Hanging art on your walls is one of the most personal and exciting parts of owning a home.
However, if you don’t have experience with it, it can be tricky to know where and how to hang your pictures, or what the best picture hanging height could even be.
Some people even think it might be fiddly or technical and wonder whether they should get somebody else to do it.
We get a lot of emails from people who have recently bought our product and now are super excited to hang their art all over the place, but aren’t sure at what height to hang pictures.
There’s only so many times you can reply to an email asking “how high should I hang a picture?” so we decided to write this article to hopefully help a lot of you!
If this sounds like something you struggle with, we have an amazing tip for you that will make you a master at hanging pictures perfectly, quickly, and have your house looking like a professional art gallery in no time!
So what’s the tip?
Yep, that’s all you need to remember!
Let me explain:
“57 inches on centre” is a standard gallery hanging height for displaying art that has been developed and adopted by art galleries and museums around the world.
The standard is based around the average eye height of a human - AKA the perfect height for pictures.
Putting the middle of your picture at exactly the average height of human eyes means that it’s at the most comfortable, optimal viewing height for the widest variety of people it possibly can be, which is why this has been generally accepted as the standard picture height in museums, galleries and other exhibitions.
So now you know the proper height to hang pictures on the wall effectively, are you surprised?
Most people hang pictures much higher by default, but you will soon see how much of a difference the 57” inch rule makes.
For one, it’s a lot easier to make your art, portraits and other wall hangings fit in with the rest of your colour scheme this way, as they feel more connected to their surroundings.
Another benefit of using the centre of your art as the reference point is that all of your artwork heights throughout your house will feel like they have a theme running and fit together nicely, even if they are of wildly different sizes.
This tip, combined with our xHang Picture Hanging System makes it easier than ever to hang art, mirrors, photographs and similar, allowing you to professionally hang art pieces in just a minute or two, even with absolutely zero experience.
Here’s the perfect way to hang a wall decoration, broken down into simple steps for you:
Step 1 - Choose Your Spot
Once you know which wall you want to hang your art from, use a tape measure to make a small pencil or pen mark exactly 57 inches above the floor.
This is also a good time to measure the picture itself and compare that to the size of the wall, allowing you to picture how well the art will fit in your chosen spot.
Step 2 - Assemble Your Tools
At this stage, you need to assemble the things you will need to actually hang the photo.
If you are using an xHang to allow you to quickly hang pictures without nails, you can skip this step entirely as you won’t need anything else.
In fact, if this is the case, you’re pretty much done already, so skip the rest of these steps entirely and check out our installation page to have your picture up in a couple of seconds.
If you’re doing it the old fashioned way, you will want to get some pieces of hardware to do it manually - usually nails.
If you are hanging on plaster, screw-in hooks or anchor bolts will provide the extra stability required - in this case, you will need to drill a hole of the same size as the anchor bolt you’re using first, then insert it to make sure it fits tightly.
Step 3 - Hang Your Picture!
Now that you have your xHang or other equipment ready, it’s time to hang your artwork!
First, you want to measure the total height of your picture and cut that number in half, allowing you to find the precise centre of the piece.
For example, if your picture is 30 inches high, you should now have a dot drawn on the back of your painting at exactly 15 inches high.
Then you need to measure the distance between the top of your picture and the actual part of it that will be attached to the wall (which is usually a piece of wire or string along the back).
Subtracting this number from half of your picture’s height (15 inches in my example) will tell you exactly how far the screw or xHang need to be above the 57 inch mark you made on the wall earlier.
Getting this exactly correct will mean that when you hang your picture, the centre of it is precisely where you made that mark.
There you have one perfectly hung photo!
Easier than you thought it would be, I bet?
It’s also worth mentioning that it’s not always possible to hang your artworks at perfect picture height - for example, if you’re hanging them above furniture, a fireplace or similar.
If this is the case you don’t need to use the 57-inch rule, but you should ideally try and get it as close to that as possible anyway.
Around 10-12 inches above the bed, fireplace etc is always a good rough guide as it gives the furniture below it chance to stand out without going too high to be easily visible.
Another slightly unique situation is if you’re hanging several pictures together in close proximity.
When this is the case, it’s usually better to treat the collection of painting as one, placing your 57-inch mark in the centre of the group instead of at the centre of any one picture.
So there you have it!
If you use both the 57-inch method and the xHang hardware, you will be able to professional and perfectly hang museum quality art works without needing tools or damaging walls, in a matter of seconds.
Even if you don’t have access to an xHang, using this technique will mean you never have to wonder or worry about how high to hang a picture ever again, and all you need to remember is the number 57!
You may be an expert on how high to hang art now, but for more tips and hacks on decorating your home with brand new ideas, keep an eye on our blog!