Art comes in all sizes.
From the tiniest paintings to the largest installation, art provides us with immense joy, wonder, and reflection. Because art is available in a variety of sizes, the number one question asked is, “How big should my art be?” Whether its an original painting, print, or photograph, don’t underestimate the power of correct sizing in regards to space. A well hung, properly sized (and framed) print will outshine a crooked, undersized original any day of the week.
Let’s go over a list of considerations for your next acquisition.
- The Room. The first thing to do is to step back and take a look at your space as a whole to see what walls have available space. Take into account the furniture and any vases, other artwork, knick-knacks, etc. hanging out on shelves or end tables. Food for thought, eclectic collectors tend to hang numerous pieces of work together while modernist collectors tend to keep their space minimal and with larger single, focal point pieces.
- The Wall. Once you have picked out a wall, you will need to determine your available space. Big open areas look exceptional with a large scale, focal-point piece. Smaller areas like bathrooms (yes bathrooms are great places for art!) and hallways benefit with smaller pieces. Orientation.
- Math. Grab that measuring tape and start taking down dimensions of the wall you have selected. Leave 3/8 of the width of your art on each side of the area. In other words, the art should take up 4/7 of the selected space. Multiply your wall space (in inches) by .57 (4/7 turned into a decimal). So say your area is 36 inches — you want to look for art that’s 20-21 inches wide. (If you are looking to group pieces together, think of the grouping as one large piece and use the math for the entire arrangement) Also keep in mind that in open spaces, the center of the painting should be eye level (the average is 60 to 65 inches from the floor) However, hang the art a little lower in areas where you and your guests sit (living room, kitchen, etc.) If the art is going over a sofa, be sure the bottom of the piece is 6 – 12 inches above.
- Go Shopping. Now that you have the size of art you need, you can search online, or visit your local gallery and pick out the perfect pieces for your space. Use this sizing and spacing equation as a guideline, not a rule. This is your space. So if a piece you absolutely love is a little over or under, no one is going to notice as long as the piece is level and centered.
- Grouping pieces look exceptional, just be sure to keep the space between them equal.
- Don’t want to figure that math in step 3 above? Just use your eyeballs. The piece should take up two-thirds to three-fourths of the wall space.
- Remember to have fun!
Do you have any other helpful tips or tricks? Let me know!
featured image: collector framed and installed prints in Charleston, SC