tips for hanging art (and other home hardware)

tips for hanging art Milly de Cabrol

Milly de Cabrol

I can’t tell you how many people ask me for tips for hanging art, or installing a doorknob or placing a light switch. And while we can easily Google any of these terms and get information (or a lot of misinformation), I’ve learned that we interior designers actually do know best.

So with this in mind, I share some tips for hanging art and installing other pieces of necessary hardware in the home. This may all seem trivial, but as always, the devil is in the details.


tips for hanging art James Thomas

James Thomas



“Hang your artwork at 63 inches on center above the floor – it’s the perfect viewing height for most pieces” (Milly de Cabrol)

“3M Command strips are fantastic to use when hanging art over mirrors, millwork panels or vintage wall coverings” (James Dolenc)


tips for hanging art Richard Mishaan

Richard Mishaan

“If you have a painting too small for the sofa, don’t center it. Offset it a few inches. The negative space becomes part of the image” (Richard Mishaan)

“When framing artwork with a mat, specify a mat with 8-ply thickness – the increased depth of the resulting bevel can make anything look more important” (Madeline Stuart)

“The ideal height to hang a flat screen is at eye level when you’re in viewing position. The ideal viewing distance is 1.5 times the size of the flat screen” (Jean Larette)


tips for hanging art Tom Stringer

Tom Stringer

“There is power in numbers. Groups of similar images in matched frames add a graphic punch and interest to the wall behind a sofa. I prefer tight grids just shy of the length of the sofa, with equal margins at the top of the sofa and bottom of the celling molding” (Tom Stringer)




“Install your doorknobs at 34”, a bit lower than the usual 36” – it breaks up the doors into a prettier, more relaxed proportion” (Richard Bories and James Shearron)

“Light switches should match the height of the door handles” (Veere Grenney)

“Request un-lacquered hardware whenever you can. The subtle bit of patina (it develops over time) adds warmth to a house. Even if you never polish it, it will look fine” (Richard Bories and James Shearron)


tips for hanging art Bories Shearron

Bories & Shearron

Richard Rabel is a New York Interior Designer and Principal at Richard Rabel: Interiors+ Art, a design studio offering residential design, decorating and art advising services.

Note: The quotes are a compilation of tips for hanging art and other decorating accessories from magazines such as House Beautiful, Architectural Digest and Elle Décor. These are offered as OPINIONS and not as the ultimate truth.

image credits:tips for hanging art:  Architectural Digest, Elle Decor and designers as noted.