How to choose the right size art for a wall

How to choose wall art size

How to choose the right size art for a wall is a question I am commonly asked so I wanted to share with you some helpful advice on this topic.

Before you start your search for the perfect wall art, I strongly recommend you measure your room and determine the size that will work in the space you would like to put it. Take into consideration viewing distance as well as furniture and wall shape. It’s important to select the perfect size wall art for your room to create balance and to avoid the artwork looking underwhelming or overwhelming in your space.

'Crowned Dahlia' by Contemporary New Zealand Artist Anna Mollekin

Can art be too big for a wall?

Yes, it can be. It is important to consider in your room how far back you will be able to stand to view the artwork. If it’s a real large artwork, can you stand back far enough from it to get a comfortable view? Or is your room too small and the artwork looks uneasy and in your face? 

Here are some general wall art sizing rules that experts recommend:

  • Wall art should take up about 50-75% of a wall that has no furnishings.
  • Wall art should fill about 65-75% the length of the furniture.
  • There should be around 150-300mm space between the bottom edge of your wall art and the top of a piece of furniture.
  • It is recommended that you hang artwork with the centre of the piece being at eye level. This is typically around 1.5m from the floor.

'Fantail's Lace' Indoor Decal by Contemporary New Zealand Artist Anna Mollekin in collaboration with Just a Little Bit Cool.

The shape of the wall can define the wall art’s ideal orientation

Consider the height and shape of the wall in conjunction with the orientation of the artwork. Landscape orientation artwork tends to work better on wide rectangle-shaped walls. Portrait orientation artwork can work well on narrow width walls to allow breathing space.

Artwork needs room to breathe as whitespace can affect how the artwork is seen and assists defining the artwork. It can help lead the eye and prevent a space from looking too crowded. 

'Kowhai's Joy', 'Fronds of Freedom' and 'The Magnificent Manuka' by Contemporary New Zealand Artist Anna Mollekin.

Fill a balanced visual footprint size by grouping wall art together

If you don’t want one large wall art, you can hang multiple smaller pieces together to fill the best visual footprint for your wall, approaching the collection like one piece of art. Have some fun and add your personality and a focal point to a room by grouping complementary framed artwork prints, photographs, art canvas and wall decor. Wall art with common themes, colours, style or by the same artist will look cohesive together.

Hanging wall art as a triptych (three complimentary artworks together) always look great too as it is balanced and harmonious. Triptychs gives you good wall coverage and creates a sense of movement and leads the viewers eyes across the artworks. Experts recommend that the ideal spacing between multiple artworks is about 75-150mm.

'Fronds of Freedom' by Contemporary New Zealand Artist Anna Mollekin.

​Three top tips to help you get the right size wall art

  1. If you are in love with an art print or photograph but it does not come in the size that you need for your room, contact the artist and enquire if they can do the custom size for you.
  2. If you are unsure about how the size or placement of artwork will look on a wall, blue tack up some paper at scale and positioning. Alternatively, you could mask it out with masking tape. Stand back and view the wall. This will allow you to envision more clearly if the wall art size looks balanced and in proportion before you buy it or put holes in your walls to hang it.
  3. Before you start hanging, arrange all the pieces on the floor to plan and experiment where you would like to hang them on the wall and the spacing between each.

I would love your feedback!

Please comment below if you find this helpful and if you have any questions that you would love me to answer in my future blogs. 

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