Well, Now What: Hanging Your Artwork the Right Way

Well, Now What: Hanging Your Artwork the Right Way

written by Moeima Makeba

At this point you’ve spotted, purchased and received your art and now is the time to find the right place for it. You made the investment, you're probably feeling yourself hard, but before you get too turnt - let's get it up on the wall. Properly.

Warning: There's some basic math involved below, but don't even trip - it's easy. Don't get caught out there with artwork that looks randomly placed and/or crooked.

57” on Center

A measurement standard used in museums, galleries and by many interior designers, the 57" standard represents the average human eye-height. Some argue this point and start anywhere between 60”- 65”, which is fine as well. By using this method, you have a formula that harmonizes all your artwork, wherever it is placed in your home, office or other assorted spaces. So nothing will be too high or low, unless that's what you're going for. Follow these 5 steps:

1. Measure and lightly mark 57" on the wall from the floor.
2. Measure the artwork and divide by 2 (this gives you the center)
3. Measure top of your picture to the tightened wire
4. Subtract the wire amount from 1/2 height amount to get to the hook amount. This will tell you how far above 57" your hook should go.
5. Lightly mark the wall just above 57" to the hook amount.

1. Picture is 30" tall
2. Middle is at 15" (this mid point should rest at the 57"mark you made earlier)
3. Wire comes to 3" (sometimes 2”) below the top of the frame
4. 15" - 3" = 12"
5. Lightly mark 12" above your first mark or measure and mark 69" (57" + 12") on the wall.

This may sound harder than it actually is.


Should you have a piece you want to set on the floor to lean against a wall (which yes, people do) - be mindful of anything that may obstruct or be in the way of seeing the work. Walk around the room and determine what works and what doesn't.

When hanging work above furniture, be aware that a large artwork over a sofa, bed, TV, fireplace mantel, or other piece of furniture gives a better visual when hung so the bottom of the frame is positioned 6 to 12 inches above the top of the furniture. However, if your artwork is very small, consider hanging the piece in a group of other objects such as frames, mirrors, or decorative items.

Hanging Groups of Artwork

Speaking of groups, if the look you're going for is to display assorted artwork together as a group.  Also think of the group as one artwork - relate the bottom (or lowest image) to furniture around it or use the 57" on center method as a guide to place the lowest image.

Commitment Issues

If this is your first time doing this, or you're hanging work alone - you can measure and mark your walls first, then put post up a piece of paper that is either a similar size of the work or just use a standard size sheet of paper that will help you eyeball what the work will look like when hung in that particular place. That way you can step back, take it all in and make adjustments as necessary before putting holes in your walls.

You Gotta Coordinate

And by coordinate - I mean coordinate. Not match. If you wanna go Cam’ron circa 2001 and match your pink walls and pink furnishings with pink art then do you. But if you're looking to create an aesthetic, that both supports the actual artwork (the meaning, the colors) and your home decor - try out your artwork in different parts of your home. Some pieces work better in the bedroom, others in a hallway or kitchen. Maybe that splattered work you just picked up from a local artist looks best against that blue wall in your living room and would make a good conversation piece. Or perhaps it makes more of statement in the hallway near the door, so it's the first thing you see.

It's all up to you - have fun with it, make it your own. Be proud of your purchase.

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