Choosing The Appropriate Size of Artwork

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Appropriate Size of Artwork

When selecting a painting to hang in any room of the home, one of the most important considerations is size. If it is too large it may overpower the rest of the décor while art that is too small may get lost amid other features. Unlike most of the accessories that you might add to a room, the right piece of artwork has the power to complete your room – or to create a distraction that spoils the rest of your décor. So just how can you make sure that your choice of artwork is appropriate for the room in which it is to be displayed?

Why Size Matters

Choosing the correct size of artwork to hang on your wall is all about finding the right balance. If you have a large blank wall it can be tempting to purchase a large painting to hang there. However, if you also need to consider the size of the room itself rather than the available space on the wall. If you hang a large painting in a small room or in one which is crowded with furniture then you may find that the painting overpowers the rest of the room.

It is also important to think about how the painting will be viewed. For very large paintings, it will be necessary to step back several feet in order to appreciate its full effect. If you have a small room then this may not be possible making having such a large painting a little pointless.

Five Tips For Choosing The Right Size

Now that you know why choosing the right size of the painting is important, the following tips should help to make choosing the appropriate size of painting for your room a little easier.

  • Start by measuring the height and width of the wall on which your artwork is to hang. If it is to hang above a piece of furniture then you will want to measure the height starting at the top of the furniture rather than the floor so that it hangs at the correct height.
  • Think about what else is on the wall. If you are going to hang the painting above furniture then it should be no more than three-quarters of the width of the furniture. The only exception to this rule is where a painting if hung over the fireplace. In this instance, the best option is to ignore the measurements of the mantel and choose a painting that is the same width as the mouth of the fireplace. This creates a more balanced look.
  • If you purchase artwork that has not yet been framed, you will need to account for the width of the frame. Even a fairly minimal frame of about 3cm will add 6cm to your painting’s dimensions which will impact the ratio when calculating wall space.
  • A good general rule of thumb to follow is that the space at either side of the wall should be approximately one third the width of the painting. So for a wall that measures 1.8 meters the appropriate size of artwork would be 1.08 meters, leaving 36 cm on either side.
  • If you have a very wide wall it is best to choose a series of matching pieces of art instead of one long piece. In this case, you will want to leave a minimum of 10cm in between each piece. When calculating the overall size using the previous tip you would combine the widths of the paintings and the spaces between them. So in the same example with a 1.8 meter wall, you may choose to hang two 49cm wide paintings with a 10cm gap between them.

These are by no means hard and fast rules, but they should give you a great starting point when it comes to choosing artwork. However, you should always go with your instincts. If the artwork you choose does not quite meet the suggested guidelines do not abandon it if it looks great with the décor. You can make it work, perhaps by changing the frame for something slimmer, or by using lighting to open up space. The important thing is that it looks great without overpowering the room.

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