Size & Proportion
Regardless of what people say, size matters – at least when it comes to selecting the right piece of artwork for your space. For instance, you can’t hang a large painting on a wall half its size. On the other hand, it’s easy to “lose” a small piece by hanging it at the center of a large wall. Beyond the physical constraints of your walls, there are other things to consider when it comes the size of the artwork. How large or small is the room where you plan to hang it? Are there several other pieces already on display in the room, or are the walls mostly bare? How will the furniture be positioned in the room? Below are a few things to think about when thinking about the right sized piece for your space:
- If you want the artwork to make a statement and command attention, select a large piece and hang it in an otherwise plain room.
- A small piece of art is best highlighted in an intimate setting, whether it is a small scale room or a special nook in a larger space, or in combination with many other similarly sized pieces.
- For a long wall, consider hanging 16-by-20 inch pieces in a row with minimal spacing between them.
- Consider where people will stand to view the art. For example, large impressionistic images require the viewer to stand further back to get a better visual. Small, detailed images require the viewer to stand closer.
- Smaller pieces work better for narrow spaces. A large piece in a narrow space can dwarf the room.
- When hanging artwork over a piece of furniture, make sure that the artwork is at least a third smaller in width than the furniture it is hanging above. This maintains a sense of proportion and allows the artwork to be the center of attention.