach: For artwork that will be viewed primarily from a standing position, measure 57-60 inches from the center of the frame to get the proper height.

It might seem silly to have a “correct” height, but museums and galleries, which have to accommodate for people with all different eye-levels, have found this artwork height to be the most comfortable and natural for the human eye to view.

Tip: Remember that hanging artwork at “eye-level” is subjective! Using a specific measurement will more accurately place your artwork to be viewed comfortably.

 

Playing with proportions

Don’t let your room distract from the artwork, or the artwork distract from the room.

If there’s already a lot going on in a room, choose a larger piece over several small pieces. Too many small things in a room can make it look cluttered. A statement piece of artwork will break up the space and give the eyes a place to rest.

For larger pieces, make sure there’s enough room for people to step back and enjoy the art.

For smaller pieces, hang on a smaller wall space, or with other small pieces in a cluster.

 

coordinate your colors

Tie together a gallery wall by hanging artwork with similar colors. You can add a pop of color with a large statement piece, or let your gallery wall speak for itself with a range of prints in complimentary colors. Either way, choose artwork that compliments the room. 

One of the easiest ways to get started with colors you know will work together is through neutral, minimalist prints. Here's a selection of my favorites:

 

Plan your layout

If you’re hanging groups of artwork, its all about balancing the different elements. Gallery walls can look great whether they are symmetrical or asymmetrical, as long as there is visual balance.

The easiest way to craft a gallery wall (and avoid extra nail holes in your wall) is to cut paper the size of each frame, and rearrange the papers on your wall, or floor, to try out different layouts. This also helps you make sure it all will fit on the wall!

Tip: Take a picture of each layout you try so you can easily flip back and forth between your options.

 

Gallery wall styles

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The Salon style: This style of gallery wall is named after the 18th century Parisian salons, and is used to make a bold statement within a room. A variety of frame sizes and colors are used to mix up the gallery wall composition.

To create a salon style gallery wall, start with one focal piece of artwork. Then, work your way to the right and left of the piece. Make sure the distance between each frame is the same across the board.

Tip: The left side of any visual element is able to hold more visual weight for people who naturally read from left to right. Viewers will start looking at the gallery from the upper left corner, so bolder, darker pieces should be edged to the left.

Grid style gallery: If you have several smaller pieces that are around the same size, the grid style gallery can help create a cohesive feel. Using the same size and color frames, space each frame the same distance apart. The ideal width is 2-3 inches between frames.

Remember that grid style gallery walls don't have to make a perfect square. You can arrange your frames in a horizontal or vertical arrangement as well.

You can even use an odd number of frames in a grid, just visually fill in the negative space with a lamp or furniture.


There isn't a universal right or wrong way to hang artwork, and some of these guidelines may or may not apply to your space. If you're unsure how to hang artwork, it can be helpful to know standard measurements and proportions for home decor.

Your home should reflect who you are, and in the end, you should use your best judgement to hang your favorite artwork and prints in a style that suits you best.

I hope you found some of these guidelines helpful. If you're in search of pretty floral designs to add to your walls, make sure to check out this collection of prints:

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