Thursday, November 17, 2016

How to hang art (correctly)

how to hang and display art

Whether you’ve been an art-lover all of your life or just recently fell in love, the step from the gallery to properly displaying a newly acquired piece in your home usually feels gargantuan and is filled with lots of questions.

How high should I hang it? 

Should it stand alone or be grouped with other artwork? 

Where should it be displayed? 

What do I use to hang it? 

How can I protect it?

Don’t fret. I’ve got you covered with some great ideas on how to display art in your home, how to hang pictures like a pro and some best practices to keep your art investment secure for years to come.

how to hang and display art
Sultry Sunflowers, 20x60" is a great over the sofa artwork sure to please him or her

Display art in your home

I know you set out to find artwork to complement a certain room or to put the finishing touch on a remodel. However, just as often, you might just fall in love with a piece of art that you cannot live without. Whatever the route that brought you and your new artwork together, the next stop is to find the proper place in your home to display it.

Since I always get asked the best way to hang art, I have created a Pinterest board for you to use for inspiration and to get the creative juices flowing. While no one but you can tell you what works best in your home, there are a few rules for hanging pictures I wanted to share with you.

Seven  key rules for hanging pictures

1. Hang art at eye level

2. Leave 2-2 ½” between pictures to utilize wall space

3. Art reflects your personality; don’t settle for a just reflection (mirrors are not art!)

I created this pin just for you!

How to protect art in your home

Even though most of us can’t control our home environment to be as art-friendly as curators can in museums, there is still plenty we can do to protect art in our home. Here are the factors you need to consider to best protect your artwork:

4. Location is everything

Not every room in our home is art-friendly. Rooms with walls that are shared with the exterior of your home typically experience more temperature fluctuations—bad news for artwork. Interior walls are a better choice to hang artwork. For similar reasons, rooms with windows and doors are less stable for artwork. It’s also never a good idea to display artwork where it’s directly impacted by a heat source such as a fireplace or portable heater. Ideally, you want to keep your home around 70 degrees at all times, the optimum temp for artwork.

how to hang and display art
It's easy to hang gallery wrapped canvas that doesn't require a frame, like this original floral painting depicting daffodils

5. Avoid Sun damage 

how to hang and display art
Add the outdoors and modern color and texture with abstract tree art

Light can cause considerable damage to your artwork, but there are alternatives to living in darkness for the dedicated art collector who wants to preserve their collection. First, hang pictures where they will not be exposed to direct sunlight. Be sure to close blinds or curtains when the room is not in use. There are also options to install UV-blocking film to windows and skylights. To create optimum lighting for viewing artwork without overdoing it, use a dimmer switch to control incandescent low-wattage bulbs that have no UV. Picture lights designed to attach to frames should never be used. Light levels in a museums are controlled to 50 lux for art on paper up to 150 lux for paintings, while a piece in your home subjected to direct sunlight would experience 20,000 lux or more. It’s no wonder that controlling the light that directly hits your artwork is critical to its longevity.

how to hang and display art
soft and lovely, protect delicate watercolors under glass
6. Frames are your friends

Frames not only complement your artwork and décor, the glass you choose can provide significant UV protection for your artwork. Museum-grade glass, although expensive, can block out 99% of harmful UV rays compared to the zero up to 50% protection you get with non-glare or regular glass from frames typically sold at craft stores.

Add  a pop of pink with a Playful Flamingo

7. Use Proper hanging technique

The proper materials and techniques should be used to hang your artwork to protect it and the furniture or other art that might get damaged if it falls. When in doubt or if you need to re-hang all of your artwork after a move, consider hiring a professional art hanger who will know based on the weight of the piece and the hanging surface, the right hardware to use.

If you’re on the hunt for a new piece of art to add to your collection, pop on over to my online gallery and we can collaborate on the best place to display it in your home.

About Me (Miriam Schulman)

Miriam Schulman, founder of The Inspiration Place
In case we haven’t met yet, I’m a watercolor and mixed media artist. My art has been featured in numerous publications such as Somerset Studio, and Im the founder of The Inspiration Place  where I give my students stepping stones to create beautiful art as well as the emotional support they need to stay inspired. See the art I create at or leran how to paint with me at