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The Right (And Wrong!) Way To Hang Pictures

How to hang artwork correctly, once and for all.

Hanging pictures should be simple—throw a nail in the wall and you’re done, right? Wrong. If you’ve tried and failed to get it right in the past, chances are, you end up leaving new art unhung for weeks until you get up the strength to get out the tape measure and try again.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone: Decorators say that many people hang their art the wrong way—and an oddly hung pictures can throw off the whole feel of the room.

But thanks to this advice, hanging art doesn’t have to be so stressful. Remember these simple tips, and you’ll be hanging pics like a pro in no time.

1. Don’t Hang Your Art Too High

You want your pictures to be eye-level for maximum impact. Remember to take into account your own unique height. If you are super tall, your eye level might be too high for guests. Experts suggest aiming for 57 to 60 inches above the ground.

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2. Line Up Multiple Frames From The Center

When hanging up a trio or collection of pictures of varying heights, do not try to line up the frames from the bottom or the top. Instead, line up the center of the pictures.

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3. Don’t Forget To Measure

Measure from the bottom of the wall and mark lines with a ruler and a pencil. You can also use painter’s tape to help ensure that frames are perfectly straight and to help mark the distance between frames so that you don’t hang pictures too far apart or too close together.

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4. Don’t Use A Nail

Simple nails generally aren’t strong enough or reliable enough for heavy frames and your most prized art. Instead, use screws or picture hanging hooks.

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5. Try A Gallery Display

A gallery display is a great way to showcase a large number of pieces of art. Instead of hanging all the pictures in one solid row, create an interesting gallery-style display with frames at varying heights, like what’s shown in this Instagram post from The Modern House:

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So chic! The style, as shown by Tara Gavin’s On The Wall Framing Instagram account, is effortless but still elegant:

Also known as a salon wall, this is a brave, bold design choice. Instead of perfect lines and matching frames, chaos reigns… but the chaos is cohesive and artistic. Houzz says you can get a salon-style wall by placing the largest piece of art in the center of the wall, or just off center. Then, hang other items such as art, knick-knacks, mirrors and framed pictures around the centerpiece, like Saatchi art gallery shows in this Instagram post:

Or in this post from Pop Up Home:

You can even use the same tips to hang other items, such as decorative plates—perfect for an entryway or dining room focal wall. And, inexpensive, interesting plates are a dime-a-dozen at flea markets and yard sales!