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How high do I hang my art work

I was invited into the home of one of our customers last week and was over the moon with what greeted me.  On the walls were a collection of art works, correctly hung, each encompassing a particular aspect of family life. They included travel photos, a wall collage and two, feature photos of family celebrations. The collection was highlighted with two hero pieces of original art.  

I instantly felt the invitation to wander over and start a conversation with the owner. Being at eye height, it was easy to see the details of each piece. I could step up close to appreciate the family’s journey and share their memories.

ART WORK NEEDS TO HANG WHERE YOU CAN SEE IT AND IN RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER FURNITURE AND OBJECTS IN THE ROOM. THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF CREATING CONVERSATIONS AND VISUAL HARMONY IN A ROOM.

WHAT IS THE CORRECT HEIGHT TO HANG YOUR ART WORK?

Opinions may vary, but the one that is the most implemented is this:

Measure 1.7m up from the floor. Pin point an imaginary line, horizontally through the middle of your art work. Line this up at the 1.7mark on the wall.

In most cases, this is a good height for the ‘average’ adult to view an art work and appreciate the detail, composition and detail as they stand directly in front.

Artwork hung in a child’s room would be lower. A very tall adult and a very small adult sharing a home would work out the best height where both could be comfortable seeing the artwork and its detail.  A tall person could have the artwork a little higher.

SHOWING SPACE AROUND YOUR ART WORK

Stand back and check the height at 1.7m to ensure that the art looks in perspective to the size of the wall. You may need to raise the artwork slightly, but not more than a few centimeters. On a very large wall, or a stairwell, a large abstract can be viewed from a distance and higher than a family photo, portraits or travel photos that require detail.

HANGING A PHOTO WALL

When designing and hanging multiple frames in a photo wall, the same rule applies.

Lay your collection out on the floor as to how you would like them to be arranged on the wall.

Pin point the hero piece. Create that middle, horizontal line in that piece and sit that line at the 1.7m mark on your wall.  This will anchor the collection and from here you can work other pieces up the wall, across the wall and maybe slightly lower if your photo wall allows.

HANGING NEAR FURNITURE

When in your own home, hanging the artwork at the 1.7m mark on the horizontal also creates a relationship between the art work and furniture. The art is more integrated with other pieces of furniture in the room. Art work hung above a sofa should be low to the sofa to show the colour, texture and shape relationship between the two pieces. The space on the wall is above and around it, giving focus to the vignette created.

PROFESSIONAL GALLERY HANGING

Most Art Galleries implement the 1.7m rule. However, when viewing very large art works, such as an old masters exhibition, the large art works require you to step back until your eye meets that imaginary, horizontal line through the middle of the art – that centre line should be directly in front of your eye line. It is then that the art work becomes focused and defined.

Art Galleries usually hang artwork at 1.7m from the floor to the horizonal middle of the art work.

WE WERE EXCITED TO ATTEND ONE OF OUR CLIENT’S, LEAH THIESSEN’S, EXHIBITION AT THE ROCHFORD GALLERY, SYDNEY. THESE LARGE ART WORKS DEMONSTRATE THE HANGING HEIGHT OF 1.7M FOR PERFECT VIEWING.

SUMMARY – TIPS FOR HANGING ART WORK TO CREATE A PROFESSIONAL LOOK

  • HANG ART WORK TO CREATE A RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER FURNITURE
  • HANG ART AWAY FROM SOMETHING YOU WANT TO HIDE
  • AVOID HANGING ART NEAR THE TV – SO MUCH GOING ON
  • CHANGE YOUR ART WORK AROUND FROM TIME TO TIME FOR A FRESH LOOK
  • 1.7M IS THE STANDARD HEIGHT FROM FLOOR TO THE MIDDLE OF YOUR ART WORK
  • GIVE YOUR ART WORK SPACE
  • CLUSTER, RATHER THAN CLUTTER – NOT ONE ART WORK ON EVERY WALL.

Keeping these things in mind, I hope you have lots of fun hanging your art work. There’s no doubt that by ensuring the pieces are easy to see, the benefit is that people can enjoy them, engage in meaningful conversations and share your life’s story. In addition, you are adding a visual impact to your walls that helps to make your home a fun place to be.

Jen Hutchison

Designer

Coastal Framing and Design 2019.

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