How to Determine Wall Art Sizes

August 05, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Mine is a full-service boutique portrait studio, to include hanging the photograph(s) on your wall, whether you choose one impactful piece or a gallery of images… if you want. If you would rather do it yourself, here are tips for creating that statement wall.

As a general rule in the decorating world, proper viewing distance for artwork is from three to four feet away. Tape a piece of standard printer paper to your wall. That’s 8.5x11 inches. Are you sure you just want an 8x10? I think you’ll agree that it’s a bit small all by itself… or unless you have a much tighter viewing distance. Let’s see what we can create that’ll fit the wall better.

To figure out the available area to hang your printed images, measure the wall height and wall width. Multiply both numbers by .6 and .75 to get the minimum and maximum area to fill. For example, I wanted to hang something above our queen-sized bed. I don’t really need the width of the whole wall; I just need to know that the wall immediately above the bed is 60 inches wide. The headboard is tall and covers the bottom four feet of the wall, so the wall area I need in this case is 60x48 inches. Doing the math, my artwork should be somewhere between 36 and 45 inches wide and 29 and 36 inches tall to fill this space. A single 40x30 impact piece would be amazing, but I’ve decided on a grouping of three vertical images at 12 inches wide in ¾-inch thick frames, with spacing between them (I’m going with 2x the frame thickness, so 1½ inch wide gaps) that will put me very close to the maximum width (at 44 inches total).

But wait! There’s more!

We also need to consider viewing height. Proper viewing height is “eye level” – which we’ll have to figure out for you and your family. What’s “eye level” for you might be too low or too high for someone else. And is that artwork being viewed from a seated or standing position? For pictures that will be viewed from a standing position, which is most of them, the general rule is to hang them so that the centerline of the piece or grouping is 60 to 66 inches from the floor. My frames are only 18 inches tall, short of the 29-inch calculated minimum area above the bed. But by hanging them with the centerline 60 inches from the floor, a better viewing height for the almost seven-foot viewing distance from the foot of the bed, the tops will be at about 71 inches. This falls comfortably near the maximum height if calculated based on the full wall height of 96 inches. And it gives me plenty of clearance above the headboard. Boom!

At your ordering appointment, we’ll design your artwork to fit your space, whether that is one picture or three or six (or more). And if all this seems like way too much measuring and math, don’t worry! I’ll take care of it for you! I want you to celebrate your life in pictures that you can see every day. I do not want you to stress about your framed or canvas photographs… or leave them stacked – lonely – on the floor or in the closet where no one can enjoy them and celebrate with you.


Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].


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