How to Maximize Your Wall Space: 4 Golden Rules for Hanging Art
We hate math just as much as the next art geek—but when it comes to hanging art on the wall, spending a few minutes to take measurements and follow formulas can make all the difference. Luckily, interior designers have devised a set of golden rules to find the perfect size piece for any space. Here, we reveal some crucial tricks of the trade.
1. Calculate the Perfect Width
If you’re hanging a painting, drawing, print, or any other artwork on the wall over a piece of furniture, such as a bed or sofa, look for artworks that are between 65 percent and 85 percent of the furniture’s total width. Anything larger will make your furniture look comically small, and anything smaller will leave too much blank space. Here's a collection of 10 couch-ready artworks over 40 inches wide, which for most people will hit the sweet spot.
Having trouble finding a piece you like that’s wide enough for your setting? Why not consider a diptych or a triptych—i.e., works that come in sets of twos or threes, respectively—that adds up to the width you’ve calculated? (Remember to account for two to five inches of space in between the works.) Browse our collections of diptychs and triptychs here.
3. Use the Rule of Three-Eighths
Use this rule when working with an empty wall. The white space on either side of the artwork should be roughly three-eighths of the width of a painting. To calculate your ideal width, simply multiply the length of your wall by 0.57. Having trouble finding the size you need? Here are 22 artworks available in variable sizes that will fit like a glove.
4. Anchor the Room
Don't just hang the artworks at eye level—because, frankly, it's just your eye level. Instead, interior decorators and curators always tend to hang a work with a standard 58-inch distance from the floor to the artwork's center. If your ceilings are really high, bump that up to 60 inches. And if the artwork is over furniture, have the bottom of the piece end 8 to 10 inches above the headboard or back of the sofa—hanging the artwork too high will leave your room feeling unanchored. For those of you who are too fabulous for white walls all together, ignore everything we've just told you and instead opt for wallpaper designed by Damien Hirst, or wallpaper from the Maharam Serpentine Galleries Wallpaper collection.
Marc Camille Chaimowicz's Pavilion wallpaper of the Maharam Serpentine Galleries Wallpaper collection