3 Wall Art Rules To Break In Your Home

29 August 2014
 Categories: Entertainment, Articles


If you've spent any time perusing interior design blogs on the Internet, you know there are rules for hanging wall art. Knowing the rules will help you design your home effectively, but sometimes you benefit from breaking them.

1. Hang Art at Eye Level

The accepted rule of thumb is to hang your wall art so that its center is 57" from the floor. This places the middle of the art at eye level, which is considered the most aesthetically pleasing and balanced height.

This rule, however, is meant to be broken when you've got a statement piece of wall art that deserves special attention. Hanging a piece of art lower or higher than the accepted norm will draw even more attention to it.

If you love beach scenes or dramatic mountain photos, for example, choose a large piece of landscape wall art for a blank wall in your home. Hang it as close to the ceiling as possible to draw the eye up and give the piece a dramatic flair.

Remember that breaking this rule too often will lessen its impact. Hang your other art at the suggested 57", and save the rule-breakers for the largest and most intriguing pieces of wall art you own.

Other ways to use unique wall art heights might include:

  • Hanging art over windows, door frames, and arches
  • Staggering heights around a room to create visual interest
  • Leaning art against the wall on the floor rather than hanging it

2. Use Similar Frames for Groups

You've probably seen the sets of frames available for purchase online and in stores, but your frames don't have to match. In fact, using different styles and colors of frames might make your wall art more personal and interesting.

Not only does this make your wall art more unique, but it also gives you more freedom. When you aren't tied to a particular set of frames, you can hang wall art pieces that are unique sizes or shapes.

It's a good idea to tie frames together with one common element, such as color. Collect frames from a wide variety of sources, then spray paint them all the same color to bring them together. Alternatively, choose one of these methods for complementary frames:

  • Choose frames from the same style, such as modern or Queen Anne
  • Select frames in similar (but unusual) shapes, like squares or circles
  • Look for frames with different colors and styles, but the same size mattes (or make your own mattes)

3. Center Your Art

Centering a piece of wall art over a bedroom headboard or living room couch is a time-honored strategy. If you want your design to be unique, however, consider abandoning the center concept and stepping outside the box.

Wall art becomes its own statement piece and focal point when it's large and dramatic enough. One way to draw attention to it is to hang it off-center or away from other furnishings and decor.

Do you have an awkward corner in your home? Hang two pieces of coordinating wall art on either side of that corner. You'll fill a neglected space and give the art more impact in the room. Other unique places to hang art might include:

  • On the front or back of a door
  • Above one side of a console table
  • On the wall at the end of your tub

If you consider off-center spaces, your home because far more hospitable to art. You'll find fresh ways to display your favorite pieces (and create conversation starters in the process).

When shopping for wall art, consider the way each piece might fit in your home. Keep in mind, however, that you can always move photographs or paintings around your house until you find the perfect spot.