Do you have a collection of art that’s just waiting to be hung on the walls? If so, you’re not alone. While some view art as a niche luxury, the global wall art decor market will reach78.5 billion
Fine art has graced walls since the dawn of humansand continues to be a staple in homes, commercial buildings, and galleries around the globe. No matter what your personal art style is, getting your favorite piece up on a wall is an art form all on its own. So, what’s the best way to hang art? Here is a guide to get that perfect arrangement.
Using the Right Anchor
Before you do anything, you’re going to need to examine your wall and the art itself. What your walls are made of and the weight of your decor is going to determine the method that you use to hang it up.
The last thing you want to deal with is your precious artwork falling and getting damaged. To ensure that both your wall and your art stays safe, you need to choose the appropriate hardware.
Drywall is one of the most common materials used for walls in modern buildings. Manufacturers produce over 20 billion square feetof the stuff each year. It’s affordable, easy to work with, and looks great in virtually every building.
As a result, most walls covered in drywall have a hollow space behind them. To prevent damage, you’ll have to use a drywall anchor. This small piece of plastic grips onto the sides of the drywall panel, creating a firm mount for screws or nails.
To hang your art, you’ll need to pre-drill a hole that’s large enough for the anchor to slide in first. Then, you have to hammer the anchor in so that it grips onto the sides of the hole you created. Finally, you can insert the screw and hang your piece.
Even if you have drywall in your home, there’s wood somewhere behind it. Those panels attach to wooden studs, which make up the framing of your walls. The studs are vertical pieces that can be found every 16 or 24 inches.
You can use an electronic stud finderto see if there’s one behind the spot where you want to hang your picture. If there is, setting up your anchor is simple. All you have to do is hammer in your nail or art hook.
The wood is dense enough to support most pieces. With a thin nail, studs can support upwards of 20 pounds. Drilling a large screw into the stud can support 100 pounds or more.
Masonry and Concrete
Some of the most durable wall materials are brick and concrete. Unfortunately, these materials need the most preparation when hanging art. The materials are tough and require specialty toolsto get through.
If you’re hanging on concrete walls, you’ll need to use a masonry drill bit to make a small hole. Then, use a masonry nail. The same anchoring technique applies if you’re hanging on brick mortar as well.
But, mortar has a less holding power and chips offwith time. A good alternative is to use a brick clip or adhesive hook.
The 57-inch Rule
Once you have figured how you will be hanging your art, it’s time to plan where it will go. One of the biggest mistakesart lovers make is hanging pieces too high. This puts the art out of eye level where people can’t view it comfortably.
To avoid this, follow the “57-inch on center” rule. This refers to a technique that’s used by many museums and galleries. The average eye level for most people is approximately 57 inchesoff the ground.
“On center” means that the middle of the piece is at 57 inches. By putting your art at this height, it’s noticed immediately. You’ll be able to view your piece without straining.
Also, this height lets your art complement other items in your room. It’ll be closer to the floor and furniture. This makes it easy to create harmony and balance.
Finding that sweet spot isn’t difficult. However, it does involve taking some accurate measurements. The first of which is finding the point that’s 57 inches off the ground.
Use a tape measure to find this point and mark it with a pencil. Now, you must find the center of the painting. You can do this with a tape measure or with some simple math.
To use the latter method, divide the height of your artwork by 2. If your piece is 12 inches tall, the focal point would be 6 inches.
Next, you need to take how the art will hang into account. Most paintings and large frames use a hanging wire to attach it to your wall anchor. The wire isn’t always in the center of the piece.
Also, wires have a bit of slack to ensure that the decor doesn’t slide horizontally on the wall. It’s important to find the distance between the top of the artwork and the tightened wire.
This will put the exact center of art where it should be. To do this, pull the wire towards the top of the artwork and take a measurement. Then, subtract this number from the focal point measurement you took earlier.
Add the final measurement you get to the 57-inch mark on your wall. This is going to be where you will place your anchor. Once you hang the art, the measurements you took should put the focal point of your piece exactly at 57 inches off the floor.
The 57-inch rule works great for blank walls. Yet, most people use art to complement their furniture and create a cohesive room design.In these cases, you may want to hang your art higher than the accepted standard.
Hanging art above a sofa or headboard offers balance and symmetry. The proper placement is just as important in these situations. You want your art to have a purpose and work with the furniture it’s paired with.
To find the right hanging spot, pay attention to white space. The visible parts of the wall behind your art will act as a natural frame. There should be between 6 and 8 inches between the bottom of the art piece and the top edge of your furniture.
It’s also good to think about symmetry. Think of the space behind your furniture like a small wall. Find the center of this section so that the art and the furniture have a shared focal point.
Arrangements and gallery walls are a great way to add visual interest to a room and show off many pieces. There are many gallery styles. Whether you choose to focus on a symmetrical pattern or an art cluster, the 57-inch rule still applies.
The best way to create an appealing arrangement is to treat the collection as one single unit. Figure out the placement of each piece before you start hanging. Then, figure out the center point of the entire collection.
Place this point at 57 inches on center. The eye will gravitate towards the focal point and move to other pieces.
White space should be considered as well. For gallery walls, there should be 3 to 6 inchesof empty space between each piece. The exact measurement will depend on the size of your art.
Achieving a gallery-style look is all about putting your art where it is most visible. Hanging artwork too high makes it easy to overlook when you enter the room. Finding the perfect position ensures that your collection becomes a visible part of the space.
Of course, personal preference trumps all rules. Not every technique is going to apply to every situation. As the saying goes, “There are no rules to art.” So, feel free to experiment until you find a placement that you love.