A bison photography print hangs in Lars Gesing's West Seattle art gallery.
July 01, 2024

5 Tips On How To Find The Right Artwork Size For Any Space

Once you’ve fallen in love with a piece of art, the most critical decision will be finding the right artwork size for your space. Primarily, the choice you make will obviously depend on whether you have a lot of wall space to fill or are looking for art for small spaces. But there are a few more subtle things to consider to ensure the art is the perfect match for your space, taste and budget. 

To take the worry out of finding the right artwork size for any space — including yours — I’ve reached out to some leading interior designers to get their thoughts on what to consider when choosing artwork sizes. I've heard five common themes from them, which I have curated in this post.

Before you dive in, remember that the easiest way to find the right artwork size for your unique space is to take advantage of my free digital mockup service.

#1: THE RIGHT ARTWORK SIZE DEPENDS ON HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL IN YOUR SPACE

Buying art should first and foremost always be an emotional decision — and so should choosing the right artwork size for your space. Ask yourself this: How does the art make you feel? And how do you want to feel in the room where you are going to hang it?

Most of my collectors are drawn to my work because they are looking to create calming spaces, a zen sanctuary where they get to relax after a day’s hard work. They want to bring a piece of nature home and feel connected to the places where they make their favorite memories. 

Those end goals are important to know — because they will directly influence the decision on the right size artwork for your space. If you long to feel connected to your happy place, West Seattle interior designer Paula Kennedy recommends choosing a larger size artwork, if possible: “I'd rather the art be larger than smaller in those instances because it becomes easier to visualize ourselves in the scene. It will feel like you can walk right into it.” 

The larger you can go with the artwork, the more it becomes a portal to the places you long to be — and with my TruLife acrylic finish, you get to experience the full benefits of the window effect: Looking at the art will make you feel like you are right there. It’s nature-inspired Biophilic Interior Design in action. Daydreams unlocked. 

#2: HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT ARTWORK SIZE IS ALL ABOUT SCALE

When choosing the right artwork size for your space, keep in mind this simple mantra: Big walls deserve big art. But not all walls can handle big art.

Now, this focus on big art is not a sales tactic to get you to spend more money in my West Seattle photography gallery. Rather, it is making sure that you get a big impact in your space from the investment you are making. It is a statement born out of years of experience matching art to my collectors’ existing spaces as well as knowledge the world’s leading interior designers, such as Denmark’s Katrine Martensen-Larsen, have shared with me: “Choosing the right art size is all about proportion,” Katrine told me recently. “A small piece of art on a really large wall just doesn’t work.”

Why doesn’t it work? Because if the art is too small, the wall will overpower it, swallow the artwork, and it will lose all of its visual punch and instead feel insignificant. You are not spending all that money on art only for it to feel insignificant, right?

But: There is a delicate balance to strike here. You can’t just fill the entire available wall with art either and hope to achieve your vision. Large wall art is impressive and it makes a statement, but it also needs room to be admired — and it needs room to breathe, or it will quickly overpower the space and its other design elements. If your wall doesn’t afford that breathing room, it might be better to go with art for small spaces, which is often perfect for wall space in between doors and windows or for creating group displays.

If you are confused at this point about the right amount of breathing room on the wall, my free digital mockup service will help you visualize how different sizes look on your unique wall. Based on those true-to-size mockups, you and I will quickly and confidently arrive at the perfect artwork size for your space.

#3: CHOOSING THE RIGHT ARTWORK SIZE CAN ADD A FOCAL POINT TO YOUR SPACE

One of the core interior design principles is to design your space around a strong focal point — which will make it easy for our eyes to make sense of the room and feel a sense of direction. 

Large wall art is a great way to intentionally create a strong focal point in spaces that otherwise lack that sense of direction. You may have also heard this being referred to as selecting a “statement piece of art.”

On the flip side, if your space already has a strong focal point, you might be better off choosing a series of smaller pieces that can create a sense of rhythm and movement in your room.

Choosing the right artwork size with the focal point concept in mind depends entirely on your existing interior design. Many of my collectors end up choosing larger pieces to be displayed in peaceful bedrooms and welcoming gathering areas, or to accentuate an existing focal point, such as above a fireplace.

Need help assessing your space and what kind of artwork would work well in it? Take advantage of free my in-home or online art consultations and let me help you!

A Tunnel's Beach photography print for sale from Kauai hangs in a living room.

HUIKALA — FORGIVENESS | Kauai, HI | Highly Collectible Limited Edition of 99 | Click here to learn more about this image

#4: MAKE USE OF NEGATIVE SPACE WHEN CHOOSING THE RIGHT ARTWORK SIZE

“When choosing art for our homes, it is important to remember that we don’t have to fill every corner of the house,” West Seattle interior designer Paula Kennedy cautions. “A piece of art will actually have more impact if we leave some space to breathe than if it is crammed on the wall with a bunch of other decor.”

I know, I already talked about “breathing room” for art a bit earlier. But because it’s so important, it deserves some more attention. Interior designers usually refer to this “breathing room” as “negative space” — blank space in between objects that will serve to emphasize them. 

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again — because it’s that important: Choosing the right artwork size for your existing space is all about balance. Take advantage of my free digital mockup service will make sure you get this critical decision right. It has helped dozens and dozens of my collectors take the worry and intimidation out of the process and has turned it into what buying art should be: Fun and full of anticipation about how great the art is going to look on your wall.

#5: CONSIDER YOUR FURNITURE WHEN CHOOSING THE RIGHT ARTWORK SIZE

Last but not least, you are not hanging the artwork in an otherwise blank space. And so, it’s crucial that the artwork size you choose matches your existing furniture. 

Many of my collectors hang art above a couch in a gathering space, a headboard in the bedroom, or a mantel on the fireplace. To keep the right proportion, interior designers’ artwork hanging tips generally suggest that if you use one larger piece of art, choose something between 2/3 and 3/4 of the width of your focal piece of furniture. You’ll also want to make sure you leave 6-12” between the furniture and the edge of the artwork. (Before you start doing math and frantically use painter’s tape on your wall, let me do it for you with my free digital mockups.)

That’s it, my friend! That’s all the advice I have on how to choose the right artwork size for your space. If, after reading this, you feel like you need or want help choosing the right wall to display the art you love — book your free in-home or online art consultation with me today!

Dream on.

Your friend,

Lars