The Secrets of Hanging Art

Here they are.  All the secrets to hanging your artwork so that you will not be mocked for hanging it poorly:

Match frame shape to wall shape.  Hang a vertical piece of art when you have a vertical sliver of wall.  Hang a horizontal piece of art or a horizontal grouping on a wall that is a horizontal rectangle. Dining Room Wall Art


Wall Art Follows Shape of Sofa  When hanging something over furniture, extend the shape of the furniture with how you hang it.  Follow the lines of the furniture, either vertical or horizontal.  Never hang a single vertical frame above the horizontal shape of a sofa.  Don’t allow frames to extend beyond the outside edges of the furniture.

 Group like shapes, frame to furniture.  For example, hang a horizontal piece of art or horizontal grouping of art above a horizontal sofa.   In general, hang items at eye level or in direct connection with furniture.  4-6 inches up from furniture is a good rule of thumb.

Art Grouping Above Sofa  

Vertical Art on Vertical Wallspace

 bed in House Beautiful

  Art on Mantel

Don’t limit yourself to just pictures on the walls.  Try hanging trays, platters, dinner plates, architectural fragments, candle sconces, musical instruments, collections, etc.  Mirrors are great to reflect light and increase sense of space.  

Hanging Guitars as Art

Hanging Plates follow Arch

Photography and Sconces above Sofa

Grouping of Plates on Wall

There you go, all the secrets.  Oh, I almost forgot the most important one:  don’t be afraid to put some nailholes in your wall.  I don’t care what your husband says, you will cover up most of your mistakes when you finally hang some pictures!!!!   Stay tuned – I am working on a post about creating your own wall photo gallery.



  1. Jennifer Blake

    This posting brings back funny memories from my time in Nigeria. The style there was to hang your pictures just a few inches from the ceiling! I always got a crick in my neck looking at folks family photographs!! And the locals all thought it was bizarre when they came to my house that my pictures were eye level.

    I have always struggled with whether or not to place my wall art according to my furniture or to place it on the walls regardless of where the furniture is. This is helpful.

  2. Jamie

    These are all so simple, but none of them have ever really occurred to me. Thanks! And I’m looking forward to the photo gallery – I’ve been wanting to do one for quite a while!

  3. kristiebarnett

    Jennifer, a good rule of thumb is to make the artwork above it connect with the furniture below it – centered on it and within a few inches of it. Then it’s a visually-pleasing, cohesive picture when you walk in the room. If there is no furniture below, you base the art on the wall shape and hang it roughly at eye level. Boy, that Nigerian-style would have worn me out! Although hanging up near the ceiling works for me as long as there is a whole wall (salon-style) of art below it! Thanks for the interesting comment.


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