How-to guide: Selecting the correct size wall art prints

How-to guide: Selecting the correct size wall art prints

An appreciation of wall art can lead us many places. It can take us to well-funded galleries. It can take us to out-of-the-way art shows hidden in industrial estates. It can even bring us back home. It’s only natural that we’d want to bring that joy home with us. With wall art prints, the dreariest apartments can be turned into cosy galleries. When you first start collecting wall art it can be tempting to purchase as many pieces as possible. Each piece of artwork brings you closer to surrounding yourself with something you love. While sage advice stands in your favour, the advice of design differs. When you get home with your new wall art, where are you going to put it? Where in your home will do your newest wall art acquisition justice? You come home and begin scouting. You find the perfect wall, hang the artwork and then something shocking happens. The artwork looks faraway and lost in the void of the wall. The artwork is too small for the wall.

So how do you get the right sized wall art print? What magic formula is there to decide on the right size? It comes down to two major points: knowing the space you’re working with, and about equalising that space. For wall art to look appropriate in its climes, it should resemble the space it occupies. For long and skinny walls, hang a set of three in a column to fill the space. For lone piece of art hanging on a rectangular wall, hang wall art of the same shape. For size, it’s better to go big than small. Wall art can become lost easily instead of becoming a focal point.

With the general advice aside, there is a method to the madness. Here is how to get the information to acquire the right sized wall art for your display: 

  1. Decide on a display: Decide the style you wish to display your wall art in. Will this be a single piece of artwork adding colour to a hallway, or a gallery wall to draw the attention of guests?
  1. Consider the spaces: What room will your wall art print hang in? What furniture and architecture is there to contend with? Consider the dimensions of the furniture and architecture if you plan on hanging pieces above couches or fireplaces. The goal is to equalise the presence between the furniture and wall art. 
  1. Section the room out: Divide the room into sections and separate spaces. This will help visualise spaces to display your wall art print, and what sizes may work best. For example: You have a wall with a fireplace in the middle. By dividing the wall into 3 sections: either side of the fireplace, and above the fireplace, you can visualise the 3 key areas where wall art can be displayed.
  1. Measure: Now’s the chance to get a tape measure out! Before you can know an exact size, you’re going to need to measure. Measure the walls, the furniture and architecture, whatever. If you think it’ll be relevant to selecting the right size, then it is. Now you’ll know how much room you have to work with, as well as the spaces available.
  1. Mark the space out: Mark out the size you’d like in your wall art print. This can be achieved with some painters tape, on top of the tape measure from earlier. Lay the tape out in the size and shape you would like your wall art to be, then compare it against the wall where you’d like to hang it. This method works with gallery displays; it’ll leave you with total area available for your display.
  1. Don’t hang too high or too low: More a point on design than size selection, but it plays a part. From an aesthetic point of view, it removes the wall art from easy perception. When you hang wall art, you’re going to want people to see it. From size, it will often leave you overcompensating on size. While bigger is better, there are reasonable limitations.

The only thing left to do is put the method into practice. Armed with your knowledge you can go into the world and find some wall art prints that suit you. You can safely acquire wall art with the knowledge that its aesthetic value won’t be wasted. When you step into your home, wall art in hand, you’ll go straight to the wall you measured. You’ll take your newest acquisition and rest it up on the wall. You’ll take a step back and see it in all its grandeur. The artwork feels like an equal presence upon the wall. It has a commanding presence. Later in the day as you go about your home, you’ll find your eyes drawn to it. Impressed by the striking addition to your home, you realise exactly why having the right size wall art matters.

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