How to Hang Pictures in a Group

Hanging  pictures in a group is both art and science.  There are lots of options, of course, but a little organization and planning will go a long way in helping you get what you want.  Here are some things to consider in your planning:

  • Do you want your grouping to be symmetrical or do you like a more casual grouping?
  • Are your pictures all the same size or do you have a variety of sizes?
  • Do you want your grouping to be expandable in the future?
  • Do you want the tops, the centerlines, or the bottoms of your pictures to line up?
  • Do you have the right kind of space for a grouping of pictures?
Easy Groupings

Say three botanical prints need to be spaced evenly down a hallway.  In cases like these, lean your pictures against the wall and play around with spacing.  Keep in mind how the pictures interact with doors, windows, and furniture.  Hang the pictures at eye level.  Eye level is about 1/3rd of the art above and 2/3rds below your eye level.  If you are having a hard time visualizing your grouping, try cutting out pieces of paper the size of your pictures and taping them in place with removable tape to try out your grouping before putting holes in your wall.  Measure and mark where the hangers go with a light pencil line or with pieces of removable tape.  Small adjustments in height can be made by lengthening or shortening the wire of the hanger.

Irregular Groupings

When you have a large number of pictures of different styles and/or sizes, try laying the grouping out on a bed, a table, or the floor and just experiment with what looks good.  Often putting a larger or more important piece in the middle will help anchor the grouping.  Start in the center and work your way out to the sides and to the top and bottom.  Try to think about balance.  Think about weight.  Put the visually weightier (larger, darker, bolder) pieces lower and the visually lighter pieces higher.  You might consider rounding off the corners of your grouping by putting smaller pieces on the ends of your grouping.  Again, you can always cut out paper the size of your pieces to tape to the wall before nailing up hangers.

When you are happy with your grouping, start by hanging the centerpiece and work out from there.  Hold your picture up where you want it, reach behind to feel where the wire hanger is, and use your finger to mark the spot where the hanger needs to go.  Remember, you can always adjust the height of your pictures by lengthening or shortening the wire hanger.  If you make a mistake, don’t panic.  If you are using good picture hooks, you will just have a pinhole to cover or patch.

When to Use a Grouping in Your Home

Start looking around to notice groupings of pictures that work or don’t work and try to analyze why.  Groupings tend not to work very well in relation to large pieces of furniture – sofas, buffets, and beds.  Usually those spaces do better with one larger piece that can stand up to the scale of the large piece of furniture.  Groupings work well in hallways, bedrooms, and family rooms, rooms with a bit more intimacy and closer viewing distances.  Be careful not to overuse picture groupings.  If all your walls are covered with pictures, it can make your home look a bit cluttered.  Use them sparingly and wisely, and they can look great in your home.  Take a peek below to be inspired!  If you decide you need help, call us for an installation appointment.