Best Size Artwork - Dawn M. Wayand

How To Choose the Perfect Size Artwork for Your Living Space

Acquiring a new piece of art can be exciting but it can also be a bit challenging as there are so many things to consider such as different styles, and color coordination with your existing decor, not to mention your budget. However, it’s also easy to overlook the importance of considering the size of a piece of artwork for your living space.

Best Size Artwork - Dawn M. Wayand

Too small artwork can make a room feel “off”, and too large can make a room feel overcrowded.


Too large of a canvas and your room can feel a bit crowded, while too small can make a room feel “off”. Artwork with the right dimensions and orientation can really tie a room together. If you’re ready to buy but unsure where to start, I’ve put together a few simple guidelines to get you going in the right direction.



If you have a narrow strip of wall space between two windows, between two doors, or between a window and a corner or a doorway and a corner that yearns for something other than wall paint on it, consider a portrait-oriented (vertical) artwork. This will create a sense of height in the room.

Orientation - Portrait-Oriented - After the Rain I - Dawn M. Wayand

After the Rain I (24×36”)


If you have a broader, vast, wall space to hang a piece, then either go for a landscape-oriented (horizontal) artwork or a series of portrait-oriented artworks hung next to each other that work together. This will fill the field of view.

Orientation - Landscape-Oriented - Sunflowers Triptych I - Dawn M. Wayand

Sunflowers Triptych I (16×40”, 30×40”, 16×40”)



When determining the size of a piece of art to hang, aim for a piece that fills two-thirds (0.666) to three-fourths (0.75) of the available wall space. The same proportions apply when hanging your artwork over furniture such as a dresser, a sofa, or a headboard but you will be using your furniture more as your guide for sizing the artwork. Look for artwork with a width that is two-thirds to three-fourths the width of the furniture. For instance, if your sofa is 80 inches wide, try to find a work approximately 53-60 inches wide.

Size - Large Artwork - Music in My Dreams - Dawn M. Wayand

Music in My Dreams (48×24”)


One large piece of art isn’t always feasible or within the budget. For larger wall spaces you can hang a series of artworks side by side using the same width allotment you would’ve used for a larger piece. Just add up the width of each artwork and the space needed between them and make sure it still equals the necessary two-thirds to three-fourths width of space you are aiming for.

Size - Multiple Portrait-Oriented - Hidden Treasures I & II - Dawn M. Wayand

Hidden Treasures I & II (20×24” each)



Generally, artworks are hung at eye level with the “center” of the piece approximately 65-70 inches above the floor. When hanging artwork above a dresser, sofa, or headboard, it’s best to leave 6-12 inches between the bottom of the artwork and the top of the furniture. Heat can destroy artworks over time so I do not recommend hanging a valuable piece over a fireplace, however, I would recommend hanging a mirror or some other form of decoration 4-6 inches over a fireplace mantel for the best look.

Placement - Chaos I - Dawn M. Wayand

Chaos I (36×24”)


So now that you have a better idea about size, orientation, and placement to go with your existing ideas of colors, styles, and budget, it’s time to go buy some artwork for those walls! Keep in mind these are just guidelines to help make your rooms look balanced. If you’re slightly off with measurements but the artwork really speaks to you, go for it and make it work for you! 














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