The Do’s and Don’ts of Hanging Art Above Your Bed

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Reading Time: 7 minutes

The Do's and Don'ts of Hanging Art Above Your Bed

While decorating your home, you may give every one of your rooms special attention except one space: Your bedroom. It's most likely not intentional, but it may be thought of as less important to design the area that your average guests aren't going to see. But your master bedroom can become a relaxing oasis if you consider decorating it — and the easiest way to spruce up any space is by adding wall art.

Now, you may not think it's a good idea to try to hang art above your bed, but there are safe practices to ensure that your wall hanging stays where it's supposed to be. If you want to level up your bedroom with some bedroom wall art, continue reading to get some design inspiration.

The best types of wall art for bedrooms

Even though you spend the majority of your time in your bedroom sleeping, you are still awake for a generous amount of time. This means that you should pick pieces to hang above your bed that you truly love. Here are some artwork ideas for above your bed:

Pick your favorite art print

A fun option for decor in your bedroom is a rendition of your favorite artist's work. It could be the ballerinas painted by Degas or Monet's The Water Lily Pond. Whatever piece of art speaks to you can be made into a light and easy-to-hang canvas that will fit your bedroom's overall design.

Put up family pictures

What better place to display your most-loved people than above your bed? If you have children, then this could be a great way to show off their most recent school pictures or an all-family photo. Even better, you can constantly change the photos to update the portrait as new snapshots are taken.

Hang a tapestry

If your bedroom boasts a boho look and feel, then a tapestry, cloth or yarn design could be a nice fit. Match the colors used in the piece to the hues in your bedding or any other tinted furniture items in the space.

Locate a map

A map is another beautiful above-the-bed design choice if you're a bit adventurous. Find a map that holds value, displays your favorite place or is a long-time travel destination, and either frame it or hang it up as is.

gallery wallIf you can't decide on just one picture, hang multiple.

Create a gallery wall

If you can't decide on just one piece of bedroom artwork, why not choose multiple images to hang? To create an effective gallery wall, it's best to avoid making the wall look busy by mismatching patterns and styles. To bypass this, you could put up a bunch of family portraits with matching frames or pick neutral paintings to fill the space. When hanging a gallery wall, try to keep about two inches between each picture to give the art space to "breathe."

Incorporate a shelf

Whether you want an extra place to put framed photos or simply want extra storage space, a shelf can be a great addition above your bed. Although it's not artwork, it can be designed to display artistic charm through colorful knick-knacks or beautifully bound books.

Once you have a design idea in mind for above your bed, you can think about where exactly to hang your art. However, you must consider one major bedroom detail: Your headboard. Let's lay to rest the untruth that you can't hang items above a headboard. We'll tell you how!

How to hang artwork above a bed with or without a headboard

Any wall decor can live above your bed if it's something you love, but not every piece of art should be hung at the same height. To ensure the wall that your bed is pushed against doesn't look crowded, you must take the headboard and the amount of wall space into consideration. 

For beds with a headboard:

When hanging your artwork above your bed, you want to avoid hanging it too close to the headboard or too high. Either one of these scenarios can leave your wall looking awkward or empty. A good rule to follow is to use your hand to measure about 7 inches from the top of the headboard to the bottom of the painting you want to hang.

If you can't fit a hand's width between the headboard and the artwork, then the piece is too big for your wall and you should consider moving it to another space.

For beds without a headboard:

Not everyone wants to have a headboard on their bed, but it does make it a bit trickier to figure out the height at which the painting should hang. Try propping your pillows up against the wall to mimic a headboard's height. A typical headboard would extend about six inches higher than your vertical pillows, so measure that height and hang up the art. The total length from your bed to the bedroom artwork should be about 14 to 16 inches.

Avoid hanging the artwork lower than this because it can make your walls look very empty and awkwardly spaced. Also, if you ever prop up against the wall to read or watch TV at night, you could knock into the painting.

These hanging best practices can keep you from making some pretty common bedroom wall art mistakes or design flaws. Let's take a closer look at some other errors that you can make when hanging art above your bed.

Common bedroom art mistakes

As easy as it is to upgrade your room with hanging artwork and portraits, there is also a fine line between beautiful design and distracting clutter. Here are some common errors that people make when hanging art above their bed:

Hanging unsafe items

Because your bed is specifically designed for you to sleep on, hanging dangerous, sharp or heavy objects on the wall above where you lie down is not the best idea. It's best to hang a smaller piece of art rather than a larger work. If you do have a larger piece in a box frame or glass-front artwork that you must hang up, do so with strong reinforcements. The best hooks to use include a sawtooth hook or a strong screw. This will keep you safer and make it less likely that the artwork will slip off the wall.

Picking the wrong size and shape of art

The other main issue that people often create when hanging artwork on the wall above the bed is hanging an oddly shaped or weirdly sized decor. For example, if you decide to hang a very skinny canvas on a very wide wall, the piece will seem tiny and leave too much empty space. Pick horizontal art for shorter walls, vertical pictures for taller walls and avoid filling up every spare inch with art.

bedroomDecorating Den Interiors can help you design your dream bedroom.

How Decorating Den Interiors can help

We know that hanging art above your bed can be tricky — and dangerous — if done incorrectly. That's why Decorating Den Interiors is available to help!

If you're looking to create a getaway from stress and poor design, give us a call. You'll receive a free meeting with one of our personal decorators who will visit your home and discuss your personal style and design wishes for the bedroom. After your consultation, your designer will create a plan to hang beautiful art above your bed and completely transform your space. We want this to be relaxing and fun for you, so your personal decorator will take care of the hard work while you simply tell us what you want and enjoy the results.

Ready to get started? Contact us now!