Straight Hangin

This is probably not my most profound post for this website. Nor,fingers crossed, will it be the longest. But that doesn’t mean it’s not as crucial as the rest, for there’s a real problem in our society that’s need to be addressed.

Let me set the stage first. A few months ago, my wife and I bought our first house. It was very exciting, and continues to be. However, despite the property having been flipped and thus to-a-certain-extent renovated before we purchased it, there was an unexpectedly-substantial amount of work we needed to put into it:

  • Our back door needed to be completely replaced
  • We discovered that massive trees in our backyard were dying and needed to be taken down
  • We had to measure for and hang blinds in all 19 of our windows, as they had been sold “naked” – whatever they had previously did not ultimately convey
  • A pong table needed to be built, obviously

These, and more projects, have taken us quite a bit of time to work through, but we’re now at the point where the biggest items have been addressed; it’s now mostly small items that remain. And of those smaller items is a straightforward but wholly dreaded task: hanging picture frames.

Boy, let me tell you: mounting frames on your wall is heinous. Some, with wires or central, wide-mouth brackets, are easy to put up, but these seem to be few and far between. Instead, what you typically find is flimsy triangles that droop down when you need them to stay up, forcing me to resort to tying loops of dental floss around them and holding them up manually during the process. Others simply provide tiny mounting holes that are far too small to accommodate a normal normal screw- or nail-head.

Beyond that, one of my biggest pet peeves is when frames use a two-bracket mount in the back, rather than a single, central rung. This isn’t because I’m lazy, or don’t know how to use a tape measure. It’s instead because the distance between the two brackets, which you need to measure and then calibrate against the center point in the wall, is by no means an integer – making the mental measuring calculations all the more difficult. The frame I most recently hung, for instance, is exactly 48 inches wide; why on earth are the two mounting holes in the back 41 and 13/16 inches apart? CAN’T YOU ARBITRARILY PICK A ROUNDER NUMBER !?!?!

Here’s the deal, manufacturers. I get that you have productions costs to consider, and thus I can understand why the materials and moldings you use to make your mounting apparatuses gets short-shrifted. But at the very least, it’s time to be more thoughtful about the length in between those apparatuses. In fact, I’m planting a flag, and issuing a rule moving forward: The distance has to be in half-inches. The more whole numbers, the better.

Think about the people.

Besides proposing a simple solution one of humanity’s arguably biggest problems, I wanted to write this post because I find two things about this issue interesting:

  1. This was not a problem I was aware of until I got married, really because I was no longer just a dude living on my own or with other dudes. When you’re growing up or in/out-of college, most of what you throw up on your wall are posters. You grab some green gunk, and stick that concert set-list right up there, adjusting easily if you don’t get it right the first time. Until you get older, when it’s no longer age-appropriate to have unframed sports memorabilia caking your walls, are you forced to use frames. That requires putting holes in the walls, which itself requires measuring. One more sign of adulthood.
  2. It still is a bit surprising that “easy to mount” isn’t a characteristic the frame companies seem to care about, but I do have a theory: its just doesn’t affect their business that much. It creates a negative user experience, certainly, but it doesn’t influence purchasing behavior. After all, I would imagine most people purchase frames the way I do, which is they consider aesthetics, and they consider price. Whichever frame satisfies best those two criteria ends up in the cart. It’s only after shoppers get home when they realize “hangability” should have been a third factor to evaluate.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.