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Picking Art That's Sized Just Right

basics of selecting color

Pictured above and to the right: M. Drake, The Shocking, Danny Grant, Still Life I.

Size is relative; a piece of artwork might seem small in an open, high-ceilinged loft, or huge in a cozy studio apartment.

Keep the size of these other elements in mind as you think about what size art to choose:

The wall: No-brainer, we know, but it’s true. In addition to the wall’s dimensions, think about its orientation - Tall, narrow walls will work best with art of a similar shape. Horizontal wall spaces work best with landscape-oriented artwork. Pictured: Darvin Jones, Finding Love II.

the wall

The room: A piece of oversized art in a smaller room will create a bold focal point. A small piece may get lost in a large room—consider grouping several smaller pieces together to create a larger art display to match the scale of the room.

On the right: Pretensel I and Pretensel II, by Jane Bellows.

the wall

Furniture: The basic rule of thumb is that artwork should be no wider than ¾ of the width of the furniture below it. This also stands for groups of artwork displayed as together. See our handy art sizing guide for help.

On the right: New Years Day, by Jon Eric Narum.

the wall

Other artwork: You can create visual interest in a room by grouping several pieces of art together. Group artwork of the same size for a clean, geometric feel, or experiment with varied sizes to add depth and texture to the grouping.

On the right: Sometimes IV and Sometimes III, by Jamie Packard.

the wall

About Nichele:

Nichele is the Director of Merchandising at Gallery Direct. A style and design junkie, Nichele spends most of her free time poring over design blogs and daydreaming about DIY projects. She also enjoys yoga, theatre, educational television and snuggling with her mini-Schnauzer, Pablo.