We all know the feeling of walking into a home with low ceilings and how confining they can sometimes feel. If you are challenged by the height of your ceilings, this article will cover a few tips for hanging your art and window draperies. We just completed a project with a client who had the same issue and our solutions follow.
It's our general assessment that most clients typically want things hung higher on initial instinct. As a tendency, people like to add height to their walls by hanging high. This is almost always an aesthetic mistake. However, it is important to always take into consideration your specific ceiling hight. Generally speaking, most ceilings are between 8-10 ft, in which case we always recommend hanging the center of your art at 60-61 inches. This number works great for the viewing enjoyment of most medium to small size artwork but this center should be altered depending on the relationship to a stationary object or furniture. If you walk into a gallery or museum they usually have everything hung at a center of 60 inches, unless it is a massive artwork.
This 60 on the center rule should be abandoned on older colonial homes or homes with low ceilings. In our situation, the client was challenged with ceilings that are just a little over 7 feet high. These ceilings can easily dwarf a room if the artwork is hung too high and can make your ceiling appear even lower. With a little trickery, you can make low ceilings feel cozy and inviting, instead of noticeably low.
Our first challenge is getting over our presumptions that art needs to be hung at eye level. Looking down at things creates a more intimate relationship and follows the path of our natural eye. In this case, we have decided to hang at a 57-inch center. This has given us plenty of wall color at the top of the artwork and ceased the issue of a low ceiling entirely. Larger art has been hung at an even lower centerline. The way the center can be found on large artworks is by going down one-third from the top of the art. This will best suit the entire installation and better match the small to medium-sized artwork.
The next challenge with this installation was coming up with a solution for window draperies. Taking the drapery line 2 inches below the ceiling will give length to the wall and made the window feel larger. On the contrary, it is most client's initial reaction to hang the drapes at the top of the window and give space between the wall and ceiling. As you can imagine this would have dwarfed the entire room and made the windows appear like something out of Magic Kingdom.
As an added tip, our clients have chosen the perfect ceiling color. This is extremely important in aiding the height of your ceilings. When in doubt always go for a bright matte finish. If you are feeling bold, try an extreme contrast to your walls. This will make it feel like looking up at the expansive sky.
Regardless of your ceiling challenges remember you can always achieve greatness with a few hung pieces.
Stay tuned for our post about hanging art on high ceilings!
Thank you for reading,