Last Updated: February 6, 2020
Ready to hang your new pictures and artwork? Don’t go rogue! Get that tape measure and follow our guidelines on how high to hang pictures, to give your home a balanced and professionally decorated look.
Whether you're hanging beautiful family portraits or stunning scenes from your travel photography, these decorating tips will keep you and your guests from craning your necks.
How High to Hang Artwork: The General Rule
The easy-to-remember rule when hanging your pictures is to place the centre of the piece at eye level, about 60 inches off the ground. Mark out the placement of your picture with tape, stand back and view it from a distance. If you’re not happy with it you can get away with 5 inches higher or lower depending on the piece, the space and your preference.
Hanging Artwork Above Furniture
Furniture changes the rules. If you are hanging your artwork above a large piece of furniture, like a couch or bed, it should sit 6 to 10 inches above the top of the furniture. This is close enough to make the décor and furniture cohesive, but far enough apart that it won’t look cluttered. If your bed does not have a headboard, use the top of the propped-up pillows as the point to measure from.If the furniture is shorter than 32 inches, stick with the general rule that its centre should be at eye level.
How High to Hang a Gallery Wall?
When determining how high to hang your gallery wall, the rule is simpler than you’d imagine. All you have to do is think of the entire gallery as one large piece. Then, follow the standard picture hanging guidelines above.
If hanging the gallery wall above a large piece of furniture, the bottom of the lowest piece should be 6 to 10 inches above the top of the furniture. If there is no furniture along this wall, the centre of the gallery wall should sit at eye level on the wall.
Remember: It’s best practice to mock up your gallery on the wall with tape or paper first, before you start hanging anything.
Hanging Pictures in Rooms Where You Sit vs. Stand
When determining how high to hang your pictures, the purpose of the room should be considered as well. In rooms where you are almost always seated, like a dining room, the centre of the picture could sit at around 55 inches off the ground. In hallways or other rooms where you are most likely to be standing, a higher centre height is suitable, around 65 inches.
These guidelines are flexible, as it’s simply a matter of balancing visual appeal with comfortable viewing.
Hanging Small Pieces of Art or Pictures
Smaller pieces of art are great for displaying on bookshelves and leaning and layering with larger artwork on sideboards. If you’re going to hang them on the wall, make smart decorating decisions to ensure that they don’t look dwarfed or out of place.
The narrow walls in your home are ideal for hanging small pictures. The general rule applies with small artwork too, the centre of the piece should be eye level, around 60 inches high.Once you have your pictures—whether they are custom canvas prints, modern metal prints or classic framed prints—be smart about their placement and proportion when you hang them. When you do, your space will look polished, tidy and beautifully designed.