The Art of Hanging Art
After you’ve worked out where the couch and bed will go, the next big thing that makes a new place feel like home is to put up your artwork. There is an art, of course, in hanging art, whether it’s in choosing the right nail, getting the height right, or orchestrating a grouping of pieces.
For Every Wall, There Is a Size
It might go without saying, but not all artwork fits all walls. For narrow spaces, for example, one small piece, a long narrow piece or a grouping of smaller photos will look like they were created just for that wall. The same goes for larger areas – larger pieces or groupings will look right-sized. Try to not extend beyond your furniture, though, for an even look.
Nails vs. Screws
For lightweight pictures, nails or picture hooks work well and mar the wall the least. A picture hook will not work for plaster walls, you’ll need a nail. To protect the plaster and prevent chipping, put a piece of clear packing tape over the section of wall you’ll be nailing into. For heavier items, you’ll need a screw and you’ll need to screw into a stud to support the weight. (Always keep an eye out for outlets or plumbing that might be at the same height at which you’re working.)
The center of a single piece of art or the center of a grouping should generally be at eye level, between 5′-3″ and 5′-6″. The height of furniture or windows nearby might dictate an adjustment – either higher or lower or offset for visual interest. Mark with pencil on your wall (or on painter’s tape) where the top and sides of your frame will be (usually equidistant from the wall’s edges or over a piece of furniture). To calculate where to place your nail, measure exactly where it will sit below the top edge of your frame (if there’s a wire, hold it taught) and then mark this on your wall (or on painter’s tape) and nail it in.
Mastering the Group
Getting a group of photos to align perfectly might seem daunting, but with a few simple tricks, you can master it. First, consider the aesthetics and make sure you’ve got all your coordinated pieces – maybe all of the photos are black and white, maybe all the frames are the same color, maybe you mix and match, etc. Whatever you believe looks good together! Then, lay them out on the floor or table first and make a template out of newspaper or craft paper. Tape your template to the wall and move around until you’ve got everything exactly as you want it. Then measure and mark the nail placement (see above) and voilá!
Follow these easy steps to ensure a perfect installation every time. Sit back, relax, and take in your artwork!