frames on a wall with measuring tape

It's safe to say that most of us are picky about what we hang on our walls. Our decor isn't just a reflection of ourselves; it also reflects our tastes and standards. With 42% of Americans claiming we own at least one "museum-worthy" piece of art, it's no wonder we like to show off what we have!

Of course, finding the right decor is only half the battle. Displaying it wrong can leave guests hunching or standing on tiptoe to see the photos and artwork you love.

When hanging pictures on walls, there are a few things to keep in mind to achieve the right height. Let's take a look at some key tips based on the art size and room arrangement.

The Golden Rule

If you're not sure where to begin, a good rule of thumb is to start with the golden rule of wall art placement: stick to the natural height of your eye line.

We hang wall decor so we can see and enjoy it, so it stands to reason that the best picture hanging height is around the place where your eyes fall when you look forward. A good rule of thumb is to keep the vertical center of your wall art at eye level. This makes it easy to enjoy and creates an aesthetically pleasing look.

To find the vertical center of your art, measure its total height with the frame included and divide by two.

If you're looking for a more official rule, aim to put the vertical center of your artwork 57 inches off the floor. This is the eye level of the average adult. Museums and art galleries around the world use this standard, so it's tried and tested!

Keep in mind that you should use this rule with a grain of salt. You might want to add or subtract a few inches of height for very large or small pictures, high or low ceilings, or a taller or shorter household. Don't hesitate to play around to find the most appealing placement.

How High Should You Hang Wall Art Arrangements?

What happens if you want to hang multiple pictures or pieces of art? Gallery walls can give rooms a unique and creative look, but it can make it harder to find the right hanging height.

Fortunately, the trick isn't as difficult as you might think.

Decide how you'd like the arrangement to look in advance. Aim for symmetry and balance, and maintain between 3-6 inches of space between each piece of decor.

Once you know how you want to arrange the pictures, treat the grouping as one unit. Figure out where the vertical center of the entire arrangement is. You'll put this center at your eye height or 57 inches off the ground.

This trick can be useful for smaller pictures. Where it might look odd to hang a single small photo on a wall, gathering them in a group while treating the middle photo as the center can make good use of your space. Consider putting a trio of photos in a vertical line, for example, or clustering smaller photos around a larger one.

How High Should You Hang Art Over Furniture?

If you're positioning your wall decor around furniture, the 57-inch rule may not cut it. Sofas, desks, tables, and beds can eat into your available space. They can also change the viewing angle, as people looking at the decor are likely to be seated.

In general, you'll want to hang your decor so the bottom of the frame is 6-12 inches from the top of the furniture. As with every guideline we've mentioned, take this with a grain of salt, as it will also depend on where your eyes naturally fall.

What If the Room Has High Ceilings?

If your home has high ceilings, the 57-inch rule will often still work. In general, most decor looks better at eye height, even in larger rooms. An extra inch or two off the floor may help you balance the final aesthetic.

However, high ceilings allow you to "stack" your artwork by adding extra decor above the eye-level art. This can create great visual appeal and fill the space.

How Do You Visualize the Right Height?

The tips above are great guidelines, but it can still be tough to visualize how the final product will look. Without hanging the wall decor in place, how can you tell how it will appear?

One tried-and-tested method is to grab a friend. Have them hold the decor against the wall so you can see where your eyes fall. If you're in a room where you'll spend most of your time sitting, be sure to check the appearance from a seat as well.

You can also create templates by recreating the exact size of your wall decor on some spare copier or wrapping paper. Taping these paper templates on your wall can give you a rough idea of how the finished arrangement will look.

Thanks to modern technology, there are also plenty of online tools to help you visualize your wall decor before you go through the hassle of hanging it. You'll often need to upload an image of your photo or decor as well as the room in question to play around with the final look. These tools can be great if you're planning to hang a complex arrangement of wall art.

Get More From Your Pictures on Walls

If you've found wall decor you like enough to display it, make sure you're doing it the right way! Hanging art and pictures on walls can be tricky, but the tips above can help you find the ideal placement for you and your guests to enjoy the view.

When you want to frame your artwork, photos, canvases, and more, our online services can help. With mail-in framing and free shipping, The Frame Room makes it easy to decorate your home. Contact us today if you have any questions.