Common design mistake: High flying artwork

by Julie Nolta
Julie Nolta Design

In my line of work I walk into a lot of homes, and a mistake I see many people making is hanging photos or artwork too high on the wall. Sometimes you have to throw your head back just to see the family photos! Not only does everything look lonely and out of place floating way up there, but it’s hard to appreciate something you can’t see.

If you’re not sure about where to place your wall décor, the rule of thumb is that photos or artwork should be hung roughly at eye level where you can see them comfortably. The key is that eye level is higher or lower for different areas in your home. In the living room where you do more sitting, your eye level is generally lower than it would be in areas where you’re more likely to be standing, like in the hallway.

To fix this common mistake, hang things a little lower over a sofa or a chair.

Use the rule of thirds, and break up the empty space around the art by leaving one third of the space below it and two-thirds above it, like in the photo below.

Photo via Houzz

By placing your artwork closer to the furniture than the ceiling, you’re creating a grouping which is pleasing to the eye and your room will look more pulled together.

— If you have questions or need some one-on-one help with your own high-flying artwork, you can contact me via my website at


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