August 27, 2021

Hanging Pictures Correctly: Tips & ideas on Arrangement and Proper Height

Wall pictures are a great way to give your home an individual touch and breathe life into white walls. Thereby, you have countless possibilities to decorate your living room, bedroom, hallway and co. with beautiful pictures. Whether large-format individual pictures or picture galleries: If you follow a few simple rules, you can give free rein to your creativity and thus give your apartment more personality.

Hanging pictures: Basic rules 

Calm, monochrome backgrounds are best. If you want to hang your pictures on a patterned wallpaper or a highly textured background, it is recommended to combine the pictures with mounts so that they stand out better against the wall.

If the pictures are color-coordinated with furniture and home accessories such as carpets and curtains, the entire arrangement will look more harmonious in no time - a common thread is created that runs through the entire room.

If a group of pictures is to decorate your walls, make sure that the distance between the frames is correct. A picture wall looks particularly harmonious if there is the same distance between the pictures in height and/or width. As a rule of thumb, you can assume 5 to 15 cm. 

For frames arranged in groups of pictures, there should also be at least one straight line. This can run either horizontally or vertically. This makes the whole look cohesive and harmonious.

To define the right place for each picture, you simply have to try out which arrangement you like best. To do this, you can either cut out newsprint in the appropriate formats and lay out the individual pieces on the floor in the way they would eventually hang on the wall as pictures. It will be even more vivid if you attach the outlines of the various picture formats to the wall with masking tape. That way, you can visualize exactly how the arrangement will look.

Alternatively, take a picture of your wall and use an image-editing program to insert the images as you would ultimately arrange them. This way, you can easily move individual frames back and forth.

Hang pictures the right way: Nail & Drill

In order to hang pictures correctly and, above all, securely on the wall, you will of course need the right tools. Depending on the wall, picture size and weight, choose nails or screws and hammer or drill.

Basically, you can select short steel nails of 4 to 5 cm for fastening to almost any wall. The larger and heavier the picture, the larger the nails will need to be. For super heavy murals weighing more than 10 kg, it is best to use dowels.

In addition, the wall texture plays a role in the choice of suspension: For rather porous walls, you should rather use screws instead of nails for a secure suspension.

Before drilling or hammering, it is now necessary to check that there are no water or power lines running under the wall. To rule this out for sure, you can use a line finder. With such a locating device, gas, water and power lines can be reliably traced.

By the way: Before mounting pictures, it is advisable to take a closer look at the wall. For example, an impact or cordless drill is sufficient for soft sandstone or brick walls, while you are better off using a hammer drill for hard concrete walls.

Hanging Pictures the right Way
Lefty Kasdaglis, The Poster Club

Where is the best place to hang my pictures? Tips for single images

To give your mural the right stage to make its full impact, it should be hung in a way that gives it room to breathe, but also doesn't look lost on a large wall.

Ideal is a spatially limited wall space such as the wall between two windows or above a sofa, sideboard or bed. A single picture comes so optimally to the validity, if the proportions of picture and furniture are well coordinated. Read more about how to decorate your sideboard properly.

In addition, there should be no other pictures in the vicinity that could compete with the picture. 

In addition, the picture motif and frame should match the background. That is, they should stand out in color and ideally be in maximum contrast with the wall color. In this way, the image stands out best and attracts the eye of the viewer.

perfectly integrated pictures
Sidekix Media, Trend_io
right hanged pictures

Hanging pictures: the right height

The rule of thumb is that murals are best at eye level. Accordingly, the center of the image should be at about 140 to 150 cm above the floor. In addition, the optimal height of the picture depends on the room or where the picture is mainly viewed from. For example, pictures in the hallway can hang a little higher, while in the living room or dining room they may be placed on the wall below eye level, since in these rooms they are usually viewed from a sitting position on the sofa or dining table.

By the way, hanging a picture above the wall behind a piece of furniture is an excellent way to draw more attention to the furniture and generally make the room more lively and varied. At the same time, the distance should not be too big, but also not too small. A mural above the sofa ideally has about 30 cm distance from the edge of the sofa, so as not to visually depress the couch.

If you want to hang several pictures above the sofa, the height of the group of pictures is based on the height of the largest or the central picture.  

Tip: In principle, murals look very harmonious and coherent in a room, if they are oriented to the edges of the room - doors, windows and furniture. 

wall of pictures
Kam Idris, Desenio

Tips you can use to mark the correct height of the picture on the wall

1. Place the picture frame on an old newspaper page.

2. Trace the outline on the newsprint.

3. Cut out the outline.

4. Turn the frame over, so the hangers are facing up.

5. Place the newsprint on top.

6. Using the pencil, poke a hole in the newspaper where you can feel the hangers under the paper.

7. Tape your template of newsprint to the wall.

8. Use a level to check that the stencil is level.

9. Draw the drill or nail holes on the wall through the holes in the template using a pencil.

10. Hanging pictures without drilling & without nail with cord

Pictures that seem to float weightlessly on the wall look especially elegant. The secret is transparent cords made of nylon, to which pictures are attached to a gallery rail by means of hooks. The rail itself is installed on the edge of the wall to the ceiling - so it is necessary to drill. However, the visible part of the wall remains completely intact and the drill holes for the gallery rail disappear behind it. 

The advantage of the elegant picture hanging with cord: you can move your pictures or exchange them for others as you please without much effort. In this way, you give your wall a fresh look again and again. 

Tip: There are also gallery rails that allow you to do without drilling. These flexible hanging systems can be easily glued to the wall and are ideal if you want to hang light pictures - for example, with plastic frames.

Hanging pictures without drilling & without nail with cord

Particularly elegant look, pictures that seem to float weightlessly on the wall. The secret is transparent cords made of nylon, to which pictures are attached to a gallery rail by means of hooks.The rail itself is installed on the edge of the wall to the ceiling - so it must be drilled. However, the visible part of the wall remains completely intact and the drill holes for the gallery rail disappear behind it. 

The advantage of the elegant picture hanging with cord: you can move your pictures as you like or exchange them for others without much effort. This way you can give your wall a fresh look again and again. 

Tip: There are also gallery rails that allow you to do without drilling. These flexible hanging systems can simply be stuck to the wall and are ideal if you want to hang light pictures - for example, with plastic frames.

interior picture design
A Beautiful Mess, Nicolette Johnson
black and white picture wall

Hanging multiple pictures the right way: the different hanging systems.

Especially long, white walls look more lively when they are decorated by several pictures at once. Picture galleries are a great way to give your rooms more life and personality. 

Here you have different options for arrangement - clean and structured or a little more varied, but still clear. Depending on the furniture and architecture of the room, and what your particular style of living is, different hangings will lend themselves.

Hanging pictures: In a lower or upper line

For a clean look, pictures are aligned on a straight line and placed side by side. You can decide whether to align each picture with the top or bottom edge of the frame, making the pictures flush at the top or bottom. 

different stiles of picture hanging
The Hambledon, Desenio

Hanging pictures: Centerline

When hanging on the centerline, the pictures are hung above and below an imaginary reference line on the wall.

Alternatively, you can hang the pictures centered on the reference line itself to create a consistent focal point.

All three hanging arrangements - by bottom, top or center line - create a tidy look and are ideal picture arrangements for minimalist interiors.

centerline picture hanging
The Poster Club
how to hang pictures centerline

Hanging pictures: Cross hanging or Petersburg hanging

The Petersburg hanging requires a little more planning, as the position of the various pictures must be coordinated so that the entire arrangement appears harmonious and balanced in the end. 

The hanging is also known as cross hanging, as it is helpful to align the pictures according to an imaginary cross. It is best to proceed by arranging the frames around the largest or most significant work. 

cross hanging pictures
how to crosshang pictures

Hanging pictures: Row or grid hanging

Whether one or several rows of pictures: Hanging in rows creates structure on your walls and is excellent if you prefer a tidy look. Pictures in grid hanging look particularly harmonious if the distance between the individual frames is exactly the same - 5 cm is ideal here. 

In addition, it is best to choose uniform frames for all pictures - this additionally supports the homogeneous look. However, if you want to set a creative accent, you can pick a colored frame that stands out. 

On the other hand, if you prefer a simple black and white look, you can break up the image gallery with a single frame in black or white, but wider than the others and perhaps different in design.

In addition, it is recommended that you choose motifs for the grid hanging that go well together in terms of color or theme. The more rows of pictures that make up the gallery, the more important it is to have a homogeneous overall look.

Tip: You can combine pictures of different sizes with mounts to bring them to the right format.

grit hanged pictures
Jenna Sue Design, Desenio
how to hang your pictures in a grid

Hanging pictures: Frame hanging

With frame hanging, the pictures are placed in an imaginary frame. This can take on very different shapes from rectangular to square to oval and round. 

The advantage of this hanging is that the imaginary frame shape is not recognizable at first, but still gives the individual pictures a frame and makes them seem to belong together. This makes the wall look lively and structured at the same time. 

Tip: If you want to hang your pictures in frames, be sure to lay them out on the floor beforehand or tape the outlines of the picture frames to the wall with masking tape and make sure the spacing is consistent and neither too large nor too small.

frame hanged pictures
how to frame hang your pictures

The interior design of the St. Galler Kantonalbank premises is adapted to the different needs of each location. The meeting rooms of the Frankfurt and Stuttgart bank branches, for example, are minimalist and modern in design, while the Munich branch is housed in an Art Nouveau villa and is correspondingly dignified.

We do not own the right some of the images . We do try to provide the original source, however, this is not always possible. Should you wish to have an image removed or you would like to make a  correction, please contact us

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