Guide in Choosing and Hanging Wall Art in Every Space

Bringing art that you love into your home requires time, emotion and money—and that’s all before you get it there and find the perfect place to put it. Sure, there are guidelines you can follow to get it right, but the real rule to follow is making sure your artworks for you. Here are some considerations to get started and make sure you love each and every piece you bring into your home.

1. Choose what you LOVE.

This is the only hard-and-fast rule to follow. Any wall art that you bring into your home should be something that you really want to look at every day. For some of us, this is the easiest part, but for others, it could certainly be the hardest.

2. Consider all mediums.

Once upon a time, buying art meant investing in a painting, commissioned by a known artist that depicted you, your family or your home in the most lavish way possible. While fine art paintings are still the art choice for many, this isn’t necessarily accessible or even desired by everyone. Photography, canvas giclees, drawings or even precious pieces that your children made all count toward your art collection and can become the focal point of a room with the right presentation.

3. Pick the room

Sometimes the pre-existing size of what you’ve brought home makes it easy to know exactly where it’s going to go. You could decide on the room and then find art you like or vice versa—either way, these same guidelines will work:

If it’s a small piece that you’ve fallen for, it could be perfect for a powder room or hallway nook. If it’s several small-to-medium size pieces, maybe a gallery wall in your living room is in order. If it’s a large work, how about over the bed, couch or mantel? If you choose something in specially coated aluminum, you could even take it outside.

4. Measure everything

Before you pick up the hammer, consider these things to save yourself time, frustration and potentially a jar of spackle:

  • Aim for eye level: Aim to have art hang at average eye level, which is 57-60” from the floor to the center of the artwork. If you’re much taller than average, consider hanging at 63-65”. (*Note: You’ll also need higher ceilings—10-plus feet—for this to work, otherwise the walls will look top heavy and could feel claustrophobic).
  • Map it out: If you’re doing a gallery wall or hanging more than one piece, you’ll want to measure the spacing between pieces, too. Ideal spacing is 3-6” and it can vary within your arrangement—but be consistent and maybe try mapping it out on the floor. Find the visual arrangement you like off of the wall, then measure before committing to the actual hardware hanging.

Pro Tip: If you map out your arrangement on the floor first, take a photo of it so you can get back to it if you are interrupted.

  • Work with furniture: A third factor to consider is the ideal distance between the bottom edge of your art and the top edge of any furniture it might be hung over. Shoot for at least 6-8”.

Use these measuring guidelines as a starting point. Ultimately, the look has to work for you and your space. Be sure to bring in at least one other set of eyes before you start putting holes in the wall.

5. Hang it up

Depending on what type of art you’re working with, this part can be more or less intensive. If your work is ready-to-hang, this is easy. You’ve already got your measurements, so you can start marking the walls in pencil and then hammering (or drilling with screws and anchors if you’re working with substantial size or weight).

If your art is not ready-to-hang, you might not even want to hang it. You could lean a piece against a wall using lower credenzas, tables or bookshelves, or even the floor itself if the piece is very large.

6. Step back

The final step is the easiest of all. Step back and gaze at your art with all the admiration it deserves. Enjoy!



What’s the overall effect you’re going for in you living room? How do you want it to feel? Would you like to see neat rows of similar works, or do you want to arrange eclectic gallery walls that showcase a variety of works? Either approach can work with any style of art and decor – you can create a breathtaking gallery wall with antique paintings or choose a refined collection of modern art prints to display in a clean grid.


Do you have a painting, print or photograph that you absolutely love? If you have some treasured pieces in hand, you’re already off to a great start. If not, find something that speaks to you, something that encapsulates how you want the rest of the room to feel, or even something that brings a smile to your face. Whatever you choose, this piece can be the anchor point that you can use as the foundation for your new collection. You can coordinate any new art and decor you pick out with your existing artwork. Whether you want to make an eclectic or a cohesive display, an anchor piece ensures a cohesive end result that speaks to your unique personal style.

If you need a little guidance to create a cohesive group of works, just pick an element from your anchor piece and look for artwork that carries that through. Another great way to tie your pieces together is to frame them in the same materials. A cluster of geometric lithographs feels more united when framed in uniform stainless steel frames, for example.


You can also make a big impact in your living room by choosing one large statement piece to display in a prominent area. From the space above your sofa to the wall immediately facing the entrance to the room, there are lots of great places to put a single, large work of art. Whether it’s a photograph, painting or wall sculpture, the large piece you choose can also be one that reflects your design priorities in terms of color, presentation and style. Consider leaving the other walls bare and bring in plenty of textured decorative objects to display on shelves and tables to maximize your statement piece’s impact.



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