Hanging Pictures in Tall, Narrow Spaces

Pictures hung in a small narrow space

An often neglected area for decorating are those tall skinny walls most of us have in our homes. Found between windows in the living room, next to the entrance or powder room, or at the end of a hallway, these spaces don’t need to go undecorated. A tall skinny wall makes the perfect background to hang artwork or even mirrors to reflect the daylight.

The ceiling height, size of pieces and the amount of spacing between pieces will determine how many items you’ll want to hang. Hang 3 or 4 pieces, or take the look all the way up to the ceiling; it’s your choice.

What You’ll Need for Hanging Pictures in Small or Narrow Places

Organizing 3 picutre frames vertically

  • First, figure out how many frames you’ll hang, the order you will display them, and how much space to leave between each frame. Usually 2”to 4” works well.
  • Center any pieces of furniture on the wall, then determine how much space to leave between the furniture and the bottom frame. A good rule of thumb is to leave 8” to 10” above furniture.
  • With a piece of painter’s tape, mark the lowest point of your display, since you’ll start hanging your display from the bottom up.

Spacing pictures on a narrow wall and hammering nails

  • Using Hang & Level™, position the first frame so that the bottom edge lines up with the top of the tape.
  • Keeping the tool on the wall, remove the frame and press the button to mark exactly where the nail goes.
  • Hang the frame and use Hang & Level™ or a small level to make sure it’s straight.

Using the Hang & Level™ to hang pictures

  • Cut a piece of painter’s tape to the size of the space you want to leave between frames.  Place it  on the wall at the top of the frame to use as a guide for hanging the next picture above it.
  • Repeat the steps above for the remaining frames, using a stepstool if necessary to hang the top frame.
  • Once you’ve hung the last picture, remove the tape and you are done!

Close to the ceiling…

If your final frame is too close to the ceiling to use Hang & Level™, here is how you figure out where it goes:

close to ceiling

Measuring distance of a picture hanging wire

  • Mark the spacing with a piece of tape like you did for the other frames
  • Turn the frame over, and holding the wire tight, measure the distance from the bottom of the frame to the taut wire.
  • Make a pencil mark the same distance above the top of the tape, and hammer the nail into that mark.
  • Hang and level your picture and remove the tape.

After doing all this work, you’ll want to make sure your picture frames stay straight. Place Anchor Points at the bottom corners of each frame and you’ll never have to worry about straightening them.

Final result - 3 pictures hanging vertically on a small narrow wall

Are you wondering about the artwork? We framed remnants of wallpaper we had from a previous project. You can see how we did it here.

Liette Tousignant's signature, co-founder of Under The Roof Decorating

Liette Tousignant

I’m passionate about picture hanging and decorating (and I’m also the Co-Founder of Under The Roof Decorating)


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