Hanging Framed Art?


Sep 6, 2005
Tryon, NC
When hanging multiple framed art in a room or two rooms which are open,what method or rule of thumb is used to hang pictures when they are sized different?
I usually hang the smaller picture centered withen the larger pic. Smaller pics centered around larger pictures either in a straight line or if there are vaulted ceilings you can follow that angle with the pics on the wall,, Sometimes it helps to lay them out on the ground before hanging and move them around until you find something that pleases the eye!
OR... there are two basic rules of thumb about where to hang art on a wall.
The first one is that all of the frame tops match the height of the doors. (6' - 8") This works better visually if they are close to the same size to each other.

The second one is that the center of the art is set at 5' - 6" which is the average height of a person s eyes when standing and looking at the art.

The second one works better when the pieces are different enough in size to each other.

This is from an Interior Design standards book I had when I worked with Interior Designers at my old job.
OR...when you have as many pictures to hang as we do, put a grouping of small ones to the height of a large one, hang the large one, and go with the small ones again. When you reach the opposite wall, put some long ones on top of the grouping to completely fill the wall. Repeat this until the walls are filled or you run out of pictures. Blank spots can be filled by framing small or unusually shaped art/objects. If I knew how to use the ftp space in my new isp, I'd post a few photos to show how we did it here.
Originally posted by framah:
The first one is that all of the frame tops match the height of the doors. (6' - 8") This works better visually if they are close to the same size to each other.
I saw that done once. All I could do was scratch my head and wonder who the idiot was that hung the art.

The smallest pieces were 8x10s, some 11x14s and a couple of 16x20s that were horizontals.

Even my brother (who's taste is all behind his lips) started laughing.... I thought they were going to run us out of Columbus, OH. It was so awkward that it just LOOKED like it was a bad joke or bad dream.

Go with the 5' 6", and that is where you put the focal point of the art. Up to about 24x30. Larger than that, and you need to start moving the art a little North.

By the time you hit 48x60, your fenistrating along with the top of the doors and windows.
Sorry, Jim, I think maybe you emailed me with this question, which I found curious, since I have no particular expertise in arranging pictures on the wall.

My own rule-of-thumb is to cover virtually every square inch of wall space - from floor to ceiling - with pictures. Then and only then you can come to me and say, "I don't have room for another picture." At that point, it's time for seasonal rotations. And more walls.

The advantage of registering on The Grumble and posting the question here is that you will get a variety of (usually opposing) opinions and you can choose the one that suits you.

Still, it was rude of me not to respond.

Welcome to The Grumble.
Rule of thumb?

Most picture framers have two thumbs. Let's see now, 2 x about 3,000 Grumblers = about 6,000 opinions. Take your pick.

Personally, I like to hang frames with the center below eye level. When there are several frames of different sizes, I like to line up all of the tops, or all of the bottoms, or all of the centers, or not.

Whose eye level and how much below it? It usualy works out to be roughly 5ft. off the floor. But in a stairwell, or if there's tall furniture in the room, that won't work.

When in doubt, ask the woman of the house. She cares more than the man does. Whatever you do, don't ask the kids.
Thanks guys for the info! You have truely enlightened me on the subject! Ron, don't give it a another thought! I wasn't registered at the time.
The 6'-8" door height method is for large pieces, not small ones.

I agree, small ones up that high is stupid!!

The median eye height is 5'-6", thus the idea of placing the center of the art at that height.

Why would you put the center below eye level?? and how far below?? and what do you use as a standard for eye level??

I went to the local cafe Sunday and the usual garbage by the local amateur artists was hanging on the walls in the hallway. ALL of the pieces were about 6" square and ALL of the pieces were hung at least 6' high!! Now THAT is stupid!!

Maybe a Chiropractor hung the work knowing he would get alot of work adjusting necks.
You hang it below eye level if it is a room in which you would be sitting--living room, dinning room.
At eye level if it is an area you would be standing--hallways, stairways, entry ways etc.

Now what the heck do you do in the bathroom?

and eye level is to the person that is hanging it of course!!