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Hanging pictures

When it comes to decorating your own four walls, apart from furniture and small decorative pieces, pictures probably play the biggest role.

Once you have found the right picture, the question often arises of how to most easily attach it and, above all, at what height and how far should it be positioned from the surrounding furniture. In this article we will introduce you to a variety of attachment options and the basics of positioning.

Attaching pictures with nails

The simplest way to attach a picture to your wall is by using traditional nails. Depending on the size, and in particular the weight of the picture, this method is to be used with caution. Nails are perfect for small, light pictures with frames that also have an eyelet for attachment. As it is almost impossible to hit a nail exactly straight in a brick wall, it is difficult to position larger images exactly horizontally on one or more nails.

Screwing pictures to the wall

Unlike nails, screws are not only easier to install in the correct position, but can bear much more weight. If you plan to hang a large picture, it is recommended to use two screws. With the help of a laser you can determine the appropriate height and mark the two places for the screw. If the frame does not have appropriate mounting points, you should choose an outer distance of the screws of about one-sixth of the width of the image. This means you can later readjust the picture without the frame becoming imbalanced. To drill the holes in a standard brick wall, it is recommended to use a hammer drill with a drill bit suitable for the selected dowel.

The trick with the string

With wooden picture frames, it is recommended that you don't attach these directly to screws or nails. Two hooks or eyelets screwed into the upper third of the frame and a loosely attached piece of string allow you to align the picture completely later. The string should always be selected so that it is able to hold the weight of the picture. With light pictures, a simple fishing line should be sufficient. But if the picture is heavy, it's a good idea to use a thin steel cable.

Gluing instead of drilling

If you do not want to drill because of pipes running in the wall, there are now a lot of products available that allow you to glue pictures to the wall. These kits usually contain a variety of fasteners as well as the adhesive. These are usually different sized hooks with an adhesive surface on the back.

The right position on the wall

Once you have decided on the right fastening technique, the question arises as to the exact position on the wall. Here you should follow the important 160 cm rule. This rule states that the centre of the picture should be at a height of 160 cm. This is because 1.6 m corresponds to the eye level of the average European. If you want to take it very literally, you can fix the picture so that one third of the picture is above the fictitious 160 cm line and the other two thirds are below it.

As always, there are exceptions to this rule. If the picture is hung in front of a sofa or a sitting area, for example, you can deviate from this rule. In this case, you should attach the picture a little lower.

For pictures in staircases, although the 160 cm rule is still applied, the reference point for the measurement of the height is always the centre of the respective step. The same size images should follow along the course of the stairs.

Several pictures in a row

If you want to hang several smaller pictures in a row, you should integrate the environment. It is particularly harmonious to include existing lines and structures within the space. These can be the upper edge of a door or window frame, for example, but also the position of light switches and/or other elements. Here, the height of the top of the images should be in alignment.

Different sized pictures in one place

If pictures of different sizes seem to be randomly attached to a wall, you should also follow a few rules. The distances between the frames should, if possible be equal or twice as large. This is particularly harmonious for the human eye.
If you stick to these few tips, nothing stands in the way of your harmonious wall design.

AuthorHauke Leweling
Reading time10 minutes

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