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Deciding On Size & Space For An Artwork

ByGrace Ignacia See
Deciding On Size & Space For An Artwork

Image courtesy of Art Space Interiors

Whether you are trying to hang canvas art or a large paintingchoosing the right artwork size and the appropriate space to put it in is not an easy feat. Many factors come into play, such as deciding on the preference of color, making sure it is compatible with the interior design around it, and the available room size. How does one determine what artwork suits their space? We have always encouraged you to trust your personal taste in medium and genre as this is completely subjective. 

However, there are easy-to-follow rules for deciding proper size and space for your newly acquired artwork to make sure you avoid some commonly made mistakes. The size of an artwork should be regarded with the same importance as its composition. Works that are too small could be overwhelmed by the room, and works that are too big could overwhelm the room altogether. In this guide, we outline the different ranges of artwork sizes and a few simple tips to help you ensure that the space you are working with ends up perfectly balanced. 




It is important to know what sized painting you are working with. In the points below, we’ve outlined a range of sizes and how they should be composed in a space. 



Range: 10-17 inches 

Mini artworks look great in clusters, also known as salon-style hangs. While these works can be hung alone, it is important to make sure that they do not get lost in large spaces. Perhaps consider putting these works in more intimate spaces where they may still command attention. 


Range: 18-24 inches 

These works, like mini ones, also work great in multiples. Consider diptych and triptychs where symmetry comes into play, allowing for more connection between the artworks. Artworks of this size are flexible and look great in communal spaces and hallways. 


Range: 25-32 inches 

Medium-sized works could stand on their own depending on the space at hand. It could also work well as the focal point of a salon-style hang. Click here to find out more on how to create this perfect hang. 


Range: 33-40 inches 

Large artworks make for great statement pieces. Punchy pop works or vibrant abstract paintings have the power to bring any room to life. Works of this size should stand so as to avoid overwhelming the space. 


Range: 41 inches or larger 

Like large artworks, oversized artworks are powerful in that they draw immediate attention to themselves the second someone enters the space its in. When installing artworks of this size, make sure you prepare meticulously by measuring the artwork and the wall, checking if it is appropriate to avoid overwhelming your interiors. When executed appropriately, oversized artworks can and heaps of character and class to your space. 


Plan placement and proportion for your artwork

Mounting an artwork above a sofa, for example, is probably one of the most common spaces to place one. However, proportions can be easily skewed if it isn’t executed properly. As a result, the artwork then becomes unproportionate to the rest of the room. 

As a rule of thumb, the width of an artwork should span no more than two-thirds the length of the sofa that it is above. If you’re working with a diptych or triptych, this same rule should apply. Keep the artwork at eye level to ensure that you aren’t craning your neck when looking at it. That being said, consider the height of your ceiling - your artwork should be visually connected to the furniture instead of floating high above it. To ensure that this doesn’t happen, aim to hang it between 8-10 inches above the sofa. 

Artworks hung above your bed should never be wider than the width of the bed itself. The above two-thirds rule can also be applied as a guide. Unlike artworks above sofas, artworks placed above beds do not necessarily have to be at eye level. Instead, take the height of the ceiling into consideration to avoid small works getting dwarfed or large works being too overwhelming. 

Empty wall? 

Image courtesy of Houston Chronicle

There are no solid rules when filling an empty wall with art - just be mindful of its scale. Landscape pieces work better with wider walls, and portraits look better on narrower strips of space. Consider filling up at least 50% of the wall, be it with a single work or with several works. This avoids the artwork being dwarfed by the space and allows it to still command the attention it deserves. It is also advised to keep these works at eye level, especially if it's a space you find yourself walking through frequently. 


Style matters 

Image courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Across all spaces and with all artworks, style matters. Even though an artwork might physically fit in your space, it might not be visually compatible. Think about the dominant colors in the room and compare that against the dominant colors in the artwork. Will the combination of the two create an ambiance that you hope to achieve? 

At the end of the day, your artwork resides in your space and should be suited to your personal style, so make it a point to stay true to your vision. 


A little technology

Technology such as Augmented Reality (AR) features has now allowed for many to see artworks in their spaces in real time. Not sure if an artwork on our platform would fit or suit your space? The Artling’s AR feature does so by recognizing horizontal surfaces. By matching dots up in the space around you through the app, you can place a digital version of an artwork within your physical environment, through your phone screen. This makes it perfect for anyone in the market for some art, but especially for those who are a little hesitant about commitment, space constraints, or anyone who’s just curious to see their choice of works to scale. 

You can now find The Artling app on the App Store, now available for iOS. 

Now that you’re here, why not check out these artworks for your living room

You can also click here to learn more about framing your artwork. 

Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.

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