Your Portraits as Fine Art: Selecting the Proper Size for your Space
Our clients often select one high impact or statement portrait that showcases their family and can be displayed in an area of their home where they can enjoy seeing it daily. We always advise our clients to choose areas in their homes where they ‘live’ the most, but also where others will see their portraits.
Once you have selected your favourite image, the second most important decision you’ll make will be the appropriate portrait size for your wall. There are three main considerations for that decision:
Consider where the portrait might hang. Is the ceiling height 8 feet or 15 feet? How large is the wall and the room? Can you see it from 20 feet away? These factors play a large role in determining the best size. Your family room, formal living or dining room, the foyer as you enter your home – all are very popular choices for where to hang portrait art.
Seeing everyone’s expression is very important. For an average size room, with a viewing distance of 8-10 feet, a face height of at least 4" to 6" is recommended. Any smaller and expressions are lost, and you won't get the viewing pleasure you deserve.
Viewing distance will also determine portrait size. Again, we recommend face sizes in the portraits to be at least 6" based on an average viewing distance of eight to ten feet.
HOW TO DETERMINE SIZING
- Measure your sofa to determine its total length. Most three-seater sofas are at least 80 inches wide.
- A horizontal (or square) focal piece of art should be at least 50-75% as wide as the sofa it hangs above. For example, if your sofa is 80 inches wide (6.5 feet), choose a portrait that is at least 40 inches wide.
- Many people hang art too high. Be sure to center your portrait in the wall space above the sofa, with the bottom edge of the frame approximately 6 to 9 inches above the back.
- Most clients enjoy the contemporary look of our gallery wrap canvases, and they are a great value because they do not require glass and framing. However, if you will be hanging a large print, please allow an additional 3-6 inches around the portrait for a custom frame.
- If you can't decide on just one statement portrait, consider a grouping of smaller portraits and space them 2-3 inches apart. Make sure the overall space you cover is at least 70% of the width of the wall area. Our studio can show you more ideas for wall galleries, which work well in smaller areas. (See our "cluster creations" for inspiration.)
We hope these tips and examples will prove to be useful for you as you plan your home decor and wall art order. We are here to assist you as well, so do not hesitate to contact us.
We will soon be launching our Inspiration Guide which will provide a variety of wall art and display options for your family portraits. We can't wait to share this new project with you!