Updated March 1, 2023
Have you ever wondered what interior designers’ guidelines are for hanging wall decor in your home? Well, there are a few tricks that can help you curate wall art in your home that complements other decor seamlessly. When arranged and hung properly, wall decor can give off an elevated, professionally-designed look. However, when pictures are not hung correctly, they can really hinder the look of a space.
Keep in mind, there are a few things you need to be aware of before hanging wall decor. Make sure you know what kind of hardware to use, how to find a wall stud (if necessary), and choosing the right height for your decor. This saves you from making any unnecessary holes in the wall! There are a handful of mistakes that are quite common. But the good news is, they’re an easy fix!
Why Use Wall Decor in Your Home?
Having wall art and pictures in your home gives it a cohesive look while adding visual interest. It is a great way to show off your personal style and brings that extra touch of uniqueness. Have you ever walked into a home that has bare walls? It feels a bit empty and cold, doesn’t it? When you first enter someone’s home the walls are the first thing most people notice and wall decor is a focal point. A home feels more complete with the proper amount and correct placement of wall decor. They are a staple decor item that can help pull together the color scheme and overall vibe of your home which we discuss later in this post.
How to Hang Wall Decor for a Designer Look
There are a few techniques and best practices that will help to ensure you hang art properly and to make sure not to distract from your overall home design. Keeping these in mind will help create that elevated look you are seeking to accomplish.
1. Use the 57 rule.
Picture hanging is one of the areas of decorating where there are a few common mistakes. Firstly, if art is hung too high it can feel like it is floating. This mistake is often made when people are just trying to fill a space. If you find yourself wanting to hang your framed selection higher, it may mean that you need a larger piece or a few surrounding pieces to create a grouping. The distance from the floor and above furniture pieces should always be consistent.
To create a feeling that the art “belongs” on a wall, place it at eye level. This is about 57-60″ above the floor. This rule applies to just one piece or a group of pictures. For a group, consider it like one bigger piece. You will also keep this rule in place no matter if there is an odd or even number of pictures.
Use the 57 rule when hanging about furniture pieces as well. This method works for almost all furniture pieces: dressers, console tables, beds, couches, and sofas. Something to keep in mind: make sure you have at least 6-8″ above the furniture or you may need a slight adjustment.
2. Don’t put too much space between wall decor.
You should never have more than 2-4″ between pictures. This is true for both vertical and horizontal space between your pieces. This mistake is often made when working to create a gallery effect or if you have several pieces you want in one space. If there is still too much space left on the wall, adding another picture to the group is a better alternative than if you were adding more space between the pieces. Less is more in this instance. Too much space creates a disjointed feel for the overall grouping. When hanging multiple pieces, your goal should be that eyes easily flow over the entire wall.
3. Consider the width of the furniture vs. the width of the wall decor.
If you are creating a look centered around a bed, console table, couch, etc., the width of your art should ideally be about two-thirds the width of the furniture. Art should never be wider than your furniture. This guideline applies to anything from buffets to dressers. It is also true for single pieces of art as well as groupings.
4. Go bigger vs smaller.
It is always safer to go slightly bigger vs smaller. The scale helps give your walls a sense of balance. For most homes, ceilings are at least 8′ tall, and adding more size to the artwork hung creates harmony from floor to ceiling. When hung in the right spot, larger-scale pieces also give off a more elevated look.
Different Types of Wall Decor to Consider
Wall decor means many different things, whether it be wall hangings, family photos, a gallery wall, or mirrors, there are lots of options and a well-decorated home may include a variety of these throughout.
Adding decorative wall art will showcase your style and add personality to any room. Incorporate art pieces by mixing and matching different sizes, materials, and textures. Frame a collection of artwork and display it on the wall, Working with narrow walls or a hallway? Choose smaller pieces of art. If you are working with bigger walls, add some large pieces or canvas prints.
Hang family photos in a special place in your home that is always filled with lots of laughter and love. Whether that be the dining room where you gather around for special family occasions or the living room where you spend your evenings together. Opt to go with bold picture frames or a simple gallery wall.
Have a room with lots of natural light? This is the perfect room to hang a mirror as the mirror reflects light which creates a beautiful airy and elegant feel. A full-length mirror is a wonderful way to make a room look larger while a hanging mirror could be considered a statement piece. Add one over the mantel to make it a focal point in the room.
Best Places in Your Home for Wall Decor
If your sofa is pushed up against the wall, add an oversized mirror, a large canvas, or a gallery wall. Make your tv an art piece by adding a frame and a background image. Lean smaller art pieces on the shelves and layer with 2-3 items which creates visual interest.
Find a focal point in the dining room, typically it’s the wall over a sideboard or buffet. Add a large art piece to draw the eye in. Play off of the room’s accents and color palette to tie in the overall space.
A bedroom should give off a feeling of serenity and calmness. Adding a mirror over the dresser can bring in more natural light and make the room airy and warm. Stack two art pieces of the same size over a nightstand which creates an illusion of depth. Have a bare wall over the bed? Your eye is naturally drawn to that spot so add a large landscape piece of art or two portrait-sized pieces of art to create interest in that location.
Keep in mind to only add art pieces that can withstand steam and moisture. Artwork like prints and photographs (as long as they are framed and sealed in the back) make great pieces to add to the bathroom. Incorporate art over the toilet, above the towel rack, or next to the vanity.
This is the first room anyone sees when coming into a home so this is a good place for that WOW factor. You can fill your welcome wall with a bold statement like a large painting or a gallery wall with a mix of photos. Add some artwork or a mirror over your entryway console. Just make your artwork is cozy, warm, and inviting.
Best Tips for Hanging Wall Decor
Now that you know where to hang pictures, let’s look at some tricks for easier hanging. Here are a few pro tips and tricks for hanging pictures, mirrors, and other wall art. Use these hacks to make hanging pictures in your home an easier task.
1. Use Command Strips
Command products are perfect for lightweight pieces. They are a great risk-free approach to hanging pictures, leaving no damage to your walls. That means you won’t have to touch up paint after taking any photos down. It also gives you the freedom to change your selections in the future. A huge perk if you change out decor seasonally!
With Command products like the Velcro strips or the hooks, you always want to allow time for the sticky to “cure” on the wall before adding the weight of the piece you’re hanging. An hour or two is usually good, but skipping this step can make the product not as effective.
2. Use Painters Tape
By using painter’s tape, you can map out exactly where you plan your pictures to go. Once you have a visual on the wall, you will be able to take a step back and assess. Use this as step one before putting any nails into your walls!
You can also use painter’s tape to measure the distance between hanging hardware. That means no more worrying about removing screws or nails after you think you’ve found the perfect placement. You can rest assured that your spacing is completely accurate and aesthetically pleasing before damaging your walls.
3. Layer Pictures on Horizontal Surfaces
If you’re looking to create an extra chic look, you can layer pictures by leaning them in front of mirrors or other wall art on horizontal surfaces like tables or dressers. This creates a nice effect in any space, especially bedrooms or entryways. Leaning pictures or art creates an effortless look. You will also add interest by creating a vignette with a leaning piece of art. Some of the best places to layer art are dressers, console tables, sideboards, bookshelves, and wall shelves. You should still use the rules above for how high to hang anything that goes on the walls, but adding interest with the extra-leaning piece creates that effortlessly elevated look.
Favorite Affordable Art
Some of the best pieces of art can be found on affordable sites like Etsy. These pieces are great for hanging or layering. You can also check out the CASS methods for printing and framing these types of pieces here.
Art is a perfect way to showcase your personality. With these easy steps, you can use your wall decor to create a sophisticated look in any room of your home. Hopefully, these tips will help you do it with ease!