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How to Choose the Right Size Wall Art

Wall art can quickly transform a boring, blank wall into an eye-catching focal point of your home. Explore these tips to choose the best art size for your space.

Canvas wall art can quickly transform a boring, blank wall into an eye-catching focal point of your home. However, picking the right size is key to adding visual interest without overwhelming your room. With so many available options for large canvas wall art, it can be difficult to decide what size canvas print is right for your wall — not to mention position it properly for optimal impact. With our guidelines below, you’ll feel confident choosing canvas art that lets you strike a balance between empty space, furniture in the room, and the art itself, so you’ll have a beautiful piece of art on your wall that reflects your styles and brings you joy for years to come.

Two coastal art prints in white floating frames over a headboard in a coastal bedroom.
Left: Coastal Coral I Right: Coastal Coral II by Lanie Loreth

Wall Art Placement Tips

When selecting canvas art, one of the first considerations is whether you’re filling in an empty wall or adding to existing artwork. For empty walls where you want to add large canvas wall art, the print should take up about 60% to 75% of the space. You can also group together several prints to create a gallery wall — a handy trick when you have a large, blank wall that needs some color or you’re trying to fill in empty spaces around a television, light fixtures, or floating shelves.

If you plan to use multiple pieces of framed art, start by measuring the available wall space where you want to hang your wall art — not the entire wall. Leave about 1 inch of empty space between prints to avoid having your gallery wall look crowded and to create clear lines between each piece of canvas wall art. Use the following three tips to select the best wall art for your space and hang it accordingly.

Contemporary photography art print over a couch in a living room with hanging tips.
Featured Art: Gondolas in Front of Santa Maria della Salute by Circle Capture

1. Determine The Right Size

When selecting the size of your canvas art, consider where you’ll be hanging it. Are you looking for living room wall art above the fireplace or over the couch? Dining room wall art above the dining table? Kitchen wall art above a countertop? Go too small, and your piece will feel underwhelming; go wider than the width of the furniture below the print, and it will feel awkward. Here are a few rules of thumb to follow:

●     Make sure the canvas art will be between 60% to 75% as wide as the furniture underneath it. This will ensure a balanced look between your art and other décor.

●     The center of the piece or pieces should fall at 58 inches high — an art gallery standard. This will give the artwork an optimal viewing height.

●     Ensure the bottom of the piece will hang 6 to 12 inches above furniture. Less than 6 inches can cause your space to feel cramped as your furniture competes with the art.

Two vintage Audubon bird art prints in white floating frames hanging over a couch in a living room.
Left: Small Green-Crested Flycatcher Right: Lincoln Finch by John James Audubon

What if you have a large, blank wall to fill? You can either go big with large canvas wall art, or group together several smaller pieces for a dramatic effect. The key in choosing the size of your canvas wall art is to achieve a balance between empty space on the wall, furniture in the room, and the art itself. This ensures you’ll create a statement without overwhelming the space.

2. Choose The Orientation Of Your Art

Now it’s time to consider the orientation of your wall art — that is, the vertical, horizontal, or diagonal lines of the artwork. Deliberate use of these lines can create a focal point on the wall and guide the eye around your wall art, helping to achieve balance, structure, and a sense of perspective in the space.

A good best practice is to match the orientation of your canvas art with the orientation of the space where it will sit. For example, vertical canvases are a great choice for spaces where you want to bring attention to a tall focal point or create a sense of height above a shorter piece of furniture. With vertical prints on large walls, you might want to group them together in a row of three or four to help balance the space.

Black and white floral art print in a black frame with mat in a modern kitchen.
Featured Art: Silhouette Leaves I by Design Fabrikken

Horizontal canvases work well with both small and large spaces alike, often standing on their own or creating a focal point on a gallery wall among other smaller-size or vertical artwork. Diagonal lines can help to create a sense of movement in the space; consider grouping such artwork with vertical or horizontal lines that complement the piece without causing the space to feel too “busy.”

Farmhouse styled gallery wall using framed prints and canvas art in a dining room
Farmhouse style gallery wall in a horizontal layout. Find this gallery wall here.

3. Choose Where to Place Your Art

Your final consideration is the placement of your big wall art. Remember, you want the piece or grouping of artwork to hit at eye level, or around 58 inches high. The last thing you want is for your canvas wall art to be too high or too low on your wall; if it's too low, people will need to stoop down in order to get a good look at it, and if it's too high, they'll have to go through a lot of trouble just to see what's up there.

If you're not sure how the canvas art will look on your wall, try grabbing some painter's tape and mocking up the space. After you’ve measured your wall and have an idea of the size of canvas art you want to buy, place the painter’s tape on the wall in that size and shape. Then step back and visualize how the artwork will look in your space! If it looks too big, too small, or too unbalanced, try looking for a different size or a grouping of canvas wall art that will better fit the space.

Now that you've got the inside scoop on choosing the perfect size of artwork to adorn your space, it's time to get out there and find the canvas wall art that works best for you. To make the process even simpler, head over to our Art by Room page to shop our selection of stunning canvas wall art by room or by décor style. From the kitchen to the foyer, from mid-century modern to glam, there’s something to suit every space and taste.

We believe art wields the power to inspire, energize, and transform people and places. Our team of curators and craftspeople are passionate about providing art that meets your unique vision and style.

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