Sizing Artwork for the Right Place in Your Home

by Eric Von Lehmden | May 27, 2014

sizing artwork

Choosing the right artwork for a space is quite a challenge. It can easily overwhelm even the most gifted designer. With the variety of subject matter and substrates out there it only compounds the feeling of dread that can wash over you when you try to pick that perfect piece of artwork for a blank wall in your home. The advice I can give you talks about scale and sizing for your space. I chose the four most trafficked areas in your home to discuss how to choose the right artwork for that space.

Sizing Artwork For The bedroom

Art over your bed should appeal to you, expressing personality. The piece you select will be viewed each night, choose wisely! This piece doesn’t have to be a canvas print or a framed photograph. It can be a mirror, something you collect, or a grouping of objects. When choosing canvas print or photograph for over your headboard, picture size depends on bed size, headboard, and room size. An oversized picture can dwarf the room, but a canvas print that is too small can be swallowed up by the scale of the bed and wall. Before hanging the picture, you can use a piece of cardboard that represents the size of the photograph or canvas print. Place it where you will hang the artwork, then decide if it looks good in the space you wish to display it. Try other sizes until you find the perfect fit for your room. Art hung over the bed should be large, stand out, and run the length of your headboard to blend with bedrooms. Don’t have a picture that you think will look good at that size? No worries, you can still get the same effect (if not better) by creating a wall collage using a grouping of smaller canvas prints or framed prints.

Sizing Artwork For The Fireplace

Placing art above the mantle allows you four options based on the natural flow of the fireplace. You can decipher what type of natural flow your fireplace creates if you measure the distance between the two lines on the mantle to get the exact width. Use this measurement to create an eye-catching display. The common fireplace mantle is 5-6 feet wide (60" - 72", and when you hang the picture above the fireplace mantle, a print is placed higher, than when displayed on a regular wall. A framed artwork or canvas print could range between 30"x24" to 40"x30" for the best effect. Keeping with a rule of 2/3 - 3/4 the size of the mantle.

sizing artworkDesigned by Sally Steponkus

Here are four more options when hanging prints above a fireplace:

  • One medium sized print placed in the center above the mantle.
  • Four smaller prints of the same size extending across the width of the mantle.
  • Three vertical prints, similar in size, extending across the mantle.
  • One oversized print running the length of the mantle.

Sizing Artwork Over Sofas and Loveseats

Canvas Prints should be 30"x40" in size for details to be viewed. The picture you select should measure 2/3 the length of the sofa. Vertical or horizontal prints show well behind loveseats. Horizontal pictures have more impact behind sofas since they span across the wall. If you have a wider sofa, two vertical images next to one another will fill the wall space nicely. The print should stand out on its own, but using throws and pillows to highlight a color in the print helps tie it into the room.

sizing artworkDesign by Underwood Interiors

 

Sizing Artwork For Your Entryway

Your entryway provides an immediate impression to visitors. A vertical image highlights the height of an entryway. This is an excellent place for a warm welcoming piece of artwork on canvas, or choose family photos on canvas. For the biggest impact the artwork you choose should cover 50% of the space encompassed by the image.

In a future blog post I will share my process for choosing the actual pieces of artwork that go up in my house. Thanks for coming by and let us know if you need help with your next decorating project. We are here M-F from 8am - 6pm (CST). Give us a shout at 888.784.5553…we would love to talk about your ideas.

 

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Tips-n-Tricks #64

To get your subject out of the middle of the frame...Press halfway on your shutter release button & hold it then you can move your camera around to recompose your photo.


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