Decorating Rules: How to Hang your Pictures the Proper Height

12:00 PM

*I guest posted at House of Grace over the weekend and I had gotten such a huge response from it that I felt like I needed to re-post it on my blog*

I love decorating and how a room can make you feel. Although, I have walked into many homes where the pictures were just not hung properly and it's made a room feel off. You'll be surprised how different your room can feel when you follow these simple rules.

So, on with the rules!!

Rule #1 – Eye Level

The rule of thumb is to hang your pictures at eye level. Well, who’s eye level?! I have the answer for you!

57 inches on center

“On center” means the center of the picture should be 57 inches from the ground. This rule is great for a picture that isn’t above a sofa or table.

Rule #2 – Picture above a sofa, chair, or table

The rule is to hang the picture 6-12 inches above the sofa, chair, or table. So, the bottom of the frame is 6-12 inches from the top of the sofa, chair, or table.

(These pictures are hung to follow the curve of the headboard.)

Rule #3 – Groupings

  • To find the proper height for a grouping:

1.       Lay out your pictures on the floor first to get the grouping you like.
2.       Find the center of your grouping.
3.       Measure 57 inches from the floor or 6-12 inches from the sofa, chair, or table.
4.       The center of your grouping should be 57 inches from the floor  or 6-12 inches from the sofa, chair, or table. 
  • Keep at least one edge of the grouping in a straight line. Example: vertical, horizontal, or center.
  •  If you’re hanging a grouping of pictures, space them a frames width apart.
(This grouping is 57 inches from the center of the grouping; hung vertically because the wall is tall and narrow.)

Extra Tips:

  • Use the proper size picture for the size of the wall. If you have a large wall, don’t put a small picture on it. Instead, use a larger picture or have a large grouping that fills the wall.
  • Use vertical pictures on narrow walls and vise-versa.
  • Don’t be afraid to over-lap a lamp in-front of your pictures.
  • Don’t be afraid to adjust the rules to work around obstacles.
(Example: Tall narrow wall with vertical pictures to fill space; adjusted to fit above light switches; lamp over-laps pictures)

(These pictures were adjusted because of the light switch and they are an appropriate size.)

These pictures were taken at my parents house. Everything I have learned about decorating I have learned from my mom. She is certified in re-design but she has also always had an "eye" for good design. I have been able to accompany her on her re-designs. 

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  1. Hi Sarah, I found you on Serenity Now. These are great tips! I always struggle with hanging pictures and wonder what the "proper" height is, because what's eye-level to me may not be eye-level to the next person. In any case, now I know! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great tips! I'll have to remember these. =)

  3. Great information and illustrations. TALU

  4. awesome - thanks for sharing these tips on Talu!

  5. Hi! So glad to come across this post in your blog! I do have a question though: When you say "adjust for a lightswitch," how exactly do you mean? I guess my question is: Do you keep the height and adjust width-wise, or do you keep the picture centered and adjust vertically?


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