The Height to Hang Decorative Shelves on a Wall

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Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure

  • Carpenter’s level

As you decorate a room, filling the walls with pictures and other decor is often a work in progress. Finding just the right artwork for over a sofa can enhance the look and feel of a living room. Selecting sconces or pictures for a dining room can pull the room together attractively. Decorating a wall with an accent shelf is another way to add decor. Determine the height to hang decorative shelves on a wall by the room and the wall you are decorating.


Step 1

Estimate the overall height of the shelf and the objects you plan to place on it or hang from it. For example, if the shelf and its decorative brackets are 8 inches high and the items you plan to place on it will range up to 12 inches in height, the total height of the decorative shelf will be 20 inches.


Step 2

Measure up from the floor with the tape measure according to the type of room or wall. Make a small dot with the pencil between 5 and 6 feet from the floor for a hallway wall and between 4 and 4 1/2 feet from the floor for a living or dining room wall. For hanging the shelf above a couch, measure up 10 inches above the back of the couch and place a small mark to indicate where the bottom point of the shelf must be.


Step 3

Divide the overall height of the shelf and the objects by two and measure this distance up and down from the pencil mark for a living room or dining room wall. Make small marks on the wall with the pencil at these points.

Step 4

Use the carpenter's level to make additional marks to the right and left of the first marks to help you hang the shelf level. Do the same for hanging a shelf above a couch.


Step 5

Hang the shelf on the wall so that the center point of the shelf and objects rests along the center pencil marks and so the top pencil marks rests at the top point of the shelf and the bottom pencil marks rests at the bottom pencil marks. Use the marks above a couch to place the shelf so the bottom point of the shelf rests at the pencil marks.


Kathryn Hatter

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.