The Art Of Hanging Art

Interior plants

Art can be such a strange thing. There are a lot of familiar bits, then some very unfamiliar things. They all look like they should fit together but they don’t? Art can be confusing but, with a little bit of finesse, anyone can do it. My job as a New York interior designer has taught me many things during my progression in the field and I assure you that hanging art is actually quite simple. This article will briefly explain the dos and don’ts so you can also be an expert!

  • How high (or low for that matter) is correct when hanging a piece of art? 

Through my various clients as an interior designer in New York, the basic rule of thumb is that the center of the piece, for a single work or a collage, should be at eye level for the average height of a person. 

  • Is it acceptable to mix mediums in both art and frames throughout the room?

Absolutely, in fact, I encourage it! Mixing mediums make for more interesting visuals in living spaces. 

  • I’m afraid hanging my artwork will damage the wall or fall off the wall due to my foundation. What should I do?

This may sound obvious, but using the correct hardware is really important. As for larger pieces, using two art hooks spaced evenly from the center can prevent shifting. Choosing the correct art picture hooks, both for the type of walls you have and for weight distribution, is tremendously important. Speak with your hardware store professional when choosing your hardware.

  • How much (or little) art do I need?

Negative space can be just as important as space used for art. Not every single space in your home needs to be filled with art. Conversely, filling a long hallway wall can be incredibly dramatic. Mix and match large pieces with a flowing mix of family photos for guests to enjoy. 

  • I’m afraid of the art above my sofa being damaged when people sit down.

Here’s a quick rule of thumb: generally 6″ to 8” above the highest point of the couch to the bottom of the frame is generally safe. 

  • What about hanging art above fireplaces?

Instead of actual artwork, think about using a mirror above a fireplace: dramatic and easy to clean.

  • What size piece is right for the space?

Filling the space with some framing area is preferred. Erring on the side of too big instead of too small is better, however. You don’t want your art to get lost.

  • Where do I hang above a headboard or sofa?    

Headboard with a single large piece? Centered and evenly spaced between the headboard and ceiling. (Unless you live in a loft, or have no headboard, in which case it is judgment call time.) Sofa? One can float on one end with a single piece, double up, and even space, or go with a single piece centered for a classic look. See above for height. 

I hope my tips as a New York interior designer helped! If there are any further questions you may have, we can and will revisit this topic- there’s so much to cover!

About Jarret Yoshida

Jarret Yoshida has worked in the New York interior design world for more than two decades. With a varied portfolio of projects including residential and commercial spaces, he draws inspiration from his Asian interior designer heritage to create stylish, welcoming, and sophisticated design solutions.

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