How to Hang Framed Pictures on Walls

Updated on July 26, 2018
viryabo profile image

Discovering the therapeutic benefit of indoor water features with my aquarium, I soon found that tabletop waterfalls gave me the same effect

A cluster of framed art arranged in an asymmetrical style. A nice arrangement for a vintage inspired look.
A cluster of framed art arranged in an asymmetrical style. A nice arrangement for a vintage inspired look.

There are many creative ways to hang framed pictures on your interior walls. While wall art must look organised whichever way they are arranged on a wall, there is no hard and fast rule as to how they should be laid out.

Interior designers and home decorators can usually tell the types of artwork that go well with the themes of their interior projects and are quite adept at arranging art in aesthetically pleasing and effective manners.

But you can too, because there are no rules cast in stone on how to hang art. There are a few basic principles that represent what is desirable to different people, however.

So what are the best or most creative ways to hang framed wall art? The answer is that it basically depends on:

  1. Size of the wall
  2. Shape of the wall
  3. Wall height
  4. Position of the wall
  5. Available wall space
  6. Backdrop or a feature wall
  7. Colours/style/size of picture frames

Symmetrical or Asymmetrical Arrangement?

While many may feel much more comfortable and safe with symmetrical arrangements of their wall art, there is no reason why you can't go asymmetrical.

An asymmetrical arrangement includes different sizes, styles, and colours of picture frames arranged haphazardly on a wall.

This is a nice symmetrical arrangement of framed art that works as a backdrop for the sofa. Simple and catching layout on the wall.
This is a nice symmetrical arrangement of framed art that works as a backdrop for the sofa. Simple and catching layout on the wall.
A simple and symmetrical 2-art wall hanging. It also works as a backdrop for furniture.
A simple and symmetrical 2-art wall hanging. It also works as a backdrop for furniture.
  • If you want your wall art to stand out conspicuously against the room's decor, it's best to have plain neutral wall colours. If you must have a vibrant wall colour, let this colour appear somewhere in the artwork.
  • It is best to relate the subject matter of the artwork to the character of the room.
  • Create colour accents on a wall by hanging small framed pictures with different colour frames. This can be a feature wall that is set in harmony with the general interior scheme.
  • For a cluster arrangement, artwork must not be arranged indiscriminately but rather in a form of simple geometric patterns—triangle, square, line or rectangle.
  • For different themes, shapes and sizes of art hung on one wall (posters, pictures, photographs, wall art), set them close in a mass arrangement. This makes the entire wall look like a beautiful scenic view.
  • Hang one large painting on the most significant wall in a room. At times, interior walls with too many artworks can be stressful and heavy on the eyes, especially if they have ornate frames.

When you hang one large wall art, make sure at least one of its colours must be repeated in the decoration of the room.
When you hang one large wall art, make sure at least one of its colours must be repeated in the decoration of the room.

If you have rooms with heavily decorated walls—scenic paper, heavily patterned wallpaper, special paint effects, murals etc.—do not hang framed art on them, because the paintings will end up being totally lost in the background.

Tip: Pictures and framed artworks can be hung on wall surfaces using hooks, nails or screws driven well into the wall. They must be fixed near the top of the picture frame. This ensures that the picture is hung as flat as is possible against the wall surface.

Dos and Don'ts

Dos

  • Groups of three pictures could either be hung with the largest in the centre or two of the same size on both sides of the third. It is good if the three artworks are related in character and colour scheme.
  • Small pictures look better when hung at eye-view level. Larger paintings that will be viewed from a distance are best hung at a higher level.
  • A group of artwork arranged asymmetrically can be placed on wall surfaces that are not a central point of the room.
  • Make sure that hanging artwork ropes or wires do not show when paintings are hung on walls. It looks so tacky when hanging elements become obvious.

Don'ts

  • Do not hang oil paintings and watercolour paintings in close proximity. It will become inharmonious unless they are similar in colour tones.
  • Hanging artwork with vibrant colours next to black and white sketches is inappropriate. They must not be placed close together on the same wall to avoid a situation that's odd and inconsistent.

How Do You Hang Your Artwork?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2010 viryabo

    Comments Are Welcome

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      • JanMaklak profile image

        JanMaklak 

        5 years ago from Canada

        Great article. As a photographer I always want to come up with interesting ways to hang my work.

      • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR

        viryabo 

        5 years ago

        Thanks ignugent, and thank you for visiting.

        Cheers

      • profile image

        ignugent17 

        5 years ago

        Thanks for sharing the tips. It is very useful :-)

      • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR

        viryabo 

        7 years ago

        Thanks Angel, i appreciate your visit and nice comments.

        GodBless

      • angelaglancy profile image

        angelaglancy 

        7 years ago from Seattle

        Excellent hub with some great tips. Thanks for sharing.

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