Salon hang: A quick easy way

Salon hanging is a great way to add texture and a visual focus to any room.  It enables you to place pictures which don’t link thematically or in terms of size together on a single wall.
Commonwealth Hotel Boston

For example if you had the following:

  • a medium single family portrait
  • a medium picture of a donkey
  • a large black and white drawing
  • a small picture of a bowl of lemons
  • a small picture of a beach in France

These will all work well together providing there is room enough on the chosen wall and the pictures are less than 600 – 700mm (high or wide at the most); it does not matter if they are framed or not but they would all need to have a support.

A strategic salon hang can be a great way to divert attention away from an unsightly part of the room. 

Choose the visually prominent wall of the room (the wall opposite the doorway perhaps) and arrange the salon hang there along with furniture and fittings. If the salon hang is arranged over a sofa or twin chairs perhaps, or a credenza / sideboard with other loved objects (plants, lamp, rug, bookshelf) it will become the focus diverting visual attention from the unseemly part of the room.

  • Make sure you have bought a packet of sturdy picture hangers, more than the amount of pictures you have to hang.
  • Newspaper: Cut the general sizes/shapes of the pictures you are hanging out of newspaper.
  • Blue tac them to the wall in the order you want. Move them around to get an idea of how the overall volume will work in the space you have chosen before you start putting nails into your wall.
Ensure you have no more than 70 – 100mm’s between each work if the room is typically domestic and the works are no larger than 500 x 600mm vertically or horizontally. 

Regarding the pooch salon hang pictured here at the Commonwealth Hotel Boston, while it is at once interesting and engaging, the pictures are a little too far apart and thus, the look loses coherence and decisiveness: it is as if the decider was not sure, or they did not realise how expansive the wall was before they started hanging.  Instead, the designer could have split the pictures into two compact groups, and arranged them as two separate groups ensuring less space between individual images, yet more significant space between the two groups.

Heidi Caillier Design
  • Choose the lead picture – the one you want to be the centre or focal point of your arrangement. You don’t necessarily need a lead but if you have one it needs to be placed first.
  • Lay the lead on the floor (or large table) in the centre.
  • Place the other pictures around it in the order that matches to the newspaper on the wall; if it does not feel right try different ways until you are happy with the result.
  • Engage a helper to hold the lead against the wall over the newspaper; move it up and down and across until you are happy with the height. The height it will be hung at will be determined to some extent by its size and your personal preferences. But, as a general rule only, a medium height person should be just slightly looking up at the picture.
  • Secondly choose picture hangers; little pictures will need one and a big picture will need two placed approx. 150 – 200mm apart so that it does not move and wobble on the wall.
There is no right or wrong way absolutely, but the more planning that goes into the arrangement the better.

The Heidi Caillier image captures the salon hang beautifully.

You can also salon hang paper images/posters/cards that are not framed; never use double sided tape, just use innocuous little pins.

If the lead is a big picture approx: (w)500 x (h)600mm then it should be hung in general, approx. 1750 – 1850cms off the floor, but always in keeping with an average person’s height.

Cautionary note:

Make sure all heights are worked out the following way. Draw the “string or wire hanging cord” up with your finger until taut, this will determine where the picture “drops down to” when hung. I have had to rehang a great many pictures because once “they drop” on the wall they are not in the same spot as if “held up by hand” against the wall.  Never use the top or bottom horizontal of the picture to determine its ultimate position on the wall.

The most important thing is to have fun with your loved objects & remember this is who you are so don’t be put off by the doubters.  If you don’t like it at the end, all good, change it! Enjoy!
Translate »




We look forward to sharing our latest news and tips with you.