Artworks enhance living spaces, giving them that complete feeling that makes it all come together as one cohesive masterpiece. However, looking for the right artwork to decorate your space can sometimes be challenging. You may know your colors, your style, and even a set budget but still find yourself confused on sizes and shapes. Whether it be a one-of-a-kind original painting, canvas prints, or framed photographs, that wall art could be the transformation your room is missing but in the wrong dimensions or placement, it can look pretty awkward and out of place. To make your selection process less stressful, here’s a guide to decide what size wall art will be just perfect for your space.
When choosing artwork for any room, the bigger you go, the better. One mistake people tend to make is select artworks that are too small for their room. Large pieces will always create an eye-catching focal point in space while small pieces tend to look like an afterthought. You don’t want to invest in your artwork, hang it and still feel like your room is still desolate afterwards. Take your space into consideration; the kind of room and the impression you want the artwork to make in it, height of the ceilings, the space your furniture takes up, etc. An empty wall space can easily overshadow a small work of art. You want your artwork to stand out, make a strong statement, and create the right impressions every time.
Single large artwork on a large wall. Seventh Heaven 48 x 36 Oil on Canvas by Morris.
The rule of thumb is that your artwork of choice must cover at least 65% to 75% of your wall space. So, if you have a large wall space, the bigger the artwork the better. If you don’t have a single big piece of artwork for your big wall space, consider hanging 2 pieces together side by side OR create your own grid of a dynamic gallery wall with multiple pieces. If you are hanging your artwork above a piece of furniture like a dresser or even a fireplace, you should still follow these same proportions. For example, if your couch is 80 inches wide, your ideal artwork will be around 53 to 60 inches wide. Remember, if you are buying an artwork without your measurements or you are in doubt for any reason, go BIG!
Two framed photographs hanging side by side
Gallery wall with multiple framed pieces as one unit
Orientation & Placement
Another thing to consider when it comes to selecting the right sized wall art is how high your artwork will hang. The general rule of thumb is that your artwork is hanging such that the center of the piece is at eye level. If you are hanging your artwork above a piece of furniture, give it some room to breathe; the bottom of your artwork should hang around 6 to 12 inches from the top of your furniture. You want your room to feel balanced with each item in there shinning in its own right. The average person’s height of 5’6’’ is always a good guideline for eye-level if you are taller or shorter than the average person.
Another thing to remember is that artworks created in portrait or of vertical orientation work best with tall, narrow walls while landscape artworks work best with horizontal wall spaces. With that being said, keep in the mind the 65% to 75% rule.
Original Portrait Painting hanging on a tall narrow wall
Remember that these guidelines are just there to give you a better sense of scale. You don’t have to follow all the rules but if you do, your artwork will provide that balance you are looking for in your space.
Now you are ready to go, let the fun begin!
Landscape Contemporary Artwork on a horizontal/wide wall