How to choose the right size art

Choosing the right size for Kim Knoll Art

Artwork (above): Oak Creek Canyon

Are you thinking about getting an original painting or print, but feel unsure about what size is right for your wall? You're not alone! I'm often asked this and more. Read below for some helpful tips.


"The Mountains Are Calling" Art by Kim Knoll

Above: The Mountains Are Calling, 24x36" print, photo by Valerie Wilcox, framing by On The Wall Framing and interior by Orsi Panos Interiors


Art can make your space feel more unique and definitely adds personality to your home. It's one of the most important decor items in your room since it's often a focal point for you and your guests—no pressure, right? Since art can make a room feel larger or smaller depending on the size you get, and it can be more permanent than furniture, it's important to consider the following before you make your purchase:

Think about your space

Do you want the art to take up a large part of your wall and stand out in your space? Or do you want it to be more of a subtle accent piece in your room? Take into account the size of any other decor on your wall that it's going next to—it's best to have varying sizes so they aren't the same size and competing for attention. A good rule of thumb is that bigger is usually better. It never looks bad to have an oversized artwork in a small room, but a small artwork can look lost on a big, empty wall. If you need a print larger than what you see in my shop, I can do that! Just shoot me an email for a custom quote.


"We Are Many" Art by Kim Knoll

Above: We Are Many, 28x42" custom print, photo by Jason Kim

Remember the mat and frame

It's easy to only think about the print size and forget that adding a mat and frame adds inches to the overall size. With my framed prints, the mat and frame will add a total of 5" in width and 5" in height to your art print (based on a 2" border mat and 3/8" wide frame). For example, an 18x24" print will end up being around 23x29" once framed with a mat. So keep this in mind!

Measure it first

I always suggest taking painter's tape and masking out the overall size (remember to include the mat and frame measurements) on the wall to get a sense for the size before you place your order. I know what you're thinking...that's A LOT of work. But it takes 10 minutes at most and is so worth it. It will give you confidence in placing your order and save you from making a mistake that could cost you more money or frustration.

"Making Memories" and "Into The Wild" Art by Kim Knoll

Above: Making Memories and Into The Wild, 18x24" prints, photo by Niamh Barry

Hanging over furniture?

Thinking about putting artwork above a sofa, bed, or bench? A lot of people think they need to fill up the width of the furniture with art, like choosing 3 artworks to go together above a sofa. Personally, I say less is more. If you think about an art gallery, there's a reason why art is spaced apart! Having some space around it gives the viewer less distraction—sometimes too many artworks side by side can be distracting. For hanging art above furniture, I say go with 1 large artwork or 2 smaller pieces that work well side by side. The artwork should be around 3/4 the width of your furniture—it doesn't have to fill the width of your furniture. In fact, it looks better if it doesn't (see a perfect example of this below!). Measure how much room is between your ceiling and the piece of furniture to help you determine the overall size your art should be. The art should be centered on the wall between your ceiling and furniture, leaving at least 1 foot of empty space between your ceiling and the art, and the art and your furniture.


"Letting It Go" and "Taking It In" Art by Kim Knoll

Above: Letting It Go and Taking It In, 18x24" prints, photo by Lorena Almeda


Now that you've gained more knowledge than you ever cared to know about the sizing of art, I hope this helps make your decision much easier so you can move on with your life. 🤸🏻‍♀️


 Artwork (below): Into The Wild

How to choose the right size art