How to Hang Pictures Around an Entertainment Center

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Entertainment centers can not only occupy a large portion of your living room, they can dominate the entire space. Deflect the eye from the wall unit by surrounding it with artwork, using the empty space around the cabinetry. Make detailed plans for your wall decor before you drive the first nail, and don’t forget the space above the cabinets. Your pictures become as much a part of your room as the entertainment center, providing a visual outlet that tames the dominance of the furniture. Filling the walls with artwork completes your canvas and provides entertainment during commercials.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Laser level
  • Hammer
  • Picture hooks
  • Artwork
  • Paint the wall behind the cabinet to coordinate with your decor, giving the wall a base of color that complements your artwork. Measure the distance between the top of the highest cabinet and the ceiling or molding. Note the different heights if you have a vaulted or peaked ceiling. Measure the width of the space. Repeat for the vacant walls on either side of the cabinet. Think of the three spaces as separate but unified.

  • Separate the pictures according to frame color, picture color, theme or size. Measure each picture. Create groupings of different pieces that relate to each other, such as all gold frames, sepia photographs, travel pictures or paintings that you want to showcase.

  • Determine the placement of furniture against the wall before coordinating your pictures. Use your tape measure and laser level to mark a center line on the wall on both sides of the entertainment center to indicate the center of your groupings. Indicate the center line on your drawing of the space. The center line provides unity to all the pictures.

  • Sketch the placement of the pictures on the wall on your paper. Use the center line, knowing that the center of the pictures, regardless of their size, will all fall on that line, or hang equidistant above and below it.

  • Space the pictures at least 2 inches apart. If you’re hanging a vertical picture next to two horizontal pictures, the center line flows through the center of the vertical picture at the 1-inch mark between the two horizontals to create a symmetrical arrangement.

  • Hang pictures below the chair line if you can see the vacant space from your sofa to create another outlet for the eye. Use the top of the cabinet in the same manner, either hanging pictures or leaning them against the back wall. Use the space a tall ceiling provides by filling it with artwork, tall decorative pieces or even a four-fold Oriental screen.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep symmetry and balance in mind as you organize your pictures around the entertainment center.
  • Don't clutter the space. Well-placed and well-coordinated reads better than a jumble of pictures with no connection.

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  • Photo Credit Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images
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