How High Should I Hang My Pictures?

It goes without saying that where you hang your pictures matters. And while virtually everyone has something hanging on their walls, it’s a process that’s not widely understood. When it comes to height, people tend to hang their pictures too high, creating a disconnect from other elements in the room. The goal here is to set the record straight, and make sure your pictures are hung in their proper place.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that your pictures should be centered at eye level. That can mean different things to different people, so as a rule, the center of the frame should be 58 inches off the floor. Be aware that the wire sits above the midpoint of the frame, so you can’t simply place the hanger at 58 inches. Instead, follow these simple steps:

1) Measure and mark 58 inches on your wall
2) Measure the height of your frame and divide by two (giving you the center)
3) Measure from the top of the frame to the wire (make sure the wire is tight, as though it were hanging on the wall)
4) Subtract the results of step 3 from the results of step 2
5) Add the results of step 4 to 58, and that’s where you place your hanger.

If this seems overly complicated, here’s an example to illustrate just how simple it really is:

1) Measure and mark 58 inches on your wall
2) Let’s assume your frame is 24 inches tall, divided by 2 = 12
3) Let’s also assume that the distance between the top of the frame and the wire is 5 inches
4) Subtract the 5 from 12 = 7
5) Adding 7 to 58 = 65 inches, which is where you place your hanger

If you’re planning on hanging several pictures as part of a group, treat all of the frames as if they’re one large frame. You’ll obviously need to measure each individually, but you’ll want the center of the grouping to be 58 inches off the floor.

And finally, when hanging a picture above furniture, it should be placed 6-8 inches above the top of the furniture. This can come into conflict with the 58 inch midpoint, particularly with low, modern furniture. It’s important that your pictures be a natural part of their surroundings, so you may want to consider a larger frame or a grouping of smaller ones if it simply ends up being too low.

So, by consistently following these easy steps, not only will each of your pictures hang at the correct height individually, you’ll also create a harmonious look and feel throughout your home. And since pictures go a very long way toward making a house a home, this is something that should not be overlooked.

Featured image by Lincoln Barbour