Monday, March 7, 2011

How's It Hangin'?

We all have pet peeves.  I have quite a few....the dishwasher being loaded the "wrong way", an unmade bed, moving decorations (or anything, for that matter) around and not putting them back exactly as they were.  And don't get me started on disorder of any kind......You get the idea, so you might imagine how I feel when paintings are not hung correctly.  Too high (often), too low (not often enough), or uneven.  I'm not sure which bothers me more - too high or uneven.  Both really get to me.  But most of us, and I do include myself because it wasn't until my husband taught me the rules of hanging,  succumb to the pitfalls of how to hang a piece of art.

First in the rules:  Know from what position you will be viewing the work(s).  If you are seated, then the center of the image should be just above eye level.  If you are standing, such as in a hallway, then the center will be higher.

I found this gem of a rule at  "always hang your art at 57" on center. "On center" means that the middle of the picture is at 57" (obviously, the hook will be higher). Interestingly, the 57" standard represents the average human eye-height and is regularly used as a standard in many galleries and museums...

What WE have discovered is that if you stick to this standard, you create a harmony among ALL the pictures in your home, as they will always hang in relationship to one another from their centers, not their sides. Additionally, we have also found that this helps solve the problem many people have, which is that they hang their pictures too high.
Step By Step:
1. Measure and lightly mark 57" on the wall
2. Measure top of your picture to the middle (or take height and divide by 2)
3. Measure top of your picture to the tightened wire (a small amount)
4. Subtract this last amount to tell you how far above 57" your hook should go
5. Measure up from 57" with this last amount and lightly mark on the wall
1. Picture is 20" tall
2. Middle is 10" down from top (this should rest at 57")
3. Wire comes to 2" below the top
4. 10" - 2" = 8"
5. Lightly mark 8" above your first mark OR 65" on the wall
Though this may seem complicated to read, it is quite simple when you do it. The thing to always remember is that the CENTER of all your pictures are hanging at the same 57", and you are just figuring out where the hook goes above it.
This 57" also applies to groups of pictures. Think of a group as ONE picture. After you arrange how you want them all to hang (doing this on the floor makes it easier), start with the center picture/pictures and get them at 57" on center. Then surround them with the rest of the group.

Good luck.  And call me if you need a tape measure.