Looking to give a dull room in your house some new life? A few framed family photos or other pieces of artwork can take any room from blah to beautiful.
Proper placement of your wall art can feel a little intimidating, though. You have all this blank space and want to make sure whatever you put on the wall has maximum visibility. Where do you even start?
Interior designers start with figuring out how high to hang any wall decor, and it’s as simple as a single number: 57 inches.
The 57-inch rule for hanging art applies to everything from home decor to museum displays.
You should always make sure your artwork’s center is displayed 57 inches from the floor. When the center of the artwork is visible at eye level, it makes it much more comfortable to view, as otherwise you’d have to strain to be able to see it.
But why 57 inches? It’s all about finding a standard eye level that’s comfortable for most people.
Displaying wall decor at your own eye level sounds logical. However, you want your walls to draw the eye of everyone in your home, not just yours.
How to Hang Artwork with the 57-inch Rule
The 57-inch rule is not difficult to apply, but you do need two basic tools: a measuring tape and a soft pencil.
It’s important to remember that the 57-inch rule applies to the artwork’s center, not the frame. To get started, mark your wall at the 57-inch height, then find the center of your artwork or photo frame by marking the middle, vertically and horizontally, on the back of your art. Measure your hanging point on the wall from there, keeping in mind that if you’re hanging a frame from a wire, you’ll need to account for how much it gives.
Working around your furniture, and with multiple pieces of art or photos? The art sellers at Simply Framed also recommend keeping frames at least 8 inches above furniture, and separating multiple pieces of art by 3 to 6 inches.
Exceptions to the 57-inch Rule
With every rule, especially in art, there are always some exceptions.
Heather McKeown of Land and Sky Designs said this rule is more of a guideline and can be “broken” depending on the situation.
“The height needs to feel ‘right’ to you,” McKeown told The Spruce.
“Each space is unique, especially within the home,” she added.
Specifically, if you are hanging artwork over a piece of furniture, McKeown recommends “working ‘by eye'” instead of a specific height rule.
Of course, homeowners should use their best judgment with their room decor. When it comes to your home, it’s important not to be too rigid and remember that it’s OK to break the rules every now and then to make sure your home feels unique to you.