How to hang pictures like an adult

Since you were old enough to swing a hammer and recklessly throw up “artwork” on the wall you’ve been doing it all wrong. While there’s no hard-and-fast method to properly hanging decor, push-pinning Rocky movie posters over your beer pong table is, sadly, not the way to do it. We’re bringing you the proper skills you need to look like a pro – even if you’re, well, not.

 Rule #1: 57 is the number to remember

The most agreed upon go-to rule is that you should hang art so that the center of the piece measures 57” up from the floor. Seems super easy until you realize that the nail probably won’t be aligned with the center of the art. Getting it right takes a couple of steps, but we promise it will be worth it when your place looks like a friggin’ art gallery.

1. Measure your wall art from top to bottom and divide by two, which will give you the center

2. Pull the wire tight (like it will be when it’s hanging on a nail) and measure the distance from the top of your picture to the highest point of the tightened wire

3. Here’s where it gets really fun: Subtract the tightened wire height from 1/2 the height of the picture. (For example: If your photo is 20” tall, with a tight wire located 2” below the top, you would subtract 2” from 10” to get 8”.)

4. Take that number and add it to 57” – this is how far above the floor you should place your nail. (In the example above, the nail or hook would be placed 65” off of the floor.)

5. Mark the nail height, hang your art, look like a baller.

Rule #2: Rules are meant to be broken

In some scenarios, 57” just won’t work. What if you have super low ceilings? What if you have an unusually tall piece of furniture? In these and other scenarios that make your space out-of-the-ordinary, “eyeballing” it will have to do.

But you’re not getting off that easy. There are actually proper ways to “eyeball” things.

If you have a friend: Have them hold the art against the wall, and tell them to move it to the left, to the left, or whichever way it needs to go.



If you have a cat: Take a sheet of wrapping paper and cut it to the size of your art. Use a piece of tape to stick the sheet of paper where you think your art should go. This will let you move the spot around without putting 8 unnecessary holes in your wall.

Rule #3: Teach yo’self by browsing home decor on Pinterest

Wall art looks best when it works with the other elements of a room. Check out photos of rooms with similar design elements to model your own space after.


If your art becomes a part of the room’s design, instead of sticking out by being so high you have to crane your neck, so low you hit your head on it or just obviously off-kilter, then you’ve totally nailed it.

(Get it?)

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Photo credt:
Featured image, Instagram user @dabito
Photo of couch and wall art, Vogue