You’ve been looking at blank walls for long enough, and have made the decision to infuse your home with colour, memories and personality (or all three) with some carefully chosen artwork. But what size should you go for? Is bigger better? Is less more? And how do you know what format would work best on which wall? Here we take you through some of the aspects to think about before deciding.
It may sound obvious, but the first thing to take into consideration is the size of your room. Decorating a large open space is quite different than working with a small, cosy space, and this can be a deciding factor in the size of print you go for.
If the room is large, then you can dare to go big with a statement piece. This advice is all the more valid if the room isn’t already too full of furniture – a large piece of art can really fill a space and make it feel more finished.
With a smaller room, big isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but you’ll need to think carefully about what you want to achieve – the right image and colours can make the room feel bigger or even more cosy, the choice is yours.
Ceiling height is also an important consideration. If you have high ceilings, do you want to emphasise this with a tall piece? Or perhaps you prefer to choose a landscape orientation that brings the eye down to create a cosier feeling.
The wall itself
So, you’ve identified which wall you want to hang a piece of artwork on. But how can you know what would work best on that particular wall?
The two important factors to consider here are the actual dimensions of the wall, and its orientation. Is it a tall, narrow wall? In this case, a similarly shaped piece of artwork can work really well. Or even a gallery wall (see further below) that plays on, and enhances the vertical element.
Or maybe it’s a wide, horizontal space, over a piece of furniture like a sofa or sideboard? In this case, a landscape-oriented piece will fill the space best. Alternatively, a series of coordinating pieces, or even a horizontal gallery wall, can be a good use of the space.
‘One and done’, a series or a gallery wall?
The decision to go with one large image, a series of smaller ones, or a real gallery wall is of course a personal one, and can depend on your goal for that space of your home.
One large, statement print has the advantage of bringing a sense of calm and neatness, and is also (let’s be honest) easier. Just find the right photo, image or quote, and let a large print be a real talking point.
A cohesive series of smaller prints is another nice way to decorate a space. The images could be themed by colour or subject and, depending on the size and shape of your wall, can be arranged how you wish, e.g. alongside each other horizontally, vertically aligned, or in a grid. Make sure to hang them in such a way that they feel like connected pieces, i.e. not too far apart.
When hanging an aligned series, accuracy is of course highly important, so take your time when measuring the drilling to ensure the final result is perfectly pleasing on the eye.
Gallery walls are a fun way to fill a large space, and you can mix and match types of image (e.g. photos, quotes, illustrations), types of frames, and even other decorative items to create a truly unique ensemble. You can stick to a common colour palette or be as creative as you like. One advantage of this approach is that it can also grow as you want to add more pieces.
While absolute accuracy is a little less important here that with a series of prints, you’ll still want to make sure that the overall gallery is well structured. Browsing the internet for composition ideas can help you get off to a good start – and you can even find some free gallery wall templates – and from there, take your time to decide on a layout that works for you.
Getting the height right
When considering how high to hang your artwork, consider how you typically use the space in question. Are you usually sitting or standing? For example, in a hallway or kitchen where you will typically be standing, hang your artwork so that the centre is roughly at eye level. But we’re all different heights, right? Yes. But since we can’t please everyone, having the centre around 1.6 metres from the ground is typically a good compromise.
When you’re hanging artwork in a room where you’re usually sitting, e.g. the living room or office, you might want to hang pieces a little lower. This also goes for children’s rooms, where hanging artwork too high can mean it’s not even within their line of sight.
If the space is above a piece of furniture, make sure to hang the artwork at least 15-30cm above the edge of the furniture.
While there are no rules, choosing the right size and format of artwork can really enhance a room, so take the time to think about what will give the best result and show off your photos or image.
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