Wall Art 101: 3 Tips for Choosing the Right Size

The biggest mistake that most people make when choosing wall art for their home is that they often choose the wrong size, as in much too small. Did you know that wall art should typically take up 60% – 75% of available wall space not blocked by moldings or furniture? Probably not, if you’re like most clients trying to determine the most appropriate size for their dog’s wall portraits. If you’re feeling slightly overwhelmed about determing which size wall art piece you’d like, these three tips will guide you through choosing the right size for your wall art for your space to achieve the composition, balance, and style you crave.

1. Are you choosing a single signature wall art piece or a wall art grouping?

The overall size of your room, the amount of furniture you have it in, and even the height of your ceilings all impact how large you need to go for your wall art to look balanced. There are few things more disheartening than investing in a gorgeous signature wall art piece of your furry friend only to find that it doesn’t fill nearly the wall space you had hoped.

A general rule when choosing the most appropriate size for a single signature wall art piece is to go bigger than you think. The larger your art, the more of a statement it will make. While that sounds obvious, you’d be surprised at the number of clients who approach their session thinking they just need an 8×10 or an 11×14 only to find that to properly fill their desired wall space, they actually need to size up to a piece with measuring 20″ or 24″ on the long edge at minimum.

If you’ve got your heart set on something smaller, however, wall art groupings can be equally as eye-catching when displayed with intention. When hanging multiple smaller pieces, you’ll want to be sure to allow for about 4-7″ between each piece to be sure you fill the space sufficiently. Sizes like 8×10, 12×12, and 11×14, which are not traditionally large enough on their own to work as single anchor pieces, work wonderfully when paired with larger art or when hung in multiples of the same size.

signature wall art as a single piece versus a wall art grouping

2. Where are you planning to hang your wall art?

Where you plan to display your art will have a significant impact on the size that will best suit that particular space. In living rooms, popular places include above a couch or fireplace. In fact, a recent survey by the Professional Photographers of America found that 80% of clients display their photos in their living /family room.

When hanging art above your couch, you’ll want to consider a piece that falls somewhere between 2/3 to 3/4 the width of your furniture, never wider, hung approximately 6” to 12” above the top of your couch. Selecting the best size for above the fireplace can be a little trickier as the width of your piece must be larger than the fireplace’s opening or but no smaller than the mantle. Hang your signature wall art roughly 3″ to 6″ above the top of the mantle.

gallery-wrapped canvas of a pit bull above a yellow couch

3. Did you do your homework?

If you’re still unsure what size will look best in your home, don’t worry. I can show you exactly how various sizes and groupings will look custom-designed to your space using a software program that puts your pet’s images on your very own walls–but you’ve got to do your homework! Within your client portal are simple instructions and examples of how to take photos of any walls where you’re considering wall art. Short of holding up some of my sample pieces, this feature is super beneficial in helping you visualize the differences between a 16×20 and a 24×36, which orientation fits your space best, and so on.


If you would like to book a Bark & Gold Photography session for your pet and begin creating signature wall art for your home, click here or give me a call at 724-913-BARK (2275). For more information on Bark & Gold Photography products, visit “Products” under the Pricing tab in the menu and be sure to share your email on my homepage to join the VIP list.

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