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Avoiding The Lonely Little Picture On A Big Wall Look And Other Picture Hanging Sins

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Never mind a pub with no beer. There's nothing so lonesome - in our opinion - as a little picture marooned high up on a big wall.

Or pictures hung far apart in an attempt to fill up a long wall. Not to mention pictures jammed up so close together your wall looks like your Gran’s patchwork quilt.

On Right Hook’s last blog, we looked at lining up pictures. But how to decide how far apart those pictures should hang? What about the spacing?

Here’s a taster of some hanging techniques we’ve found effective:

  • A diptych or triptych should hang close together. Remember, they were created as one picture. How close? Hmmm – depends on the subject matter and the chosen location. Prop them up on the floor (don’t want to go putting hooks in walls yet) until they look ‘right’. And don’t space them out so that they fit a long wall ‘evenly’. You will completely lose the concept of ‘one picture’.
  • Sets can be split up into clusters – so for example 8 pictures hung as 2 distinct sets of 4 looks good, rather than 8 all lined up. (Very effective with black and white photos by the way.) Apply the above technique for deciding on spacing – only lay them out on the floor and stand on a ladder to get some distance and perspective.
  • Two small pictures together will have more presence when flanked by one large picture each side, forming a sort of H pattern. Keep them close - but not squashed - along the wall.
  • But don’t string them out either! Over-stretching pictures to fit a long wall doesn’t work and leads to a bitty look. Support an artist: go out and buy something new.
  • And to return our first sin, even hanging a few more little pictures to help fill up a big wall won’t work – they’ll still be lonely, isolated and look out of scale. It’s like being the first to arrive at a party in a big hall. Find some small nooks where they’ll appear at ease.

So that’s a pretty basic look at one aspect of hanging pictures well. When all else fails, remember the golden rule - place your pictures to suit each other, not just to fill a space.

And yes, it is difficult when you’re not used to it, so call us at Right Hook instead and we’ll show you what a difference professional picture hanging can make.

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Mike McClughan

Right Hook Picture Hanging

Based on the Sunshine Coast, we are picture hanging specialists. But we don't just hang pictures, we can hang almost anything on a wall... rugs, murals, artefacts, sporting memorabilia, mirrors etc. We can do anything from a collection of pictures, to heavy items, to large pieces, to an entire gallery collection. No picture hanging job is too small, or big, so just ask!

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