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What is the ‘Right’ Height to Hang a Picture?

We try not to deal in absolutes here, but when it comes to how high to hang a picture, we do have some solid recommendations. We also put the question out to our Framebridge community and you all had some excellent perspectives, too. Here we answer all of your inquiries about how high to hang frames.

The Eyes Have It

We suggest hanging your art so that the vertical center (the middle of the frame) is 57" (inches) above the floor, or at your eye-level if it's in a hallway or entryway where you're usually walking past it. That goes for single pieces (photos, paintings, posters) as well as arrangements like gallery walls. Museums and galleries use this rule of thumb and if it’s good enough for them, it’s certainly good enough for us!

Measure the height of your piece or arrangement, divide in half and add that number to the 57” to mark where the top of your frame should be. Check out our tips for hanging with a hanging wire, sawtooth hanger, or corner brackets (on large pieces) for a perfectly aligned frame.

hallway with patterned wallpaper and small picture framed in gold frame
Via @emilyley featuring the Richmond frame

What if I’m hanging a frame above furniture?

What height to hang frames depends on what’s around them, too. If you’re hanging frames above furniture like a couch, bed, or desk, we suggest the bottom of the frame should be 7 - 10” above the top of the furniture.

living room with couch and two pictures in wood frames
Via @teenwolfd featuring American Hardwoods

As far as width goes, whether it’s a single large piece or a full gallery wall, some say it should span about ⅔ of the width of the couch, headboard, etc., but we think there’s some wiggle room and even designed our Triptych gallery wall in king and queen size to fill most of the width of a headboard or sofa.

How about hanging pictures in rooms with high ceilings?

We think the same rule of thumb applies—57” off the ground for the vertical center of the piece. Of course if there’s room, you can stack more pieces up from there! 

living room with framed pictures in white frames
Via @elizabethbeardesigns featuring the Marin

What about hanging gallery walls and multiple frames?

Think of a gallery wall or grouping of multiple frames as one big piece. Whether you’re hanging a predesigned gallery wall (ours come with very handy life-size hanging guides which allow you to align the entire arrangement at once) or are getting creative with an eclectic gallery wall of your own, the same rule applies—57” or eye level to the vertical center. For example, when hanging three pieces vertically, the center of the middle frame would be at eye level.

gallery wall of framed pictures on wall in living room
Via @rebeccaprus

Is the 57” eye-level rule set in stone?

There are of course exceptions to every rule and all of your framed art and photos should work within your existing space. The scenarios are as unique as your style and there are plenty of ways to hang your art. Have particularly low furniture? You may need to adjust. Really large artwork? It may need to come down a bit. Generally we see instances of art hung too high rather than too low. 

A measuring tape and level are essential, but a second set of eyes is also very useful to have when finding the right height to hang a picture.

As always if you have any questions about getting your art up on the wall, our team of designers is happy to answer them. See some of our FAQs and contact our team.