Getting the perfect-sized painting for your room might seem to be a difficult task, suited for “connoisseurs” only, but in fact is a fun and interesting thing to do!Whether it is a unique, one-of-a-kind original painting, or a mass-produced, Chinese-made reproduction sold world-wide by IKEA, any interior designer would agree that by adding such wall art to your home decor you would have the great chance to enhance your space with color, style and an eye-catching focal point to stare at and dream, create or just relax. However, the task of determining the proper size and proper placement of new artwork could sometimes seem complicated. As an artist who creates nice custom paintings for a world-wide clientele, I would like to help with that frequent question that so many folks have when planning for art purchase: “What size of painting should I choose for my wall?”.
Here’s a guide on how to make this room-changing decision by making the selection process a little bit easier, and more importantly fun!
1. Look at your room – is it a tiny, cozy attic or a big, Viennese-palace ball-room? – One decorating mis-judgement that I see every so often when I receive a nice photo from a homeowner showing me my painting hanging in their space, is that people tend to choose wall art that is much too small for the room ! Take into account the furniture that you have in a room, if it is sparsely furnished, then a large piece of artwork will fill up the visual field as furniture might. Don’t be shy, just go with a Bang! Think about your ceilings, are they tall, vaulted ceilings, lost in the clouds, allowing for a grand painting, or intimate, low ceilings, where a shorter canvas height with landscape orientation might work best? Choosing a bigger size is an especially good decision if buying modern and contemporary art, to maximize the statement.
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2. Would you want to hang something above furniture or a sofa? – Many of my clients who ask for my help in recommendations for art for their home send me photos of the wall where they intend to hang the piece. This is great and it works in their favour, since based on the measurements they provide, I can quickly tell them just the right size canvas for hanging! However, I sometimes receive photos sent from clients showing my work hung in their rooms, and I wish they would have consulted me on size selection prior to purchasing, because often the beautiful 30″ (76cm) painting they just invested in looks lost over their huge couch. Here is the rule of thumb when hanging art above furniture like a sofa, table, fireplace mantle, etc: The art should be two-thirds the width of the furniture and hung 6″-10″ (15-25 cm) above the top. It is that easy! Of course it doesn’t need to be exact, sometimes an off-center piece brings wonderful visual interest to a wall, but when in doubt, fall back on that rule!
3. What kind of painting size would your wall like? – Well, of course, you will consider the wall, and you will probably measure it once or twice, or several times if you are like my husband :), but then what? You need to think about two things here – of course there are the overall dimensions of the wall, but then you also need to think about its shape. Tall, narrow walls will work best with art of a similar shape, created in a portrait or vertical orientation, while horizontal wall spaces (often found over sofas, or in a hallway) work better with landscape-oriented artwork. At the end, your artwork should take up two-thirds to three-fourths of the entire wall.
4. Create your own gallery wall! – Gallery walls are a fun, eye-catching way to fill a large, boring, flat wall space when you are drawn to more than one piece by the same artist, or when you find several prints or paintings within the same color palette that you’d like to group together, or when you are keen to display amazing, artistic framed photographs. You can create real visual interest by grouping together art of varying sizes in one of many gallery layouts that you can find online. In this case, lay the artwork out on the floor first, measure the total groupings height and width and make sure it follows the same guidelines above for filling up your space. There are many online websites which can provide you with free downloadable gallery wall templates to guide you in your layouts.
5. Time to consider how tall you are – A close second sizing mistake to art being too small for the wall, is art being hung much too high! You need to think about this when determining the size of art to choose, any singular piece of art should be hung with the center point at eye-level. In the end, you get the art to see it and enjoy it so don’t be afraid to look at your art andlet the art see you as well. Just fill up that space!
6. Keep it simple! – Adding a frame is not necessarily, especially if the artwork is painted on the sides or if you like to frame it you can use this a frame that perfectly complements your canvas without detracting from its beauty.
Art, especially original art, is an investment that can last a lifetime, it can make a room look great and is essential that you enjoy it fully!
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