Interior Designer’s Tips for Hanging Art and Accessories

You have found the art work you adore. Finally you have framed those pieces that have been tucked away for years. You need to hang a mirror somewhere, but where? How do you place that display shelf in the correct spot? Now that you have some well thought out ideas on how to decorate your Abode’s bare walls (check out my post covering this topic), you need a plan on how and where to hang your art pieces.

You can browse décor magazines for inspiration on how artwork should look when properly presented in a room. The IKEA catalogue is also a good source to do research. IKEA has some well priced mirrors, prints, frames and mattes if you need any additional items.

IKEA wall of art

First gather all of the tools that you will need: a pencil with an eraser, a tape measure, note paper, picture hanging hooks, and a level.

Art looks better when hung lower, rather than higher, even if you have tall ceilings. An exception to this would be if you are adding art above a cabinet or door to raise the perception of height. A rule to follow is to keep the center at around eye level. This means the average eye level of around 60 inches to 66 inches. If you are a tall person, than obviously you will be hanging your art lower than your own eye level in order to look good. If you are hanging over a sofa, table, or bed the piece or pieces should be no more than around 9 to 12 inches above the furniture, depending on the size or group.

You decide to hang your art so its center is at 62 inches above the floor. First mark the wall with your pencil at 62 inches in the spot you would like to hang. Let’s say the frame measures 24 inches high by 36 inches wide. The center of this piece is 12 inches from the top and bottom. If your art is to be hung from a wire on the back, you will need to pull up the center of the wire towards the top of your art and measure from the top of the center peak of the wire to the center of the piece. If this measurement equals 6 inches then you will be adding 6 inches to the 62 inches that you marked on the wall. This means that you will be placing your picture hook at 68 inches in order to achieve the finished hanging height that you want. Some pieces have one or two hang bars instead of wire. In this case you will need to measure from the center of the piece up to the hang bar and add this to the 62 inches that you measured on the wall. For two hang bars you need to be very precise with your measuring in order for the art to be hung straight. Use your level and double check your measurements.

If you are hanging a grouping then you can first arrange the pieces on the floor to find a pattern you like.  Usually an odd number of pieces, such as 3, will look better than an even number. The pieces do not have to be symmetrical. Determine the center of your pattern. The center of the grouping will be hung at your decided height of 62 inches and you will work out, up, and down from there. If hanging a group over furniture you can start from the bottom and work your way up.

grouping of art and mirror

Be adventurous. Do not be afraid to mix and match frames or textures. You can add a display shelf into your grouping for more interest.

decorating with art and shelving

Your walls reflect you, so be proud of who you are and never be afraid to dance!

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