Artwork is an important design element in a home, and nothing can kill the impact of a great piece of art than hanging it incorrectly (usually too high). I have to admit, there is only one reason the artwork and photographs in my home are hung properly, and that is because of my husband (also engineer), Paul. Left up to me, our home would look ridiculous (and there would be a lot more holes in our walls).
Don’t have a “Paul” at home? Not to worry. There is one simple rule in hanging artwork correctly, and that is the 57″ Rule.
What is the 57″ Rule? Hang anything, anywhere, but make sure it is hung at 57″ on center from the floor. The reason this rule works in every situation is because this is the average human line of sight. This method is even used in museums and art galleries – because it works!
How do you calculate the 57″ Rule? Start by measuring 57″ from the floor surface and lightly mark the wall. Then take 1/2 the total height of the artwork you are hanging, and add that in. For example, if your artwork is 20″ high, you will add 10″ to 57″, so the top of the artwork should measure 67″ from the floor once it is hung.
A few things to keep in mind…
- Don’t forget to incorporate the mechanism used to hang your artwork in the height calculation. For example, if the hanging bracket or tightened hanging wire is 3″ below the top of the artwork, you will want to add 3″ to the hanging measurement to make sure your artwork is at 57″ on center.
- The 57″ rule may not apply to every situation. If you are hanging artwork over a piece of furniture or fireplace mantel , make sure it is hung at least 6-8″ above the furniture or mantel. It may exceed the 57″ rule, but it will still look right!
- If your ceilings are very high, you may want to raise the artwork up a bit so it doesn’t make the wall look squatty. Hanging artwork 60-63″ above a floor with high ceilings will look more balanced.
Dream. Build. Live.