How high to hang picture?

mboston_gwJune 20, 2009

I have a picture that will hang over a double bed. The headboard is 36" from the floor. The picture is 25" high and 21" wide. We have standard 8' ceilings. I am only 5' so I tend to place things too low. If there will not be anything else on this wall above the bed, where do I hang the picture? Thanks!

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johnmari

A standard rule is for the center of a picture to be 60" from the floor. Many people hang artwork lower when it's over another piece of furniture, like a foot at the most above the top of the furniture, but you (or rather a taller person in the family LOL) will have to sit on the bed, leaning against the headboard, and measure to the top of your/their head to see if your/their head would bang the picture or its frame. IMO common sense must at times trump aesthetics.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 4:18PM
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OKMoreh

I agree completely with johnmari. As it happens, the measurements work out pretty well for you in this case. If you were to hang the picture with the center at 60", the bottom would be at 47.5", or 11.5" above the headboard. If there is no risk of bumping against the picture, I would probably hang it just slightly lower, but you have to see what appears to be in proportion.

In my own room I have a tapestry hanging so that the bottom is 8 inches above the headboard, but it's a taller headboard and the tapestry is larger, too.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 5:06PM
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artlover13060

Agree, 100%. : )

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 6:20PM
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Linelle

Just curious...is this formula (center at 60") for just pictures hung over headboards? Or for all pictures? Because any grouping of pictures arranged vertically will have at least one falling out of that formula.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 6:35PM
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palimpsest

You also want to make sure that if you read in bed you are not going to brush against it with your propped up pillow or head.

When you are stacking pictures vertically the rule doesn't apply. You want to hang them so that the top one is not too close to the ceiling and the lower one is not too close to the floor, or furniture underneath it. The grouping as a "whole" should not appear too close to the ceiling.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 7:19PM
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OKMoreh

The formula is for the center of one picture hung on a wall with no furniture, such as in an art gallery. (I used to install art exhibits.) It is also a good rule-of-thumb to follow when there is no reason to do something else.

Reasons to do something else include the relationship to furniture and other features, and the height of the picture. A very tall picture might have to be hung with the center lower than 60" in order not to be too close to the ceiling. Any picture hanging over furniture or architectural features should appear to be related to whatever is below it. Sometimes this requires lower installation and sometimes higher.

For pictures stacked vertically: if there are two, the space between them would be at 60". If there are three, the center of the middle one. For an entire wall of pictures, as in some grand 19th-century rooms, all rules are off.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 7:29PM
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2ajsmama

Example

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 9:34PM
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Linelle

"It is also a good rule-of-thumb to follow when there is no reason to do something else." Now *that* I get.

When I put my stuff back on the walls after they were painted, I noticed for the first time that one Ansel Adams print was off-center horizontally. Then it occurred to me that it was hung much higher than the cabinet/hutch it was beside. I centered it and then made the top edge even with the top of the hutch. It looks much better now, although the center is about 8 inches lower than 60". Hopefully this qualifies as a reason to do something else. :)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 10:03PM
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