Best Tips for Choosing the Right-Sized Art for You

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When you choose a piece of art, there’s no other way of going about it other than buying it and giving it a perfect place in your home. But out of all the things that could stop you from getting that art piece, it being the wrong size or shape for your space is what can be the biggest obstacle.

Yeah, of course, you love the colors and are impressed by the details and the art medium used. You’ve also got enough in your pocket to pay for it, but see, what are you going to do with a 120x120cm painting when you’ve got no space to hang it? And it’s a pity to own a beautiful painting, only covered under a cloth in the storeroom. 

So before you fall for any works of art and get hooked on them, it’s a good idea to decide what would be the ideal dimensions, orientation, and placement of the artwork for a particular wall in your home. Read on for professional tips for choosing the right-sized art for your space.

Considering the Room and Wall for the Art

One of the most fundamental aspects of picking the right-sized art is the room it will go in. It’s not that large-sized artworks go with large-sized rooms and vice versa.

We have to see how spacious a room looks when choosing art for it. If it’s a large room, and it doesn’t have a lot of furniture in it and seems empty, you can fill it up by choosing a large-sized painting.

In the same way, if a room is too crowded, even if it’s a large room, a small-sized painting would do much better than a large one. Art tends to lose its attractiveness when hung in a crowded room full of other stuff.

Take into account the ceilings of the room. High, simple ceilings call for large portrait-oriented works. If a room has vaulted ceilings, large, grand paintings with ornate frames will go with it. On the contrary, low ceilings call for landscape-oriented art.

When it comes to the wall, there is a straightforward rule. High walls with short widths go with similar-shaped art, that is, portrait-oriented paintings. In the same way, walls that are shorter in height and longer in width complement art with a similar orientation.

With modern art, the bigger the painting, the bigger the statement. The ideal size of the art piece in ratio to the size of the wall is 2/3 or 3/4. 

Right-Sized Art Dimensions

As mentioned above, you should aim to fill two-thirds to three-fourths of the wall with a painting. These are the dimensions for contemporary art and for walls that are not very full.

Usually, people buy artwork to hang over a piece of furniture, for instance, a sofa set, headboard, or dewan. You can follow the same general rule mentioned above, but there’s also the furniture size to consider.

The artwork should not be larger than your furniture, but at least 25% smaller than it. If you’ve got a 60-inch long headboard, the artwork should be no greater than 48 inches in length.

When we’re usually buying art, we seldom have the exact wall dimensions with us. When uncertain, it’s always recommended to go big. Artworks that are too big are always better than those that are too small.

One important thing to consider when getting a piece of art is to remind yourself that the dimensions mentioned in an art piece do not include the frame. When a painting is framed, it usually adds a few inches to both sides of the canvas, increasing the length and width up to 10cm. Not to mention, framing your artwork is a whole new topic on its own. 

Interior designers recommend thinking of the painting as a bridge of color that connects parts of your room together. For example, it connects the couches, the table, and the lamps with each other, adding cohesion to the design of your room. Artwork with too small dimensions will fail to do this.

Right-Sized Art Placement

If you’ve decided on the dimensions and orientation, you might as well decide where exactly to hang the painting. The standard rule for hanging wall art, as practiced by art galleries, is to place it at eye level, which is the center of the painting, and should be 55-60 inches higher from the floor.

Eye-level height is the most aesthetically pleasing height to hang your paintings, making them easy to look at and for you to be comfortably pleased by their aesthetics.

Of course, if you’re hanging over furniture, you’ll have to notch the height up. At least 4-12 inches higher than the furniture. This space between the furniture and the artwork is called breathing space and is essential to both the aesthetics of the art and the furniture.

Salon Wall

So much for large-sized art. What to do if a large painting doesn’t fit your budget or your room or you like miniature craft more?

It’s true. A small painting hanging in the middle of a big white wall will get overwhelmed by the white. Arranging several small paintings together and creating a salon wall is an excellent option for placing small-sized art.

If you have several similar-sized paintings, arrange them in a grid and make a real-life collage on your wall. If the sizes and orientations differ, try different placements for different paintings like a puzzle. Try different things, and everything will soon fall into place.

As a general rule, larger paintings should have 2-3 inches of space between them. Smaller ones can be arranged closer with 1-2 inches of wall space in between.

Final Thoughts

If you are an art newbie looking at buying artwork, then make sure to pick something that’s ideal for your living space. The above-mentioned tips will make that job a lot easier.

Gary Rhode
Gary Rhode