What’s the Right Height to Hang Your Artwork and Mounted Photographs

DIY Wall Decorating Tip 101:

When it comes to artwork and photography it can either balance your interior space or throw it off kilter quickly. Not only the placement of the artwork / photographs is important but the height of your photographs or artwork is a big factor when creating the balance of your room too, especially if the artwork is the main focal point of the room.

The vast majority of art galleries and museums have very little to no furniture in the viewing areas so they normally hang the artwork so that the mid-line (center) of each piece is 57 to 60 inches from the floor. Why? The average human eye level is 57 inches. With a clear viewing space, that height is in the optimal position for viewing the artwork or photographs. It also leaves a nice balance of open space above and below the artwork or photograph in a room with 8 – 9 foot high ceilings. If the room has higher ceilings you have the option to raise the height of the artwork or photographs to compensate for the added open space but remember the height of the wall art should still relate to human scale not structure scale; I don’t recommend going any higher than 65 inches for the mid point (center) of the artwork.

If you are still unsure create a template. Get a piece or two of poster board and cut them to the dimensions of the art work you would like to hang. Tape the poster boards together for large piece of artwork if you have to, then make your cuts. Make sure that your artwork is face down while you are making your cuts. Next, find the mid point of the template and mark it with an “X”. Finally, while the template is resting on the backside of the framed photograph, canvas wrap, or piece of artwork mark where your mount brackets are on to your template. This will help later when you are ready to drill your holes.

Once your template is complete, measure the wall going up from the floor 57″. Gently tape the poster board to the wall when the “X” of the template center point lines ups to the tape measure or what ever you chose to use to mark your measurement on the wall. Then step back to get a feel for the position; if it feels low to you or too close to your furnishings than move the template up and step back again. Do this until you are comfortable with the relation of the artwork to you and it’s relation to the furnishing surrounding it.

Before removing the template from the wall, use it for drilling your mounting holes.  Make sure that the template is level and fasten it to the wall with more tape; it is time to  drill. Drill your anchor holes based on the hanger markings you added to the template earlier.  If done correctly, your artworks mounting brackets and the holes should like up perfectly for easy hanging. Remove the template from the wall, add your securing anchors, mounting hooks and hang your beautiful piece of artwork.

You have now finished your DIY interior decorating masterpiece, sit back and enjoy your art.