Lately, you may be finding yourself home much more than you had anticipated. If you're feeling extra ambitious and have decided to rearrange the artwork in your home, or hang that piece that has been sitting in your basement, we would like to share some simple yet effective tips we consider each time we hang a piece of artwork in a client's home.
1. What height should it be?
Although the answer to this question is absolutely subjective, there are a few "rules" to follow to make
the placement more aesthetically pleasing. Avoid using lines of sight (implied lines such as the tops of doors or windows) to line artwork up with. You want your artwork to create its own visual space in a room without being encumbered by other architectural elements in the room. As far as height is concerned, you want to consider the focal point of the piece, and make sure it is not too high or too low for your own sake. This is something you will see every day; make sure you can enjoy it!
The golden rule of hanging a picture is to have the center of the photo be at 57 inches. This reflects the standard eye-height of the average person, and is used as a standard in most art galleries and museums
Extra tips for placement: Avoid using things such as light switches, built in speakers, or thermometers as aids when it comes to centering pieces in a space - whether horizontally or vertically. If you can, pretend they aren't there unless you HAVE to work around them.
Consider decorative pieces and architectural elements that can skew the measurements in a space such as window curtains or door and cabinet swings.
2. Afraid of marking up your walls?
If you have an installation ahead of you that requires a lot of measuring and marking, use some painters tape instead of drawing directly on your walls. If you are able to measure and mark on tape, after the installation is complete, it is easy to simply remove the tape from the walls, leaving them looking as clean as they started. This is a tactic we implement on every installation we do. If you have matte finished walls, you will especially love this!
If you do have graphite marks on your walls already, the easiest and quickest way to remove them is with a magic eraser. Just be cautious of delicate paint and sheen. Might want to try it in a hidden area first.
3. Do you have the appropriate hardware?
Before you hang a piece of artwork on your wall, there are a few things to consider about the safety of your hardware, both on the piece and the hooks/nails in the wall. The last thing you want is for a precious family photo or professionally framed piece to come crashing down. Unfortunately, being in the restoration business, this is something we see more often than we'd like!
If your piece is on a wire: gently tug on your wire in an upward direction. If the wire moves once it should be tense, it is most likely not safe to hang. Double check the screw eyes or D-rings the wire is attached to and make sure they are screwed into the frame with
a. an appropriately sized screw and
b. that is is securely screwed into the frame itself.
If your piece is on a saw tooth or two level d-rings: again, make sure all hardware is appropriately attached to the frame itself. Your hardware should not be able to move easily. If you have 2 d-rings with no wire, measure to make sure they are level before measuring and hanging. It is MUCH easier to move a d-ring on the back of your artwork than to move a hook in a wall!
Use the correct hooks in the wall:
Make sure that your hardware you are using in the wall is hefty enough to hold the weight of your piece. Each size hook usually comes with a recommended max weight per hook/nail. If you have a heavier piece, double check to make sure what you have on hand is appropriate. Your artwork is going to have a constant downward gravitational pull on whatever hardware you use, and over time, if its not the right hook for the job, it will start to fail until it falls.
Each piece is unique and obviously varies greatly in size, weight, and installation needs. However, if you approach each install with these simple initial considerations, we believe you will be setting yourself up for a successful finished product. While we have to take some time off from being the ones doing this for you, we are happy to be able to share how we initially approach each item we are given to hang!