What Size Wall Art Do I Need for My Living Room?

A good living room wall art will dominate the space. It will be the first thing that anyone notices when they walk in. If anything, it will be the biggest compliment-getter in your entire home and a piece that you’re the most proud of.

However, it’s not just the art; it’s the size that matters, as well. You see, the decision is more delicate than you think. Pick too small, and the rest of the decor will swallow it. Go too ambitious, and the rest of the room will feel cramped. Finding the perfect living room wall art that fits can be a challenge. 

When you’re ready to decorate your walls, it’s exciting to think about all the potential living room wall art you can choose from. And then you realize you’ll have to find just the right size for the living room wall.

Now, while it’s true that figuring out the ideal dimensions of extra-large wall art for living rooms can be tricky, we have a simple way for you to find the perfectly sized piece.

Large Wall Art Is All About Proportion

large vertical wall art piece

We’ve all seen a too-small picture hung on a wall or a far-too-big painting covering every inch of the wall–it looks unbalanced and affects the room's overall atmosphere.

So, proportion is key when sizing for large living room wall decor. Thankfully, home designers have given us some tips to avoid this awkward conundrum.

In general, artwork should take up 65–70% of available wall space, though that’s not something most people want to leave to chance. That’s where a simple calculation comes in handy.

First, measure the width of the empty wall space and multiply that number by 0.65. For example, if your wall is 75” across, the equation is 75 x .65 = 48.75”, which is about 4 feet. So, your ideal piece of artwork will be approximately 4 feet wide.

Do the same calculation with the height of your blank wall area. For example, if the height is 35”, 35 x .65 = 22.75”, then your piece of art should be 22.75” or about 2 feet high.

Now, take these width and height dimensions, in our example, 4’ x 2’, and you’ve got the approximate artwork size you need!

When in doubt, go bigger

Home decor experts offer one final note: when in doubt, go bigger rather than smaller. So, if you’re looking at artwork that’s a bit bigger than your calculated size, don’t worry — choosing the larger size will look more impressive.

First, it’s important to talk about the visual hierarchy. Larger objects attract more attention, so if it’s your intention to make this picture act as a focal point, one of the best (simplest) ways to do it is to hang a larger picture. This way, it will be domineering when compared to other elements in the room.

Then there's the practical side of things. Decorating with one large piece means you don't have to fret over creating the perfect gallery wall — no more agonizing about which small pieces complement each other or how to space them out. It simplifies the process, allowing you to focus on finding that one art piece that truly speaks to you.

Moreover, in larger rooms or spaces with high ceilings, smaller art can end up looking lost or undersized; this could make the proportion look odd. A decently sized artwork can anchor the space, making it feel more cohesive and intentionally designed. So, when in doubt, going bigger with your wall art isn't just a safe bet — it's a bold move that can elevate your space from nice to wow-worthy.

Choose a Single Piece of Art...or a Few

Canvas set of three abstract wall art pieces

When choosing large wall art for your living room, finding a singular piece that’s just right will most definitely create a classic statement piece. But you can consider canvas sets, too, or a hand-made painting, especially if you’d like to break up the space on a larger wall.

If you do decide on a set of two or three art pieces, it’s important to take into consideration the spacing between them as you position this artwork on your wall. Home designers recommend leaving 2”–5” from the edge of each piece of art.

This approach allows for greater creativity and flexibility in showcasing your individual style and interests. With multiple smaller pieces, you can curate a collection that evolves over time, adding layers of complexity and interest to your walls. This method provides the opportunity to mix and match different art styles, mediums, and frames, creating a dynamic display that can be rearranged or expanded as your tastes and space evolve. Additionally, smaller artworks can fill niche spaces.

When choosing a set of extra-large wall art for living rooms, the proportional calculation above still applies, but remember to include 2”–5” of space in your overall measurements.

With a single larger piece like "Santiago", you're making one definitive choice, which can make the entire process so much simpler. There's no need to fret over the compatibility of multiple pieces or worry about the cumulative cost of several smaller artworks.

This simplicity in selection and financial planning makes the choice of a larger artwork appealing to both first-time buyers and seasoned decorators alike. After all, you’re making just one choice and completing a single purchase.

Try Out a Dry Run to Visualize Your Dimensions

Often, many homeowners want a visual feel of what their extra-large living room wall art will look like in their living rooms. A great way to do this is to cut out the artwork’s size in newsprint, kraft paper, or even wrapping paper and tape it to the wall space where the art will hang.

In the modern age, you can even leverage the power of tools like SketchUp. You don’t have to recreate an entire home; all it takes is for you to try and make a single wall and the furniture in front of it. Try to get the shapes and proportions right, just enough that you can visualize what you’re trying to make. This is a digital/modern equivalent of making these cardboard cutouts.

Some of the tech-savviest people are even leveraging the power of AR. This way, they use their phone, point it at an empty space on the wall, and see exactly where the picture will fit (and how).

The last thing you want to do is lay in your bed and try to imagine how it will work out. Go to the wall and measure the height from the floor (even if it means using nothing but your hands).

Ideal artwork size will make your living room come together

ideal artwork for your living room wall

Choosing extra-large wall art for living rooms can be daunting, but these suggestions will be helpful and guide you in finding the ideal-sized wall art for your space. Just remember that you’re not doing this every day. It pays off to take a bit of time to think it all through.

While this sounds like a task or a chore, you shouldn’t look at it that way. After all, people are paying good money in gallery fees for others to just let them walk around the place and look at pictures. Imagine if they told you that you could take on any one of them at home. Why would this change your experience (in a negative way)? With the right mindset, the choice becomes easier.