Did you know there are rules for hanging artwork in the home? Art is a wonderful way to personalize and enliven your apartment space, but neglecting certain factors could detract from your artwork’s intended effect. Taking into account these tried-and-true techniques will ensure your apartment looks great and your art packs just the right punch:
Understanding 57” On Center
The term “57” on center” is a valuable technique that is used as a standard in museums and art galleries around the world. What does this term mean and how can it benefit your apartment home? Hanging a piece of art 57” on center means that the very center of your artwork lies at 57” in height, regardless of the overall size of the piece. This technique is used so often because 57” is average eye-level for most people; bringing the center of your art up to this height ensures it is readily visible. Keep in mind that to hang your art at 57” on center, the top of your frame—and thus your hook or nail—will need to be higher. You’ll need to take into account the height of your piece and the distance from the anchor point to the center before hanging it to ensure the center falls at the right level. This technique also works well if you’re hanging more than one piece of art—simply treat your group as a single piece of art and ensure the center of the group is at the proper height and alignment when you hang them on the wall.
Using Furniture as Guidance
While the 57” on center technique is a great rule of thumb, there are a few instances in which it shouldn’t be used. In rooms where you’ll be primarily sitting, consider lowering the center of your artwork to make it more easily visible from a seated position. When hanging artwork above your furniture, it’s important to ensure the art clears the top of the piece. Hang your art with six to twelve inches of clearance above the top of your furniture to create a better balance—avoid allowing the frame to touch or even sit below your furniture. Additionally, it’s important to consider the size of both your furniture and your artwork before you combine them. Achieving a balance in terms of size will create a harmonious look, while hanging art that is too large or too small for your furniture will look awkward rather than appealing. If you are hanging smaller artwork behind a larger piece of furniture, such as a couch, group multiple items together to build a larger whole for better balance. Pair large pieces of art with a single large piece of furniture (such as a couch) or a grouping of smaller pieces (such as two chairs or a chair and a loveseat) for the best effect.
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