How to Hang Artwork, Pictures and Wall Decor at the Perfect Height Everytime

by Sasha on September 1, 2010

One of the subtle little details that gives a home that designer look is properly hung artwork and wall decor. It’s one of the easiest things to do, however it’s probably one of the most common decorating mistakes people make! Hanging artwork too high negatively affects the rooms’ proportions and creates an uncomfortable feeling in the room (plus it makes me feel short!).

So what is the right height to hang wall decor?

Common knowledge tells us to display artwork at eye level, but what does that mean?

It turns out the perfect height is 57″ to the centre of the picture or grouping. This is the measurement that Museums and Art galleries typically use, so to confirm this I ran around the house measuring the height of my artwork just to make sure that this was an accurate measurement, and it was, every time! How simple is that?

So here is a foolproof way to measure for installing artwork:

Step 1

Measure the height of the artwork and divide that number by 2. (i.e. 30″ / 2 = 15″ )

hanging pictures walls

Step 2

Measure the distance between the top of the picture wire (when stretched) and the top of the frame. (i.e. 4″ )

instructions for hanging artwork

Step 3

Subtract the second number (distance of wire to top of frame) from the first number (half of the artwork size). (i.e. 15″ – 4″ = 11″)

Step 4

Take the number you just figured out and add 57″, then mark that measurement on the wall (in pencil). Voila, install your picture hanger on this mark, set the picture, and you have a perfectly hung artwork or wall decor! (i.e. 57″ + 11″ = 68″ )hanging pictures on walls

This method works for several differnt types of artwork or picture groupings:

display picture framesdisplay pictures

hanging picture frames

Finally, I have to share this absolutely spectacular invention for hanging wall decor, they are called monkey hooks and they are a dream to install, you don’t even need tools!

installation art

picture hanging hardware Cross Section of “Monkey Hook” in a Wall


All you have to do is push the sharp end into the drywall at the mark you made, just make sure there isn’t a stud in the way. Turn them so the sharp end points up in the wall and then place your picture on the hook. The large size can hold up to 35lbs, they’re brilliant!

Accurate, reusable and cheep, it doesn’t get much easier than this!

Step 1 picture holders

Step 2wall hooks

DONE!hanging pictures

Check out this related blog post How to Do IT: Creating a Family Photo Wall

Previous post:

Next post: