“How high should I hang my light fixture?”
“What is the proper placement for artwork? What about sconces?”
Those are very common questions that I hear time and again as an interior designer. When moving into a new home, remodeling, or even just updating your decor, clients often find themselves being asked by contractors to make decisions regarding the placement of lights, artwork and TVs. Many people have never really thought about the proper height for these items before, and as such, the questions catch them completely off-guard! For that reason, today I would like to share with you some basic hanging tips so that when the time comes you are prepared to make an informed decision on all of your hanging needs!
Kitchen island pendants
I love an amazing pair of pendants over a kitchen island! Whether that means a pair of antique lanterns to give a rustic, cozy feel, or a pair of modern, oversized glass globes to create a dramatic look, there are so many directions you can go to create an interesting impression in your kitchen. A standard rule of thumb for hanging kitchen island pendants is to keep 36” between the countertop and the base of the pendants. If your ceilings are especially high and/or the fixtures are exceptionally large, you may want to increase that space to 40″-42”. I like to start at 36” above the counter and then raise the pendants if need be – this way you are guaranteed to have enough chain or wire.
Dining table fixtures
Much like kitchen pendants, most dining room fixtures look great hung 36” above a dining table if your ceilings are 8’-10’ H. If your chandelier is crystal you can get away with a little lower, 30” – 34” over the table. If your ceilings are over 10’ H you can hang the pendant as high as 42” above the table.
Wall sconces can add a beautiful, ambient light to any powder room, bedroom, formal room or hallway, and they are one of my favorite types of light fixture to use in a home. The standard height for sconces regardless of the room is to center the sconces 66” above the finished floor. If you are using the sconces in a dining room or living room with very high ceilings (12’ or higher) then you may try increasing the height to 72”. For most standard bathrooms, however, you will find 66” to be a perfect height.
In general a good height for a chandelier is 7’-6” above the floor. If your space is very modern you can lower the fixture to 7’-2” off the floor, and if it is more traditional and your ceilings are high you could raise it to 8’ above the finished floor. Many people hang chandeliers too high and then they lose their impact in the room. The best part of an amazing chandelier is experiencing it in the space, and if it is out of your sight range then that won’t happen. The right height for a chandelier will balance the idea of feeling that the chandelier is in the room, and not being worried that you will hit your head when you walk under it!
One thing I have noticed is that most people tend to hang their art much higher than necessary. A good guideline to follow is that artwork should be centered at eye level, which for most people falls around 5’ H. Much like a light fixture, artwork is something that you want to experience in the space, and in order to do that, it needs to be at a relatable height. You don’t want to be craning your neck up to take in a piece of art. Instead, you should be able to walk up to a piece of art and encompass the entire piece head on. It may feel counterintuitive, but the next time you hang art try hanging it slightly lower than you are comfortable with – you may be surprised with the results!
Last but not least, one common concern is how high to hang a TV. Hanging a television too high should be avoided as it can result in neck strain from constantly looking up at the screen. The proper height of a TV varies depending on where you will be watching (from a bed, chair, sofa, etc.) and how far away you are from it, but in general if you are hanging a TV in the living room it should be centered around 3’-5’ off the ground. Again, the way to determine the proper height is to think about your eye level when watching – wherever your eye level is, that is where the TV should be centered.
If you end up needing to mount a TV over a fireplace mantle you may consider a tilting mount for your TV. This will allow for you to tilt the TV down at a comfortable angle so that you don’t strain your neck even with the higher mounting height.
I hope you found this information helpful, and I hope you enjoy all of your newly hung pieces!
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