Location, Location, Location

October 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Some of my oldest (longest running — not talking about their age) clients wanted to rework their entry foyer. With the kids finally gone, they wanted a little updating, but, as we were only talking about  their entryway, the task was limited. The extent of the new elements were: exchanging the track-lights for a newer version, replacing the door panel on the entry door and having the brass door and elevator hardware re-plated and polished. Other than that, all we did was re-paint the walls and trim, and rehang the pictures.  But the space looks very different now.

Which got me thinking, as I rehung the artwork – many places I visited have pictures that are hung completely wrong. Most often too high or too low, but sometimes too close, or too far away from furniture pieces or not lined up properly.

I thought a refresher might be worth a shot. Here is a list of 10 picture hanging guidelines from Craig Christine who is a California designer.


1. Artwork should not be wider than the piece of furniture below it and if narrower then is should be at least half the length.

2. If narrower, then it should be accompanied by smaller pieces of art work or other pieces (irons, plants) hung so it is centered according to the larger piece.

3. Artwork should be spaced no further than 8” apart and no closer than 3”.

4. The bottom of the artwork should never be so far away from the furniture item below it that it no longer can relate. Hang it generally no more than 6”-10” away.

5. If you are hanging a picture above a table that will have items on it such as picture frame or vase make sure that the picture will not be blocked completely by these items, a little bit is ok but you don’t want to over crowd the area.(I am a big fan of making the elements on the table creep into the frame or image on the wall, it has the effect of making the flat wall image more 3 dimensional as it brings the entire composition into the space of the room)

6. When hanging multiple pictures make sure the frames either coordinate or complement each other. A simple black frame will look silly next to a chunky ornate gold frame.(unless the images of colors tied them together, or if the wall is covered with miss-matched frames)

7. Hang artwork of similar styles(, imagery) & coloring together.

8. Smaller pictures looks best when hung in a group, either all lined up or mixed around and hung with other artwork of different sizes.(think about whether they should be all centered horizontally, or aligned on their tops or bottoms)

9. Heavier pieces of artwork should be hung below lighter pieces, whether it’s heavy in size, weight or color.

10. When it doubt cut paper to the sizes of your artwork and tape it to the wall to see what it would look like BEFORE you put holes in your wall.

11. The center of the piece should be located at 57”-59” off the ground, ideally.


1. measure the overall height of image/frame (A)- just a note: 2B=A or A/2=B

2. using your finger, pull the cable on the back of the frame to the top of the frame and measure the distance between that location of the cable and the top of the frame (C)

3. determine where you want the center of the image to be, typically between 57″-59″

4. hook height = 57″ + B – C



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