St Mawes Gallery ‘Hammer & Nail’ Art Hanging Tips

Last week, we gave you a blog detailing a few stylish ways on how to display your new art purchases from St Mawes Gallery in your home without having to make the commitment of nailing it into the wall – but we know that for some, a good old fashioned hammer and nails is the only way to go. That’s all very well and good, but if you’re going to make the leap to fix your paintings to the wall permanently, you’d better get that placement spot on.


There’s more to art hanging than meets the eye: to get that ‘Pinterest Perfect’ look for the room, you have to go at it with your interior designer hat on.

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Badly hung and poorly placed art can affect an overall space more than you might imagine, so before you go all DIY on us, take heed of these simple but effective St Mawes Gallery art hanging tips to get it right first time:

Determine where to hang your art

Before you even think about getting your tool kit out, you need to make that all-important decision of whereabouts your art will look it’s best.


First, you’ll need to select the right room: check out our tips on buying the ideal art for your bedroom, kitchen, living room and office.


When you know which room you’re going for, it’s time to think placement. Height-wise it’s the average eye-line hitting the centre of the artwork that you want to go for and this is usually around 60 inches off the ground (more about how to get the nail in just right to achieve this in the next step). If you’re hanging your art above a piece of furniture the experts recommend 6-8 inches of space between the bottom of the art and the furniture in question.

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If you’re going for the mantelpiece:

Wall art looks it’s best above a mantelpiece when it sits right in the middle, between the fireplace opening and the mantle length. Avoid putting artwork here that is smaller or larger than this, as it will look unbalanced.


If you’re going for over the bed:

Over the bed hanging depends largely on the headboard: if you have one and if so, the size and style of it. No headboard leaves room for a larger and louder piece of art, providing that you stay within the width of the bed. A large or elaborate headboard calls for a simple (or no) framed piece and can take a small size in a central placement as well as a large. A small or very basic headboard leaves room for something nice and big! Just stick to that 6-8 inch gap.


If you’re going for behind the sofa:

It’s important to keep your artwork placement in proportion to the rest of the room and when hanging above a sofa, this is best achieved by making sure that the piece or pieces that you hang do not go over two-thirds of the length of the sofa.

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Get that nail in exactly the right place


Once you’ve figured out which room and whereabouts to hang your art from St Mawes Gallery, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty and hammer that nail into the right spot.


To get that 60 inch eye-height we mentioned earlier, follow these steps:


- Measure and then divide the frame height in half.


- To take into account the height difference of the top of the art and where the nail should be placed, measure the length from the hooks or the top of the taut wire and then subtract the above measurement.


- Add 60 to find the final hanging height from the floor.


Always mark your nail spot(s) on the wall and use a spirit level to make sure it’s definitely not on a slant – don’t trust your eyes!

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How to ace the ‘gallery’ wall


If you've fallen for more than one piece at St Mawes Gallery, allow at least two inches of space between each image on the wall and then either align the centre of each painting using the method above or line up the tops, using the largest piece as your guide.

Ready to buy some artwork to start hanging?