When Size Matters: Choosing the Right Canvas Size for Your Living Space

Any person keen on aesthetics will agree that adding wall-art to your living space will not only enhance it but also become an eye-catching part of it. Artwork of the right orientation and dimensions can complement the room, while artwork of the wrong size can often debase the living space.


The real challenge is searching for original artwork that not only suits your taste and budget but also blends perfectly in the room. More so, you may know your style and you may have reckoned with your budget but don’t forget to take size and shape into account.


If you find yourself staring at blank and bare walls, unsure about where to begin, here’s a short and sweet guide to help you get started.


Read the space

Before you decide to purchase a beautiful canvas painting or a framed print, gauge the room to identify how it can be added to your space and which size will fit best. A great hack to help you visualize it is by outlining different potential locations in the room with sticky notes or scrap newspapers. Take a step back and see if the placement looks proper to the eyes. We even suggest you take some photos on your mobile phone for a better comparison.


Whether you want to decorate the blank space behind the sofa in the living room, a large wall going up your stairway, or the empty wall in the bedroom, the size of the artwork should be just right for the room.


Numerous questions might arise in your mind like...


  • Does one large canvas will fit or a combination of the smaller canvas will look better?
  • Should I opt for a square canvas print or a wide landscape canvas?

Well, take this as a chance to try different sizes and shape outlines and compare them until you find the perfect one.


General Space x Size rules

If you want the size of your art to be just right for the room, some rules are meant to be followed to help you stay on the right track.

  • For a completely blank wall space that is not covered by furniture or moldings, wall art should take up 60% to 75% of the available wall space.
  • If you plan to hang wall art over furniture like bed and sofa or put it up above a fireplace, make sure it is between 2/3 to 3/4 of the width of the furniture.


For example: if the wall height x width is 10 x 5 feet, the ideal canvas height would be somewhere between 6 to 6.5 feet, and canvas width should be between 3.5 to 3.75 feet.



Always consider the shape of your available space before deciding on the orientation of the artwork. Have a vertical space between the two windows? Choose a portrait artwork to create a sense of height and openness. If you have a wide space behind furniture—consider putting landscape artwork to fill the visual field.


A portrait frame is best suited for a more narrow wall, whereas a landscape frame fits perfectly in a wide expanse of blank wall space.


When in doubt, go Big!

If you are buying artwork without fixed measurements, it’s always better to purchase a bigger artwork. Artwork tends to create a focal point in the room by building a connection with furniture and other decor items—the artwork must compliment the space. A smaller piece of artwork may not be recognizable and it can’t stand out in a large space. Empty wall space often overwhelms the smaller canvas.


In general, bigger is always better. But if you have a collection of smaller pieces—you can group them as a collage, place them side by side to create an eye-catching salon wall.


Consider the field of vision

You can’t overlook the height of the canvas when it comes to choosing the right wall art piece. For the most aesthetically pleasing decor to catch the eye, it should be placed at the eye level. If the piece of artwork is large, you must make sure to put the center of the canvas at the level of the eye.


If you plan to hang the artwork behind the blank space of furniture, allow a breathing space of 6-12 inches to the canvas, it will create a more striking impact in the room decor.


Sizing up!

Here’s a basic guide to wall art sizing defined based on the above-mentioned features:


These pieces act as a focal point of a wall or a room. They serve as a standalone centerpiece and can be balanced on either side mini or small pieces depending on wide blank space. They range from 2.75 to 3 feet and above in length.


Wall art pieces in this category range from 2 to 2.5 feet in length. Some pieces can stand alone, but they can be balanced with other pieces. Medium-sized artwork also goes well when grouped. Make sure you keep your space symmetrical when adding medium wall art.


A small sized artwork can be put up in symmetrical groups and clusters on narrow walls. This artwork goes well above shelves, pieces of furniture, and on short walls. Small art pieces go well in pairs or groups to form a wall collage or a gallery of images.


The #1 tip for choosing the perfect wall art

“Select what you like, select what feels like home”

Your designer may suggest an expensive piece but if it doesn’t foster positive feelings in you, don’t put it on your wall.


After all, it’s your home, your space, your design, and your money being spent on wall art. Don’t go extravagant on choosing artwork that doesn't suit your style.