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Choosing the right sized art for your room requires 5 main considerations to ensure the art enhances home décor rather than detracts or overpowers it. Determining the ideal picture size for walls, especially when dealing with large paintings, can overwhelm homeowners when choosing home décor. Complicating matters, determining the placement of new art into existing wall décor can seem daunting. Choosing framed art or proper canvas sizes on a wall, especially when dealing with a gallery wall can feel complex enough to paralyze the average art buyer.  The following 5 considerations will help solve these common home décor challenges.

RULE TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SIZED ART FOR A ROOM

A top mistake I see made when homeowners choose art for their homes is that they choose a picture size for a room that is too small for the space. Art is easily overwhelmed in a space when the art piece is too small for the room.  The general rule to follow is that wall art should cover 60-70% of the available wall space.  What does available wall space mean?  Available wall space means the blank wall space not covered by plants, lamps, furniture, windows, curtains, or other items.  If you are choosing to cover your walls with a single piece of art, this could mean you need a very large painting over a sofa or on a blank wall.  Consider the shape of the room and the placement of the furniture as well when choosing canvas art for a wall or framed art and also think about the portrait or landscape orientation of the piece.

RULE TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SIZED ART FOR A WALL

When placing art on a wall, roughly three-quarters of the available space should be taken up by art.  This can be accomplished in the form of a single piece of wall art or through the creation of a gallery wall.  Gallery walls are an assembly of coordinated wall art arranged together on a single wall. Just like in the advice for choosing proper art size for a room, art that is too small on a wall can easily be overwhelmed by other home décor. It may seem scary to purchase a large painting or photograph, however, I have never heard a client say they wish they chose a smaller canvas size on a wall. In general, the wall art will need to be larger than anticipated. Do not be afraid to go big and fill up the space.

RULE TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SIZED ART FOR OVER A SOFA, TABLE, OR FIREPLACE

When considering the proper size to choose for large paintings or large photographs to place over a sofa, table, or fireplace mantel, the art piece should be three-fourths (3/4) the width (or length) of what you are hanging the artwork over.  When choosing the proper height for the large painting or large photograph, the artwork should be installed six to 12 inches above the item you are hanging the artwork over.  This rule should help you choose how tall a large painting or large photograph should be. Simply use a tape measure from where you want your large artwork to begin and stop between 6”-12” above your furniture or mantel to determine the height that will work for your space.

RULE ON HOW HIGH TO HANG ART ON A WALL

The rule on how high to hang a large photograph or large painting on a wall is to consider a person of average height (five foot eight inches or so) and ensure that the center point of the wall art is at eye-level for this average person.  Following this rule will safeguard that the wall art is not too high on the wall for the viewer. Some exceptions for this general rule – if the artwork is being hung over a piece of furniture or a mantle, use the six to 12 in above the furniture rule.

RULE ON HOW TO CHOOSE BETWEEN A SINGLE LARGE PHOTOGRAPH OR A GALLERY WALL

The rule on choosing a single large photograph or a gallery wall of assembled art is if you want to collect art from a single artist or from multiple artists or if the wall is particularly large, a gallery wall may be the right choice for your space.  To create a gallery wall, start with a favorite piece or a statement piece of art.  It can help to lay out the grouping of art on the floor.  If you are considering buying art for the space, use painters’ tape to outline on the wall where the art will go so that you can visualize how the grouping will look and how much space it will take on the wall.  Templates for gallery walls exist online if additional help is required. Follow the rules above in this article for room size, wall size, and above furniture to confirm the gallery wall properly fills the space.

Choosing artwork sizing for a room or wall can seem complicated and daunting. Following these 5 simple rules can demystify the process and help you achieve success.  If you after following these steps you still have questions, please reach out to me at Beth Sheridan Photography and book a consultation.  I am happy to help you find the perfect statement art or photograph series from my collection for your space.

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