May 15, 2013

.: Eye of the Beholder

One of the most common pieces of advice that designers dole out is "hang art at eye-level".

Thom Filicia

Simple enough, right?

Not long ago I happened upon a gorgeous reverse painted mirror at Homegoods (where else?).  As I had some empty wall space in the entryway, and no way of seeing what I looked like before leaving the house (without walking back down the hall to the bathroom), I was particularly happy with this find.  I brought it home and promptly hung it at eye level on my empty entry wall.

Lookin' good.

Until my friend Melanie came over, took one look at it and said, "Wow.  You really are short!"

Apparently my eyes are not at the same level as those of other, less vertically challenged, people.

Well, at least I know I look good when I'm leaving the house.

While eye-level is a helpful rule of thumb, it doesn't always work out.  At 5'1", my eyes land somewhere around 55" above floor height.  That's an awfully big distance from a person who is, say, 5'7" tall.  And what if you're 5'11"?  Does your artwork hang so that a person of shorter stature can't possibly appreciate it?

Here's a couple of things you can do.

First of all, fudge it.  Hang larger pieces, or pieces that are to be seen from a distance, higher on the wall.  The overall size will draw your eye up.

via Material Girls

via CDC

Stand your *middle* ground.
If you're on the short side, find eye-level and then raise it up just 4 or 5 inches. Likewise, if you're tall, adjust down a few inches.  Not more than 6" either way, though, otherwise you yourself won't be able to appreciate it.

Charlotte Moss

Join the crowd.  My personal favorite way to deal with this is to group art together in an art wall.  That way some is high, some is lower, and the overall affect becomes as important as the individual pieces.

And, remember, there are no hard and fast rules in decorating.  Do what feels right in your home.

~  Leigh


  1. Great advice Leigh. Thanks!

  2. WO. my mom inspired your blog post that is a new experience and cool blog!

    1. Never doubt that your mom is inspirational on many different levels!

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