How to nail a salon hang like a professional

Steeped in tradition, the salon hang is a spectacular way to display your collection of art and curios
4 tricky tasks you didn't know you could outsource | Home Beautiful MagazineJohn Downs

A collection of seemingly disparate objects comes together beautifully as a sophisticated salon hang. More than a collection of randomly placed artworks however, the salon hang is a carefully considered and arranged grouping. 

Getting it right takes planning, curation and a whole lot of measuring! We talk to Trevor Spiers, founder and owner of Spiers Hanging Service for an expert guide on how to achieve this look and get it right first time.

How to nail a salon hang | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
Objects can be a combination of functional and decorative (Credit: John Downs)

What’s the secret to a successful salon hang? 

“Choose pieces that you love,” says Trevor. “Allow lots of empty wall space around the cluster to ‘frame’ the collection and stay within a colour palette. Experiment with a variety of shapes and sizes by laying everything out on the floor first and taking photos of the arrangements you like.”

Be creative and have fun!

Trevor Spiers, Spiers Hanging Service
How to nail a salon hang | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
Visually connect to adjacent vignettes (Credit: John Downs)

Where do I start placing the hang in relation to other items in the room? 

“A salon hang is a bold statement and will look its best when given sufficient space to breathe,” Trevor advises. “Choose a prominent wall and ensure that there is enough empty space left around the grouping. Pick out colours of soft furnishings close by and use them in the hang. Remember that the empty space around the frame is as important as what is in the frame!”

How do I combine artworks that don’t seem to match one another?

Visually, there is a lot going on so various shapes, styles and types of frame will create the required dynamic effect on the wall. “I find that colour really dictates the selection,” says Trevor. “Not all pieces are going to work together and colour can be the most distracting component with this style of hanging.”



“Eliminate a piece that doesn’t work because of its colour or, if it is something you really want to hang, re-work others around it.”

Trevor Spiers

‘Less is more’ or ‘more is more?’ How do I edit?

The salon hang originates from the academies of 19th Century Paris where there was literally not enough space to hang all the paintings at eye level. Artworks were crammed haphazardly from floor to ceiling, creating an impressive ‘wall of art’.

“The modern salon hang has evolved into something more refined,” says Trevor. “Whilst the style is to hang en masse, it is possible to overdo it. There really is no hard and fast rule here – the size of the wall should dictate your choices.”

All of my pieces have different methods of securing –  how do I approach this?

“t’s best to stick with one method for all pictures,” Trevor advises. “A string or wire on the back of a frame is the easiest method. Position it high to ensure the picture hangs as flat as possible against the wall. Small items require only one fixing but for larger pictures over 30cm wide, use two fixings in the wall. Blu-tack on the bottom corners is a great way to ensure they stay level.” 

How to nail a salon hang | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
(Credit: John Downs)

Trevor’s top three tips for the perfect salon hang

  1. The centre of the hang should be around 140-150cm from the ground 
  2. Use consistent gaps between pictures for continuity – between 2cm and 5cm is best 
  3. Use the ‘one third rule’. Divide frames into thirds and use this as a method of initially placing the large works. Begin filling in spaces with smaller pieces, finishing with the smallest items last


Trevor Spiers is a specialist picture hanger. Visit for more information.

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