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How to Hang Pictures in a Bedroom

The focal point of every bedroom is the bed and what’s hanging above it, so it’s important to pick your artwork carefully. You can create a grouping, or choose to feature one special piece as we show in these examples:
4 examples of artwork hung over a bed

What should I hang above my bed?
Hang things you love and bring you a sense of calm and serenity. Try abstract paintings, prints of nature or landscapes, black and white images or even nude art, for your eyes only.

Size It Right…
To create balance, your artwork (or grouping) should be at least 2/3 the length of the headboard. The shape doesn’t matter, it could be square, vertical, horizontal, round or oval as long as it’s the right size to counterbalance the headboard.

How High / How Low?
As a general rule, the bottom of your frame should hang 8” to 10” above the headboard. If you hang your artwork any higher it will look like it’s floating away from the headboard instead of being connected to it.

Tip: To make centering your artwork easier, mark both the center of your headboard and the middle of the bottom of the frame with a small piece of painter’s tape. Using Hang & Level, lift your frame approximately 8 – 10 inches from the headboard lining up the 2 pieces of tape. Works like a charm!

Use the right hardware…

  • Safety is key when hanging a heavy piece. Be sure it’s fastened securely to avoid an accident.
  • Use wall anchors or use 2 picture hooks or nails to secure your piece properly.
  • Place Anchor Points on the bottom corners of your frame to keep it in place and straight.

Avoid this common mistake!
example of a picture hanging too high above a bed and a picture hanging perfectly above a bed
Don’t center your picture between the top of the headboard and the ceiling. It’ll end up hanging too high and look as if it’s floating. It’s best to visually connect your artwork to the furniture below.

Liette's signature

Liette Tousignant

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


38 thoughts on “How to Hang Pictures in a Bedroom

  1. Bedderz

    Hi, I’m about to put a landscape pic above my bed, question is do I make sure it’s in the middle of the bed or the wall, as the bed is off centre, further to the right as the I have a wardrobe that means the bed and bedside cabinets have moved to the right by about a foot. I’m guessing I position the picture in line with the bed and not the wall??

  2. Liette Post author

    Hi Bedderz! You’re absolutely right! Art is an extension of your furniture so always center your wall décor with the furniture sitting below even if it is off-centered. In your case, hang your landscape picture so it’s centered with your headboard. Hope this helps!

  3. Alice Dressler

    Now I know the correct way to hang a piece of art over a headboard, but I have a question. The distance from the top of my headboard to the ceiling is 43″. Knowing this and going with the rule that the bottom of the painting should be placed about 8″ from the top of the headboard, what would be a good height for a painting (I do not want the top of the painting to be too close to the ceiling)? In other words, what is the maximum height the top of a painting can be from the ceiling without it looking too awkward? Thanks so much!

  4. Liette Post author

    Great question Alice! Keep in mind that hanging art 8″ from the headboard is only a guideline. If you have a low ceiling, it’s more important to hang your piece closer to the headboard than to the ceiling – otherwise, it will look awkward as you mentioned.

  5. Sharon Mitchell

    I have a four-poster bed and I’m currently shopping for a piece of art to hang over the headboard. I’ve read the general rules about it needing to be 2/3 the width of the headboard and to “ground” the artwork close to the headboard. The particular piece I have in mind would extend about12-14 inches above the height of the posts. I do have high ceilings, so the piece would be closer to the bed than the ceiling. Are there any rules of thumb to follow in this area?

  6. Liette Post author

    Hi Sharon! Unfortunately there’s no rule of thumb to follow to answer your question. I don’t know how tall your bed posts are but considering that you have high ceilings hanging a piece of art that extends over the posts will look great. It will visually counter-balance the size of the bed and will create a great focal point for your bedroom. As you mentioned, “ground” your piece to the headboard to make sure it’s connected to it versus floating away from it. I hope this helps.

  7. Wanda Mallard

    I have a framed canvas that I want to hang over my bed. The top of my headboard is 47″ from the ceiling. The picture I want to hang is 29″ tall and approximately 40″ long. S the picture too big

  8. Liette Post author

    Hi Wanda! Your canvas is not too big to hang above your headboard. Hang it so its bottom hangs approximately 6″ away from the top of the headboard, you’ll still have 12″ of wall space between the ceiling and top of your artwork. It’s always best to have your artwork anchored closer to furniture than to the ceiling. I hope this helps. I’d love to see a picture once your canvas is up.

  9. Wanda Mallard

    I hung the picture and it looks good. Not sure how I can attach a picture for you to view.

  10. Liette Post author

    Hi Wanda – check your mail, I sent you an email address for you to send your picture to me. I can’t wait to see it, I’m sure it looks great.

  11. Helen Prickett

    Thanks for advice. Love hanging pictures, but never sure where to put them- This will help tremendously…………….

  12. Kelly

    I recently moved into a new home and would like to hang a picture I have in our livingroom. However I am not sure where to hang this picture. If I send you a photo of the room and picture could you provide me a little advice?

  13. Liette Post author

    Kelly – I’d be happy to help you. Send me a picture, and congrats on your new home.

  14. Karen

    I don’t have a headboard on my bed. The bed stands appx 29″ tall. My ceiling is 106″.
    The picture I want to hang is 40″ top to bottom. Not sure where I should hang it. Any suggestions?

  15. Liette Post author

    Hi Karen! First determine the look you want when the bed is made i.e. will you prop up the pillows and lean them against the wall? If yes, hang your artwork a few inches from the top of your pillows making sure it hangs closer to the pillows than to the ceiling. Another look is to use your artwork as a headboard. In this case, hang your piece close to the bed. Before getting started, have a look at this link where you’ll find lots of bedroom/bed/headboard inspiration https://www.pinterest.com/explore/no-headboard/. Hope this helps and please keep me posted on what you decide to do.

  16. Edward Stewart

    Hi Ms Post,
    I have two pictures I want to hang above my bed they are 42×42 inches, my head board is 66 inches long. What would you suggest on how to hang the pictures or should I hang one or both pictures?


  17. Liette Post author

    Hi Stewart! You can hang one picture and/or both. The two looks would be completely different. If you decide to hang only one, center it with your headboard. If you hang two, hang them side by side and levelled to each other. The total width of the frames will be larger than your headboard but will be anchored by your night tables. It’d be nice to hang both pieces since they’re the same size and probably have a similar art theme. Large scale art is very trendy so if you want to hang both, it could be an interesting look for your space. Have a look at my Pinterest link on bedrooms, you’ll find examples of both looks which might give you some great design inspiration. Hope this helps. https://www.pinterest.com/utrdecorating/bedrooms/

  18. Edward Stewart

    Hi Ms Post,
    Thanks so much…your advice helped me a lot and it’s much appreciated.
    Again thanks…

  19. Bhavya Mehta

    The distance from the top of my headboard to the ceiling is 48″. The painting i am looking for comes with two options.

    First option – 48 in wide by 24 in tall. Second Option – 48 in wide by 35 in tall.

    Assuming, I hang the picture 8in above headboard, the first option will give 16 in space between ceiling and top of painting,and the second option will give 5 in of space between ceiling and top of painting.

    Which option should I go for?

  20. Liette Post author

    Hi Bhavya…sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I think both options would look very good. The 8 inch rule is only a guideline and can be tweaked depending on the size and shape of art you’re hanging. Which look do you like the best? The tallest frame would definitely create more impact if that’s what you want and you could simply hang it close to your headboard versus hanging too close to the ceiling. Have a look at my bedroom board on Pinterest where you’ll see lots of photos of art hanging above headboards, it might help you decide on what’s best for your space. Please keep me posted on which option you end up choosing. https://www.pinterest.com/utrdecorating/bedrooms/

  21. Erica Delisle

    Hello, I would like to know the proper way/height to hang/layer a shelf and a picture above a bed. The bed is a double, the headboard is approx. 54 inches wide, the shelf is approx. 47 inches wide and the depth is 11 inches, and the picture is 40 inches wide. I am not sure how high to hang the shelf above the headboard, does the 8-10 inch rule apply to a shelf with an 11 inch depth? Also, how high should I hang the painting above the shelf? Any advice will be appreciated. Thank you.

  22. Liette Post author

    Hi Erica – the best way to determine how high to hang your shelf is to sit on your bed, lean against the headboard and hold a book above your head that is the same width as your shelf to get a feel for how much clearance you would comfortably need between your shelf and “head”. Your picture is 40″ wide but I don’t know how tall it is and how high your ceiling is. Once your shelf is up, rest your picture on it and if it feels like it’s close to the ceiling you might decide not to hang it. Knowing what accessories you’ll be displaying on your shelf will also help in deciding of the height for your picture. Are you planning to display pretty boxes, candles, books etc… Have a look at this link to see images of walls shelves hanging above headboards. https://www.pinterest.com/utrdecorating/bedrooms/ I hope this helps! Please keep me posted on how you end up hanging your shelf and picture, I’m sure other readers would love to know too!

  23. Karen

    Hi, this is so helpful! Thank you very much for having this available to help those who would otherwise live lives of under-decorated doubt, confusion and panic!!!! Seriously, this has helped to decide what to do with the wall above our 4 poster rice bed. I have 3 antique botanical prints, all framed alike, and the space above feels a little naked, but having a 2nd row of 3 or 2 more prints feels too heavy. I’ve purchased color friendly vintage plates and will hang those in a row above the prints, all floral and all of a similar style. This will probably end up in a pyramid shape, but the framed prints along the bottom will anchor the lighter weight plates above. I think I like it! Thanks again!

  24. Liette Post author

    Hi Karen! It sounds like you have a great plan. I’d love to see a picture of your room when it’s done, I’m sure it’s going to look lovely. Just in case you need a little more wall decorating inspiration before getting started on your project, have a look at these great bedroom images. https://www.pinterest.com/utrdecorating/bedrooms/. Happy picture hanging!


    1. The picture I want to hang is exactly as wide as the headboard, 5 feet wide. I do have end tables.

    2. The picture is 6 inches from the headboard and 6 inches from the ceiling. Is it too tall?

    3. In general is my picture too big for the space?

  26. Liette Post author

    Hi Gus – large scale art is very trendy and would create a great focal point in your room. Instead of hanging it in the middle of the wall, I would hang it closer to the headboard, approximately at 4inches if it works. When dealing with large pieces, the hanging height varies. Have a look at our Pinterest board to see great photos of large scale art hanging in bedrooms, you might find great inspiration for your own house. https://www.pinterest.com/utrdecorating/bedrooms/ I also often recommend mapping out your art with Painter’s tape to confirm if a piece of art is the right size before hanging it. Have a look at this article I wrote a while ago, you might find it very helpful. http://www.utrdecorating.com/blog/qa-know-size-picture-buy-walls/ Please keep me and our readers posted on what you end up doing. It sounds like a great hanging project.

  27. Deborah Costello

    I have 2 pictures; one is vertical, the other horizontal and different sizes, but rather large. Hanging, they are the same width as the headboard.Should I try it over the headboard anyway or do you have another suggestion?

  28. Liette Post author

    Hi Deborah – it sounds like your 2 pictures would be the perfect size to hang above your headboard. If possible, map out your pieces with painter’s tape to help confirm the size before hanging them like I did here http://www.utrdecorating.com/blog/hanging-pictures-sofa/. Before you get started, have a look at pictures of bedroom walls I pinned on Pinterest, you might find great ideas that you could re-create in your bedroom https://www.pinterest.com/utrdecorating/bedrooms/. Please keep me posted of what you end up deciding.

  29. Liette Post author

    Hi Lisa – the amount of spacing to leave between frames varies depending on the style and shape of your frames, and the overall look you’re after. You don’t have to hang your frames within the width of your headboard. If you feel that more then 10 to 12 inches is needed between your pictures, go over the edges. Have a look at this link https://www.pinterest.com/utrdecorating/bedrooms/ where you’ll see lots of examples of artwork hanging above headboards. Also, if needed, you can map out the size of your frames using Painter’s tape like I did in the following article. You’ll be amazed how quickly you’ll be able to determine the amount of spacing needed. http://www.utrdecorating.com/blog/qa-know-size-picture-buy-walls/ I’d love to hear what you end up deciding.

  30. Lisa

    I have a king size sleigh bed and I want to hang 2 like midsize artwork above it. With following all of your rules about hanging artwork I still have one question? how far apart do I hang the pictures? I can get them up to 10 – 12 inches apart and still keep them within the edges of the headboard…or do I need to keep them withing the edges of the headboard? Thank you!!

  31. Liette Post author

    Hi Christine – Your oil painting is not too large. Although I usually recommend leaving 8 to 10in between the headboard and bottom of a picture frame in your case, you could hang your oil closer to your headboard to allow more wall space between the top of your art and ceiling. Another option is to hang it in the middle of the wall as you mentioned with 2in of wall space at the top. Have a look at this link https://www.pinterest.com/utrdecorating/bedrooms/ where you’ll find lots of great examples of artwork hanging over poster beds. Please keep me posted on what you end up deciding.

  32. Christine N

    I have a beautiful oil I was thinking of hanging over my large king poster bed My ceiling is a tray ceiling. I only have 4 inches to spare from my headboard to the bottom of the tray ceiling. Is this oil too large since if centered it will be two inches from the lower tray of the ceiling ?

  33. Amelita

    Hi Liette!

    Thank you for this post! I’m finally decorating my room like an ADULT (just turned 28, so it’s time, I suppose), and I painted an accent wall behind my bed, which has a headboard. To the left of the headboard about 8 inches-ish above the top of it I have a small hanging shelf, and then to the right, a new (yay!) lamp that has a horizontal line at about that same level. So, I figure that’s about where I should line up the bottom of the art I want to hang.

    So here is my question: I’ve fallen in love with a beautiful canvas that is in portrait orientation. Following the 2/3 rule, it seems that the width will have to be about 40″, which would make the height too big for the room (and my wallet) I believe, probably bringing it closer to the crown molding than the headboard. How much smaller do you think I can go without it looking awkward? I’m nervous about hanging a portrait-oriented piece above the bed as it is, but I really love the canvas and would like to try to make it work.

    Thank you so much!

  34. Liette Post author

    Hi Amelita – Congrats on your new “Adult room”! When I have trouble figuring out the size of a piece, I usually map out its measurements using Painter’s tape. It’s amazing how well it works and how quickly it helps confirm if a piece is the right size or not. Have a look at this article to see how to do it http://www.utrdecorating.com/blog/qa-know-size-picture-buy-walls/. Also, have a look at my Pinterest bedroom board where you’ll see lots of examples of oversized art hanging above headboards. You might find a look that could work in your bedroom. https://www.pinterest.com/utrdecorating/bedrooms/ Please keep me posted on what you end up deciding.

  35. John D.

    I have a question. I have a queen size bed in a small room. The bed is in the corner, up against the wall. Besides the picture over the headboard, I want to hang some pictures (21 x 25 vertical frames) and the wall on the side of the bed. How far above the mattress should they be? Or should I hang them in relation to the center-headboard picture (e.g. I could hang them all the same distance from the ceiling). Thanks.

  36. Liette Post author

    Hi John – you don’t have to hang your vertical frames in relation to the one already hanging above the headboard. It’s a separate wall and can be addressed differently. Since your frames are of the same size, I would hang them level to each other. As for the height,it can vary depending of the look you’re after. Make the bed including throw pillows, comforters etc…hang your frames so they clear the bedding. With that said, it’s best to have your frames closer to the bed than to the ceiling to visually connect the bed and art together. If you want to map out your display with Painter’s tape, it will help you determine the perfect height for your frames. See how to do it here: http://www.utrdecorating.com/blog/qa-know-size-picture-buy-walls/

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