By: ann Davis-Rowe
If you have a large gallery space with a lot of eclectic art, consider any extra open space or things that maybe aren’t in a perfect location to be an opportunity to find more treasures! Life evolves, and so can your walls, even after you hang stuff.
Now, as far as actually hanging things, the general rule is to keep things around eye level. This means making sure the midpoint is at around 5’ from the floor. Feel free to adjust as necessary based on your household.
Other rules of thumb include:
Please note that these are generalities. This is where it’s handy to have a friend take pictures while you hold things as mentioned above. Rules are there for a reason – but they're also okay to break.
It’s great that there now exists so many options for hanging art, especially if you’re hanging on drywall or into wood. You can’t go wrong with drywall nails for hanging smaller, lighter pieces. They are tiny and easy to hammer and don’t leave big holes if you have to move them. For larger pieces, say, over 20 pounds, you’ll want to look into a medium weight anchor or curved picture hook. Anything larger than 40 pounds will require proper anchoring with a toggle or molly bolt, something that will distribute the weight behind your wall. Just because anchors are more heavy duty does not mean they are impossible for a novice! In many cases, it’s a simple as marking your spot with a pencil, using a nail and hammer to gently break the surface, and then tapping in the anchor.
Plaster walls are a bit of a different story. They are prone to cracking, so you will always want to drill a pilot hole first and use special plaster anchors. If you’re hanging a lighter piece, adhesive hangers are a great choice for plaster. For adhesive hangers, 3M’s Command Hooks and Strips are the most easily found brand in general, and are a great option for most wall surfaces. They now come in variety of sizes, weights, and colors for almost any project. These are also great for unusually sized pieces like tapestries on a curtain rod, or large upcycled gold frames someone placed on the curb (both of which are in my own home).
However, adhesive hangers won’t work if you have exposed brick or other textured surface. There are different anchors available if you’re looking to hang on masonry, and even special drill bits for brick and concrete. This is a situation where employees at your local home improvement store are the experts you'd want to consult. They can give specific information on your particular wall; for instance, sometimes it’s okay to just nail into mortar, but if your wall is over a certain age, that might not be a good idea.
Now that you’ve decided on placement and tools, it’s time to actually get your art on the walls.
A great philosopher of our day, Jennifer Aniston, once said, “art is subjective, and people can react however they want.” The art on your walls is likewise subjective. Trust your heart and hang things that make you happy where they make you happiest. Just don’t try to use a tiny drywall nail to hang a big, heavy mirror. Trust me on this.