An exquisite New Orleans living room, a striking painting by Aaron Collier—so what’s wrong with this picture? I mean, besides the fact that I Photoshopped it:
To a lot of you it looks just fine. And that’s precisely the problem! A lot of you are hanging your pictures too high above your couch. What’s wrong with that picture is that I Photoshopped it higher up on the wall.
Here’s the original image from Lonny:
When hanging pictures, keep a couple of things in mind. First, it shouldn’t just be centered on a wall without regard to the other items in your home. In the Photoshopped image above, the painting is just floating on the wall with no relationship to the couch, or anything else. You’re saying, “But I thought white space was a good thing!” Well, it is, but you’re not losing any white space by hanging it lower. In fact, you’re improving things by giving the couch and the painting a relationship. In the original image from Lonny, the painting is part of a design which includes—rather than excludes—the couch.
Second, in general, pictures should be hung at eye-level. Not centered on the wall, and not above your head. At eye-level. Whose eye level, you ask? Take the average eye-level, which is 57 inches high. So the center of your picture should be at 57 inches. This is the standard practice in most galleries and museums, and believe me, it makes a huge difference.
I’d like to take a moment to apologize if I ever laughed in your apartment when I had to look up to see the photo hanging on your wall. I’m taller than the average woman! I shouldn’t be looking up to see that you took a nice photo of your kitty! Okay, maybe I’m not sorry that I laughed—but I’m sorry if it made you feel bad. Now… get to re-hanging everything!