Last Updated: December 21, 2018
Ready to hang your new pictures and artwork? Don’t go rogue! Get that tape measure and follow our guidelines for how high to hang pictures to give your home a balanced and professionally decorated look.
How High to Hang Artwork: The General Rule
When hanging pictures or paintings in your home, the general rule is that the center of the piece should be at eye level. This is about 60 inches off the ground, or 5 feet. Try this height and stand back to view it from a distance. You can get away with 5 inches higher or lower depending on the piece, the space and your preference.
Hanging Artwork Above Furniture
If you are hanging your artwork above a large piece of furniture such as a couch or bed, this is an exception to the general rule. Instead, hang the picture so that the bottom of it is about 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 tall, stick with the general rule that its center should be at eye level: about 60 inches off the ground.
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 8 to 10 inches above the top of the furniture. If there is no furniture along this wall, the center of the gallery wall should sit at eye level on the wall, around 60 inches off the ground.
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 center 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 center 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 center of the piece should be eye level, around 60 inches high.
Once you have your pictures – whether they are custom canvas prints, framed photo prints, or professional artwork on acrylic prints – be smart about their placement and proportion when you hang them. When you do, your space will look polished, tidy and beautifully designed.