Ask the Artsperts – Wall Space
by Juliana Meek and Kristine Meek
I have a few spaces in my home that need certain sized paintings. I know I can buy a smaller painting, but I am afraid it will look too small in the space. Also one of my spaces is vertical, so I need to find a vertical painting. How do I find paintings to fill the dimensions of the spaces?
It is not uncommon to want to purchase work to fill a particular space in the home. However, to focus purely on a particular size is a backwards way of looking at art. You should really start with what you like first then determine space constrictions. Your space may change in the future as you redecorate or move. If you are just filling a space, you may end up with a work of art that looks good in that one space but is not something you actually like in the long term. There are also some options for managing wall space, which makes this factor less important in you purchase decision.
- One option is to frame up a work. By this we mean, choose a larger frame and matting to increase the size of the work. This often has the added benefit of nicely accenting the work. We suggest linen wrapped matting for the best look.
- Another option is to purchase several small works of art to create a salon style wall. This style of displaying works is growing rapidly in popularity. It has been made especially famous by Hunt Slonem with his large bunny wall at his studio in New York. Many collectors are recreating Slonem “bunny walls” in their own homes. Others create salon style walls with several different artists, and works of varying sizes.
- A vertical space does not necessarily require a vertical painting. A horizontal painting can look very good in a vertical space, especially with the right frame choice and if the horizontal work fills the horizontal space available.
- In the case of a work that is too large for the space, it isn’t possible to shrink or crop the work. But it is possible to perhaps find another work by the same artist that is similar, but smaller. Artists often repeat themes and may do a few works with similar subject, colors or location.
We hope that these options help to broaden your mind, even if we can’t broaden your wall space!
Top Photo: Before and after of a work by Richard Segalman hung in a private home that was framed up with a larger
frame with a mat to better fill the available wall space.
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