How do I know what size of picture to buy for my walls?

This is one of the most popular question I get from our readers, so I thought I’d share it on our blog to help out others who have trouble figuring out what size of art is appropriate for their wall space. There’s no one-fits-all answer, but here are a few tips that will help you find the perfectly sized piece for the spot you’re trying to fill next time you’re shopping for wall décor.

Use painter's tape to determine size of art

As a general rule, when hanging a painting or a group of pictures above a piece of furniture, it’s best if the width of the wall display is at least 2/3 the width of the furniture sitting below. Keep in mind that if the display is wider than the furniture it will overwhelm it instead of enhancing it. If your display turns out to be too small for the wall, you can always fill the extra space on either side of the art with sconces, mirrors, or other smaller pieces of art to counterbalance the weight and size of the furniture.

When in doubt, map it out with painter’s tape like I did here. You’ll be amazed how quickly you’ll be able to confirm if the dimensions of your piece (or pieces, if you’re using multiple frames) is right. If you’re hanging a grouping of frames, you can use a different color of tape for each piece, which will give you a better perspective of the best size for each item.

Painter's tape blue

Before you head out shopping for art, write down the dimensions of the wall space you want to fill and of your mock-up art, take a picture of your painter’s tape display if you did one, and carry that information with you. It’ll save you tons of time and eliminate the risk of getting pictures that are too small or too big for the space you need to fill. Because stores have such high ceilings, large pieces often don’t look as big as they actually are until you bring them home to realize that they won’t fit in the allotted space.

P.S.  Don’t forget to pack a measuring tape when you go to the store to measure the pieces you’re interested in.

Size up your wall

If you have any questions about picture hanging, don’t hesitate to ask. I’d love to help you!

Liette Tousignant

Founder of Under The Roof Decorating


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