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What Size Artwork Should I Hang on My Wall?

Updated: Feb 13, 2022

Everyone loves a beautiful home. One that makes them feel instantly comfortable when they walk in the door. The layout of a house plays a role in how your home feels, but more than anything, it is how your home is decorated that determines if your space is comfortable.


Of course, as an artist, I feel decor and artwork are essential in every well-decorated home. If you are like me, you take the time to find the perfect piece that speaks to you. Artwork is subjective. What I am drawn to may not be the same thing that draws you in. We each have our own personal style we want to achieve, but one thing is for sure, choosing the right size artwork can make or break a space.


So how do you go about determining the suitable size space? Let's unpack that today.


Learn the Rules of Decorating a Wall


You want to keep in mind a few factors when determining what size artwork or display piece needs to go in your space.

  • Furniture and fireplaces: Your art piece should be 2/3 to 3/4 the size of your furniture.

  • Open walls: The art piece should cover 60-75% of your available wall space.


Measure your Available Space


Over Furniture: To determine what size artwork goes over a piece of furniture, you will want to measure the length and height of the furniture piece to determine the size artwork you will need to find.


Over a Fireplace: Just like furniture, you will want to measure your fireplace mantle's width and the space between the mantle and the ceiling. Jump to Next Step


A Blank Wall: You will need to measure the length and height of the available wall space, which means the wall space minus the furniture and the molding. Jump to Next Step


Determine the Size of Artwork to Display

Over Furniture: Once you have found the length and height of your piece of furniture, you will do a little math to find the size you will want to look for when shopping for artwork or a display piece. To do so, it will take a few steps.

  • You will first determine the width of your artwork. Since you need this to be 2/3 to 3/4 the length of your furniture piece, you will take the length of the furniture piece and multiply it by .6 as well as by .75. This will give you the range you will want your piece to measure.


Next, you will want to hang your art piece 6-12 inches above the furniture, with the center point at eye level. Our couch is 32 inches tall. Therefore, when following the 6-12 inch rule, the bottom of our artwork should be hung between 38-44 inches.

The shortest adult in our home is 5'6”, and the tallest is 5'11". To split the difference, the average adult in our house is about 5'9". Which puts eye height around 5'4" (64").

With that in mind, the center of my artwork should be at 64 inches. Knowing the bottom of my artwork needs to hang at 38-44 inches from the floor, and my center point needs to be at 64 inches. Then my artwork should be between 40 and 52 inches (64 - 44 = 20 times 2 = 40 | 64 - 38 = 26 times 2 = 52).


Keep in mind, if you ceilings are shorter, you will want to go with the shorter measurements of 6 inches from the furniture and multiplying by .6 instead of .75.


Over A Fireplace: Now that you know how wide your mantle is, you can determine the width of your artwork. Like furniture, you will want the artwork to be 2/3 to 3/4 the length of your mantle.

  • You will first determine the width of your artwork. Since you need this to be 2/3 to 3/4 the length of your mantle, you will take the length of the mantle and multiply it by .6 and also multiply it by .75. This will give you the range you will want your piece to measure. My fireplace mantle measures 60 inches, so the proper artwork for my mantle would be between 36 and 45 inches.

  • As for the height, the difference between a fireplace and furniture is you can’t hang your artwork at eye level over a mantle. I use the rule of thumb to makelpiece display piece 60-75% the height between your mantle and your ceiling. There is 60 inches between my mantle and the ceiling in my home. Therefore, the artwork should be 36 and 45 inches as well.

A Blank Wall: A blank wall should have 60-75% of the space covered.

  • You will first determine the width of your artwork. Take the length of your available space and multiply by .6 and .75. Our wall is 4 feet in length (48"). Therefore, our artwork needs to be between 28.8 and 36 inches in width.

  • To determine the height of your artwork, you will then measure from the top of the baseboard to the ceiling (or crown molding). This measurement, you will also multiply by .6 and .75 to determine your range. In the illustration below, you can see that it puts it between 61.2 and 76.5 inches. Now I know I need to cover 28.8 - 36 inches wide and 61.2 - 76.5 inches tall.

  • Finding your center point is the last step in the process. As I mentioned previously, the shortest adult in our home is 5'6" and the tallest is 5'11". To split the difference the average adult in our home is about 5'9". Which puts eye height around 5’4” (64”). As you can see from the illustration. If I were to put the center point at eye level my artwork would hug the ceiling. In this instance, I do not center the artwork vertically, but cheat it a little to the ceiling so it gives you more a 1/3 to 2/3 ratio. For instance, if the artwork is 76.5 inches tall and my available space before hanging my artwork was 102 inches that leaves 25.5 inches of open wall space. I would then choose to hang my artwork around 7-3/4 inches from my ceiling.

What if it's a Gallery Wall?


Gallery walls are a great way to fill the space. The concept remains the same, the goal is to fill 60-75% of the available wall space. You can use the same exercises above to determine how much wall space needs to be filled. Pro Tip: Mark out the area with painter's tape and arrange your gallery within that space.


I hope these instructions have helped you feel more comfortable designing your space. Happy decorating!



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