The Correct Height to Hang Art

At what height do you hang pictures?

There’re no real hard and fast rules about the height you should hang pictures on the wall, but there are some guidelines and starting places that are proven and useful.

As a rule of thumb, the preferred way to hang art is to have the halfway point at about eye level.

Great…what do you do when he’s 6’4” and she’s 5’2”?

Well, you average it and make adjustments from there. Each piece will kind of let you know if it’s working or not.

You also need to take into account the space it’s hanging in. If you’re in a room where people are mostly sitting, such as a dining room or home theatre, then you’ll want to tend to have the artwork lower than an entryway or hallway where people are primarily standing.

You also need to factor in what’s known as ‘negative space’, which refers to the space that surrounds an object, like the margins on a document. Negative space in this discussion simply means the wall and room the art or painting is hanging in.

If your wall is a large, open, two-story space, your art will have to take that into account, and you most likely won’t want everything hung low, as the effect you see once you stand back and take it all in is a huge expanse of wall and a little bitty cramped piece of art below. In these cases you want to hang larger items or group items to balance the vastness of the wall.  But keep sane about it; you don’t want to hang things so high that nobody can see it!

A solid starting place is ‘The Rule of Thirds’. This means that every visual space – a canvas, photograph, or in this case a blank wall – is cut into imaginary thirds.  There’s something about the rule of three that the human mind resonates with…

For example, if you have a 9’ wall, you can imagine an imaginary horizontal line at three feet and another a six feet, which would section the wall into thirds.

When hanging your art, a good starting place is to accentuate this imaginary six foot line that’s 2/3’s of the way up the wall.  Depending on what kind of picture you’re hanging, you may find that the bottom of the frame looks great at the 6’ mark.  You may find that the halfway mark of the piece sits nicely at the 2/3rds line…You may find that if you make imaginary third lines on the frame that the bottom 1/3 line of the art hung at the height of the 2/3rds line on the wall is the magic spot!

Or it may look awful…the best we can do is to point out a few proven starting points but ultimately the art and the space it’s hung in will be it’s own guide.

And remember: not every piece can be hung in every space.  Some things just don’t work together…think peanut butter and mustard sandwiches; perfectly good ingredients that just don’t complement each other.

Jackson’s Extraordinary Custom Framing offers on site consulting and a custom hanging service. For more information just give us a call!