The correct size and scale of wall art is extremely hard for most of us to visualize. We’re are accustomed to thumbing through 3.5x5s and 4x6s photos, so when we hear 8×10 or 11×14, we invariably think it’ll be the perfect size to display over our sofa or headboard.
But unless we plan to display 4-8 of them in a gallery, that’s simply not the case.
During an initial consultation, one of the things Sunshine and Shadows Photography discusses with our clients is the size and type of products that will work best with their décor and available wall space.
Here’s how we figure out the correct scale:
The Math Has Got to Add Up
Choosing the correct size of your artwork is easy peasy if you know what you’re doing.
If you’re opposed to math — or even work in general — the easiest way is to eyeball your wall and select art that will cover between 2/3 and 3/4 of the available space. Done. Pretty simple, eh.
However, if precision is your motto (like it is ours), then you’ll want to use the method we discovered on hayneedle.com.
First, measure the length and width of your available space. Consider “available space” as wall that’s not covered by furniture, moldings, light fixtures, etc.
Multiply the length by .57. Then multiply the length by .75. That gives you your length range.
Multiply the width by .57. Then multiply the width by .75. That gives you your width range.
Just the Right Height
The center of your art should hang at eye level, which is about 57 to 60 inches from the floor. However, this number can vary depending on the other décor in your room.
Furniture & Fireplaces
If you plan to hang artwork above a sofa, overstuffed chair or headboard, give the art 6-12 inches of empty space between the bottom of the piece and the top of the furniture to create enough breathing room.
As for width of the art, use the same math calculations described in the The Math Has Got to Add Up section or simply select a piece that is 2/3 to 3/4 the width of the furniture.
Want to hang art above a fireplace? Give yourself 3 to 6 inches above the mantle and select a size with a width larger than the fireplace opening, but smaller than the mantle.
Go Big or Go Gallery
A large photograph create a focal point in the room, while small pieces look like an afterthought or an oops.
However, if you have several photos you want to showcase on the same wall, hang them together so that visually they seem like a united art piece. Whether you prefer frames, canvas, or bamboo, the same rules for size apply.