That's the eternal problem!
And who will have a different answer depending on whether these frames are in a staircase, above a low cabinet or a sofa... or even simply on one of the walls of the living room!
It is clear that the novice decorator always tends to place his frames too high! A work hung too high significantly alters the proportions of the room in which it is located and is then seen in a distorted way.
In fact, the right hanging height will depend almost exclusively on where the viewer is located.
The center of the painting must always be at the level of the eye of the beholder!
So now it all depends on who is watching: is he standing, sitting on a chair or on a sofa?
A little empirical trick: when they are to be observed standing up, hang your frames so that their center is 1.65m high... Why 56" ???? This is the height currently favoured by art galleries and museums for their exhibitions because, in general, it corresponds to the average eye height of the spectators.
By proceeding in this way, in a uniform way, throughout the house, you will give a certain unity to your exhibition, a certain harmony and the spectator will perceive this "harmony of centres" even without being aware of it.
To have the center of the frame at 1.65m, here is how to proceed, without trials and errors, to drive the "hanging nail" of the frame:
1- The painting is 36cm high... I divide by 2! That's 18 cm!
2- I measure the distance from the top of the frame: 6 cm!
3- I subtract 6 from 18: 18 - 6 = 12cm
4- I add to 165 cm..... I get 165+12 = 177 cm
By driving the nail at 177cm from the ground, the center of the painting will be at average eye level!
Apply this method to hang frames in an entrance, a passage, a corridor... everywhere you stand!
So you will place your frames without making any measurements.... Do you manufacture in two minutes this ingenious little instrument that will quickly become indispensable when you hang your frames....
The material? A transparent plastic ruler, a wood screw... That's all! That's all!
Make a small hole at the bottom of the ruler. Half tighten your screw by letting it overflow on each side of the rule: it's ready!
Pass the tool behind your frame... hook the string or ring onto the head of the screw... and hold it all by the other end of the ruler.
Move the assembly to the wall. It's better to be guided by someone who looks back!
When your painting is at the right height... press the ruler a little harder against the wall... the tip of the screw then leaves a small mark... this is the EXACT place where you will put the hook so that your frame is at the desired height.
If the explanations are not clear enough...refer to this diagram!
On a staircase....
It is an excellent place to hang frames, if only because of the large free space it has.
You will apply exactly the same formula to hang frames on a staircase.... But this time you measure the hanging height from the middle of the reference step....
Thus, by perfectly following the slope of the staircase, the frames will be in coherence with it by integrating harmoniously into it.
If you want to create a set of several frames.... First place a first line of frames centered at 155cm. Then arrange the other frames to obtain a balanced and rhythmic whole.
Dans le salon...
This is the place where we sit most often! At about 48 cm from the ground, the height of the backrest being on average 90cm!!!!! This is the norm!!!!!
To be more aware, sit down and have the paintings held by someone who can help you and move them at your convenience.... This time, the best angle of vision is obtained between 110 and 120cm from the ground...
You will therefore hang your frames by placing the centers of the frames at about 115 cm high.... This is not always possible....
Practically, above a sofa, leave a gap of about 15 cm between the bottom of the frame and the top of the backrest...
If you place several frames to form a whole, avoid dispersing them by separating them too far from each other, as this undermines the principle of unity. Similarly, do not overtighten them.... Your exposure must "breathe".
Here is an empirical method, which, without being absolute, has already proven its effectiveness: leave between two frames (depending on their size) between 6cm (3 fingers) and 10cm (one hand), no more.
If you have a set of frameworks to set up.... Start by placing the ones you prefer, reserving the best location for them... then arrange the others to obtain a harmonious whole...
The technique of placing the center of a frame at 1.65m is empirical, some recommend 155cm (but the population has grown in size since that rule!)... and does not include anything absolute. It is simply useful when you start your hanging and you are looking for places to hang your frames... And you will thus avoid the mistakes of beginners which push you to install too high your frames!