Hanging artwork 101

If we had our way it would be on the national curriculum, but hanging art is a skill nobody's taught. Benefit from our lifetime of fastening faux-pas as we put some science (learnt the hard way) behind the guesswork.


Do: Hang works to appear around 150cm from the floor. The middle of the artwork will be about 145cm — the hook needs to be higher. This is the average human eye level and used as standard in galleries. This way, the different elements of the room flow together. And if all the art around your home hangs at the same height, it’ll feel consistent.

Don't: Place artwork too high. If it's too far from everything else in the room, it can look disjointed.


Do: Plan the layout before going anywhere near a hammer.  Cut out paper templates the same size as your frames and attach to the wall to find the perfect spot prior to marking your wall.

Don’t: Treat multiple images as separate entities. Bring them together and imagine them as one picture. Find the centre point of the group, and use this as a guide to hang them.

Do: Consider the gap between furniture and the bottom edge of artwork. Aim for space of around 15 to 20 cm, but if this clashes with the first 'do', find your own happy medium between the two.

Don't: Use art that is too small. It’s daunting to choose a statement, impactful piece, so people often use a medium sized picture that gets lost in the space.  Too big is always better than too small. Original artwork is expensive but there are increasing numbers of affordable options to consider (like these).

Do: Use picture hooks. Two hooks placed equidistant from the centreline of the picture will keep artwork level and save it gradually going skewiff over time. As a general rule, a one-nail picture hook will hold up to around 13 kilos.

Don’t: Berate yourself if you do everything right but the final result isn't total perfection. However strong your picture hanging game, wonky walls cannot be corrected entirely.