Design Recipes: The do’s and don’ts of hanging pictures, mirrors

By Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service
A mirror at the end of a hallway creates a visual focus.

Most people hang artwork and mirrors too high to create an aesthetically pleasing look. In theory, art and mirrors should be displayed in relationship to the furniture or object below it. In many cases, hanging artwork or mirrors so the centerline falls within the range of 54 to 57 inches above the floor works best. Looking for art and mirror tips? We’ve assembled some of our favorites.


1. Hang identical abstract pieces of art in a series.

2. Substitute artwork for mirrors along long walls and hallways.

3. Use classic or black-and-white prints to create interest.

4. Add mirrors in a windowless space to help give the illusion of windows.

5. Consider telling a color story through the use of mirrors and artwork.

Mirrors hung in a grid act like visual windows in this master bedroom.


1. Forget to pay attention to what objects are reflected in mirrors.

2. Forget to add pops of color into a room through the use of artwork.

3. Hang artwork or mirrors that are too small, as it will visually clutter a space.

4. Overlook the opportunity to create vignettes with hung artwork and mirrors.

5. Be afraid to frame travel prints captured during that favorite vacation, or even children’s artwork.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is  a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at .