Here's How High You Should Hang Your Pictures

When decorating your home, there is no better way to express your personality than filling up your wall space with art. Whether a personal photograph, a poster of your favorite movie or artist, or a one-of-a-kind piece from a local gallery, using artwork is the easiest and most effective way to decorate your home. Plus, art is a mood stimulant — according to Custom Canvas Prints, art can relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and grief while simultaneously making you feel happier and more confident.

While the technical process of hanging wall art is relatively straightforward — often simply hammering in a nail — deciding exactly where to hang it can be a confusing and difficult process. You may think you have found the right location for a picture or painting, only to realize it doesn't look right after it's already been hung. There are, though, a few general guidelines and tried-and-tested methods for hanging pictures and wall art.

The 57-inch rule

Almost every interior designer would agree that art should be hung at eye level, allowing it to be the focal point of the wall it's on. That is easier said than done, though — not everyone has the same eye level. Luckily, there is an average height that designers have spent time perfecting, allowing you to perfectly hang your art as centrally as possible.

According to Shutterfly, the perfect height to hang a picture on your wall is with the center at 57 inches. To do this, first measure 57 inches from the ground up, using a pencil or an easily removable marker to mark the wall. Divide the height of your picture in half, and add the half onto the 57 inches — this is where you'll position the top of the frame, allowing the picture to be perfectly centered. Simply attach the necessary fasteners and hang your picture frame as usual.

When to deviate

The 57-inch rule is a good frame of reference, but it isn't mandatory — like all good rules, there are circumstances in which you should break them. If you have a completely empty wall with no furniture and only one piece of art to hang, the 57-inch rule is perfect. However, if you have multiple pieces of art to hang, or are doing so over a piece of furniture, there are other recommendations.

When hanging a piece of art above furniture, whether a couch, bed, or dresser, Park West Gallery says the bottom of the frame should be at least 6 inches (but no more than 8 inches) above the furniture, but even that rule isn't binding. If you have a small picture, it may look awkward only 6 inches above the furniture. If you're creating a gallery wall, the 57-inch rule is something to keep in mind, but in referring to the wall as one unit of art, meaning the center of all the pictures combined should be at eye level.