How Big Should Your Wall Art Be?

blue metal art by peter skidd

Find the Right Size Wall Art

Take a peek around the internet and you’ll find a dizzying array of answers to the question of how big your wall art should be.  I think it’s partly because there is no one right answer.  The color, dimension, and style of art all make a difference.

Since you have to start somewhere, let’s look at three of the most popular theories on how to find the right size of art for your wall.  I’ll also show you how make sense of the differing opinions to find the best art size for your wall.

Theory #1: Art should be a maximum of 66% of the size of couch

Art should be 66% of couch size

Theory #2: Art should be a maximum of 85% of size of couch

Right sized wall art for couch

Theory #3: Go Big or Go Home

Oversized Blue Wall art

Let’s Get Real:  Apply the Theories to You

Which space looks best to you?  Do you naturally gravitate toward one of these theories?  Start there.

Step One:  Make a Wall Art Template

If you’re like me, and have to see it to believe it, there’s an easy way to make sure you’re choosing the right-sized art.

  • Start by choosing the theory (above) that appeals to you.
  • To adhere to theory #1, just multiply .66 x the length of your couch (or dresser, table etc – whatever object your art will hang above) and for theory #2 multiply .85 x your furniture width.  And finally, if you’re liking theory three – the go big or go home theory – just cut the size the looks cool to you.
  • For example, if you like theory #1 – the smallest sized art above the couch – and your couch is 80″, just multiply .66 x 80 and cut out a piece of paper about 53″ wide.
  • Now that you have your measurement, cut out a piece of paper to size.  The height of your template depends on how tall your ceilings are.  Just play with the height and see what looks proportional.
  • For the paper template, it makes it easy to use an old roll of wrapping paper.  If the recommended size of art is on the huge size, bulletin board paper works well because it’s bigger and you do less patching bits of paper together to make one large piece.
  • And finally, just tape the paper “art” template onto the wall with blue painters tape.

Step Two: Take a Photo & Live With It Awhile

  • Take a picture.  Things look so different in pictures.  I find that photos allow you to look more objectively at the space.  Text it to a friend who has a great sense of style and let them weigh in.
  • Live with the paper on the wall for a couple of days.  Play with the size.  There are no concrete rules about art so just figure out what works for you.

Where to Find Great Wall Art

There are so many great sources for art these days.  Consider visiting a local art gallery while you’re on vacation and don’t be afraid to check out the professional artists on Instagram, Saatchi, or Etsy.  Local weekend art shows are also a great way to connect with artists and talk in person about custom work.

Renee Taylor Gallery Sedona Arizona

Take the Easy Way Out

When our clients don’t want to mess with taking measurements and taping paper to the wall, we’ll simply bring a selection of our artwork to their home and literally hold up the art on the wall.  It makes the art selection process so easy and painless and they can either choose a piece then and there or order custom art.

The right art for the fireplace

For our out of town clients who aren’t sure what size art is appropriate, they’ll often give us their measurements and we’ll sketch out a couple size options.

Sketch to determine best size art for wall

Want a piece of art like the blue wavy piece above the couch in the photos above?  She’s steel and we call her “Omni.”

Love the gray Joybird couch in the photos – so do we!

Find our art online, at our studio, at a trade show, or at one of our partner galleries.  We work with both metal and canvas and we’re custom art specialists (your dimensions, your colors etc).

Contact us and tell us what you need.