Things to consider when deciding what size artwork to buy:


The Room – When picking art for any room BIGGER IS BETTER.  A common decorating mistake is choosing wall art that is much too small for the room!  When shopping for artwork it always seems much larger in your hands or if you are standing too close to it, so it is easy to mistakenly buy something that is too small for the space you are looking to fill.  If you are investing in art it should have a sense of presence in the room.  You certainly don't want to buy it, and hang it, and then discover your room still feels barren.  Consider the amount of furniture in the room, if it is sparse, then a large piece of artwork will help fill up the visual field.  Think about your ceilings are they high, voluminous, vaulted ceilings allowing for a grand picture, or low -where a shorter canvas height with landscape orientation might work best?  Just remember - to be on the safe side, GO BIG!  


Viewing Distance – Consider how far the viewer will be standing from the image.  The average couch, for example, is approximately 40 inches deep and is typically pulled away from the wall a short distance.  If you are hanging the picture above the couch, the closest viewing distance would likely be just under 4 feet.  A good rule of thumb for measuring viewing distance is multiplying the diagonal of the picture by 1.5.  See the viewing distance below for some common examples.

Viewing Distance Chart

Print Size


Viewing Distance (1.5 x Diagonal)

4” x 6"



8” x 10"



8 “x 12"



11” x 14"



16” x 20"


38" or 3.17 ft.

16” x 24"



20” x 30"


54" or 4.5 ft.

48” x 72"


129.8” or 10.8 ft.


Display Location – What is the size and shape of the space you are trying to fill?  When looking at the overall display space dimensions, your artwork should take up two-thirds to three-fourths of that space. Again, think big.  You also need to consider not only the overall dimensions of the space, but also the orientation of that space.  Tall, narrow display areas work best with art of a similar shape (portrait or vertical format).  Similarly, a more horizontal space such as a broad wall or over a sofa work best with a horizontally shaped (landscape format) artwork display.   

When you are considering using more than one image to fill a space you need to keep in mind that the more images you use, the more confusing and distracting that space becomes.  It is usually best to tie together art that was designed to be displayed as a set, because it creates a sense of harmony and completeness.


Viewing Height – There is a proper height for hanging art.  Hanging height should be a determining factor when the size of image you want to display. Generally speaking, art should be hung with the center point at eye-level.  If you are very short, or very tall, use the average 5'6" person as a guideline.  Again, fill up that space. As a general rule of thumb, when hanging artwork over furniture like a sofa, table, fireplace mantle, etc. it should be three-fourths the width of the furniture and hung 6"-12" above the top.


Art, especially original art, is an investment that can last a lifetime, a family heirloom to be passed on from one generation to the next. If you do not see what you are looking for in my portfolio, please contact me.  I love the challenge of creating new art.  Together we can create something that is meaningful to you.