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Furniture 101: How high is too high?

By Blogger January 31, 2011

My mother has been with me through pretty much every move I've made. Home to college dorms, college dorm to on-campus apartment, on-campus apartment to newer on-campus apartment, and now in my first apartment that isn't on a college campus. The last move or two she's dodged the heavy lifting but she has always, always been there to help me hang and rearrange my things. Most importantly she helps me figure out the correct height to hang my wall art. I'm notorious for hanging wall art way too high, maybe I'm trying to make up for my own short comings.

How High To Hang Art

1. The eye level rule you’ve heard about is just a general guideline, but can be helpful as you begin to look for places to hang your art. Always view artwork in relation to a room’s furnishings and try out various heights before you punch holes in the wall for picture hooks.

2. Ask yourself a few questions.

  • Are you going to be sitting--like in a dining room? hang pictures a bit lower, so they can be enjoyed at a lower viewing angle. Sit in a chair and have someone hold the picture against the wall, moving it up and down so you can evaluate the look.
  • Are you going to be walking past the display--like a staircase or hallway? If so, it may make sense to hang artwork a bit higher than the 60-65 inch center starting point –especially if the ceiling is tall.
  • Is this a group of pictures? think of the grouping as one large picture and relate the bottom of the entire grouping to the furniture underneath it.
  • What if the pictures are small? A small picture hung on a large wall can look out of balance. Look for narrow walls (such as the spaces between two doorways or windows) and consider hanging two or three small pictures in a vertical line. In this case, treat the center picture as the center of the grouping.

3. If you are hanging art by yourself (I need to practice this one):

  • Cut paper templates to size for each piece of art and attach the paper cutouts to the wall with painter’s tape. This will give you the option to stand back and see how the artwork’s size relates to your room and your furniture. Move the template up and down to find the perfect spot prior to hanging the picture.