Is your Artwork too Small for your Wall?

When it comes to hanging art, you should think carefully about where your pieces go.

Hang your prized painting in the wrong place, and you might not be doing your décor justice.

The thing is, people aren’t always thinking about where it will go when they buy a picture. This can lead to artworks hanging on walls that are too big, with the painting feeling swamped by the vast spaces around them.

But as with all common mistakes, there are common solutions, and we’d like to share them with you. Read on to discover them.


Art should feel visually balanced with the surrounding items. So displaying a single, small artwork on a large wall is a big no-no, for example. A good rule of thumb when displaying art on a wall as a focal point is to ensure it takes up at least 55% of the wall width, or ideally around 60%-80%. One possible exception to this rule is if the wall is very tall. In these cases, you should aim for a tall and narrow picture to match the proportions of that wall.

What can I do when my art is too small?

Option #1 Move it

The easiest and most obvious option is, of course, to move it. If your artwork isn’t the right size for the wall, then find a place in the house where it’s better suited.

Option #2 Boost its size

You might not technically be able to increase the size of the artwork itself, but you can certainly create the illusion of doing so. The best way of achieving a bigger visual footprint is to paint the surrounding walls to create a border, or have your picture reframed in an extra thick frame to boost its size.

Option #3 Shift it 

If its central position isn’t well-suited then you could turn its small size into an advantage by shifting it to the side, so it’s located off-center. A nontraditional placement like this draws emphasis to its intentional placement rather than its size.

Option #4 Stack it

If one picture just ain’t doing it, try stacking two complementary paintings side by side or one on top of another. Together, they should do the trick. To figure out how to hang them, picture your ideally sized painting, then use two to cover around the same area. 

Option #5 Create a gallery

If you’ve got a selection of small and medium artworks, it can work well to arrange them all onto a wall in a gallery style. You can arrange your pieces rigidly, in grid form, or more haphazardly to create a more unpredictable effect. 

Option #6 Store it 

Remember, just because you own it doesn’t mean you have to display it all the time. You can create a stockpile of pieces that you’re waiting for the right time and place to use. Whenever you want a breath of fresh design air in your home, take a look at your stored art and see what you come up with. 

If your art is leaning… 

You may not be hanging your art but leaning it on top of a surface such as a mantelpiece, table, or shelf. In these cases, size is still important. With leaning art like this, it’s easy to extend the width of your art by adding other pieces to each side. 

Get art that’s made to fit 

When you want your art to fit perfectly, try us out. It’s not just that we’ve got thousands of original designs, each of our pieces is also available in a range of sizes. So for a home that’s got style and personality by the boatload, check out our canvases.