Whether it is a unique, one-of-a-kind family beach portrait from your vacation in Corolla or a framed print, any designer will tell you that adding family photography to your home decor will enhance your room with color and style and will often become an eye-catching focal point in your space. However, the task of determining the proper size and placement of new artwork can sometimes seem daunting. As a photographer creating custom portraits for clients, I want to help with that question that so many have when selecting their family photographs: “What size portrait should I choose for my wall?”. Here’s a short guide on how to decide what size of wall portrait will be just right for your room, to help make the selection process a little bit easier, and more importantly fun!
Here are a few things to consider when deciding what size portrait to purchase:
1) The Room – When picking art for any room bigger is always better! Any interior designer can aid you in sizing your artwork. However, there is one decorating mistake that I see made every so often when I go into people’s homes. It is that people tend to choose wall art that is much too small for the room! If you are investing in art, you certainly don’t want to buy it, and hang it, only to discover your room still feels barren. Take into account the amount of furniture that you have in a room, if it is sparse, then a large piece of artwork will fill up the visual field as furniture might. Just remember – to be on the safe side, GO BIG!
2) The Wall – Well, of course, you will certainly consider the wall, and you will probably measure it once or twice, but then what? In looking at the overall wall space dimensions your artwork should take up two-thirds to three-fourths of the wall. Like I stated above… go big!
3) Over Furniture or Mantels – Many of my clients ask for my help in recommendations as to what size their family portrait should be send me photos of the wall where they intend to hang their family photograph. This is great! Along with the measurements they provide me, I can quickly tell them just the right size image for hanging in that space. Here is the rule of thumb when hanging over furniture like a sofa, table, fireplace mantle, etc. The art should be three-fourths the width of the furniture and hung 6″-12″ above the top. It is that easy! Of course, it doesn’t need to be exact, sometimes an off-center piece brings wonderful visual interest to a wall, but when in doubt, fall back on that rule!
4) Just how tall do you think you are? – A close second in sizing mistakes to art being too small for the wall, is art being hung much too high! You need to think about this when determining the size of portrait to choose, any piece of art should be hung with the center point at eye level. Not with the bottom edge 6 feet off of the floor on an otherwise blank wall. (If you are very short, or very tall, use the average 5’8” person as a guideline.) Again, don’t be afraid to fill up that space!
Family Portraits are an investment that will last a lifetime, and can bring a finished look to your home!
I mostly create my family portraits of large groups for clients in Corolla and Duck in the Outer Banks and in the entire New Jersey New York metropolitan area, but do travel to other areas on occasion, please call with your questions.