What Size Art Fits Your Wall?

wall art
Photo: The Nest

Step 1: Determine your available space

If you have a huge open wall, you will want to work around your furniture using the general rule of covering 2/3 to 3/4 of that area with your artwork. But if you have a small bare wall (like in a hallway or between two windows), you can keep the space a little more open by using the next step.

Step 2: Do a little math

One guideline is to leave 3/8 of the width of your art on each side of your area. Got that? You may have to read it again (we did!). Here's another way to look at it: The art should take up 4/7 of the selected space. Since this isn't a fraction we see very often (if at all), use this math trick to get the size art you need: multiply your wall space (in inches) by .57 (4/7 turned into a decimal). So say your area is 36 inches -- you want to look for art that's 20-21 inches wide. Easy, right?

Step 3: Go shopping

Now that you know what size you're looking for, have fun with it. And honestly, if you're a little over or under, no one will notice, as long as the piece is centered.

Step 4: Start hanging

When you get out your nails and hammer, keep in mind that in most open spaces the center of your art should be approximately eye-level (the average is 60 to 65 inches from the floor). But in the dining room and living room (and other places you sit), hang the art a little lower, still keeping the bottom edge of the frame 6-12 inches above a sofa, tabletop, or chair rail.


Nest Note:

Hanging one large piece draws attention to a focal point in the room, like a fireplace or bed, and sets a more formal tone. If just one piece looks too tiny on the wall (especially in a narrow space), hang a vertical series of pieces of the same size. (Groupings of three and five create a natural center.) To unify them, keep the space between the pieces equal, even if the frames are different sizes.

Get more DIY project ideas from the experts at The Nest

Sources: Room Redux, The Home Decorating Workbook; HGTV.com; Math by Danny Isquith