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It’s a national epidemic, and it’s driving us crazy: People are hanging their art way too high! Here’s the deal: For optimum viewing (and to make the ceiling look higher), the center of any painting should be at eye level, which means about 60 inches from the floor. Feeling bold? Go a little lower for a more modern and intimate look.
Photo credit: Lonny Magazine
If you’re attempting a gallery wall, make sure the center of the whole arrangement is at the 60-inch mark.
Again, think about eye level, people. It might seem like a good idea to go high (you don’t want your TV to be the focal point of the room, after all), but just trust us and resist the urge. As a rule, you want a person sitting on the couch to be able to watch her Housewives without craning her neck. That typically means the center of the screen should be about four feet off the ground.
As for the ideal distance between TV and sofa: Simply multiply the diagonal width of the screen times three. So if you have a 42-inch TV, your couch should be ten and a half feet away.
The industry standard is 48 inches from the ground (36 inches in a kid’s bathroom). But the most important rule is to hang the rack low enough that you can reach it easily and high enough that the folded towel draped over it won’t hit anything below. Also, be sure to steer clear of light switches and outlets. You don’t want to have to reach behind a wet towel to plug in your flatiron!
Hang any mirror so that the center is a few inches below standard eye level--typically about 55 inches off the ground. The exception, of course, is your bedroom mirror if you are particularly short or tall. In that case, go with your personal eye-level measurements. (A girl’s gotta see her full outfit, after all.)
The rule is probably lower than you think: The bottom of the fixture should hit 26 to 32 inches above the table.
The bottom of the chandelier should hit seven feet above the floor--unless you’re a family of basketball players, in which case, go higher.
This one is sort of a no-brainer. Any visitor (adult or child) should be able to reach the coatrack...and no coat should drag on the floor. By this measure, five feet from the floor is generally a good height.
This is the place to break the rules. Curtains are traditionally hung right above the window frame. But we prefer to go much higher (up to eight inches above the frame) to give the illusion of a grander ceiling.
Just don’t ever do this.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our 95-year-old grandma, it’s that, in life, there’s always a right way to do something. (And, conversely, there is also a very, very wrong way. She's looking at you, Cousin Felix.)
Case in point: hanging things around the house. From art to towel racks to chandeliers, we firmly believe that installation at the correct height makes all the difference when creating scale and balance in a room.
Check out our cheat sheet to see the rules. You can still choose to break them--you'll just have Grammy to contend with.
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