Wall art is more than just a decorative element; it is an integral component of your living room’s overall design and can significantly influence the mood and aesthetic of your space. Achieving a balance in your wall art arrangement is crucial for creating a harmonious and inviting environment. This balance contributes not only to the visual appeal of your living room but also to the feeling of comfort and tranquility that a well-designed space can provide. This guide will explore the concept of balance in wall art, practical steps to achieve it, how to combine it with other decor elements, common mistakes to avoid, and ultimately underscore its importance in your living room’s decor.

Understanding the Concept of Balance in Wall Art

Balance in art is the concept of visual equilibrium and relates to our physical sense of balance. It refers to the distribution of visual weight in a composition and can provide a sense of stability, structure, and harmony. There are three primary types of balance in art: symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial.

Symmetrical balance, also known as formal balance, occurs when one-half of an artwork mirrors or closely resembles the other half. This type of balance can bring a sense of calm and stability to a space. For example, hanging two similarly sized and colored paintings on either side of a fireplace creates symmetrical balance.

What are the rules for wall art?

Asymmetrical balance, or informal balance, can be more dynamic and interesting. It involves different elements that have equal visual weight or eye attraction. The elements are arranged differently from one side to another, but there is a balance in visual weight and attention. An example would be a large painting on one side of the wall balanced by a grouping of smaller framed photos on the other.

Radial balance involves elements that spread out from a central point. It can be achieved by arranging artwork in a circular formation on your wall. This can create a compelling focal point in your living room.

Practical Steps to Achieve Balance

Choosing the right wall art for your space.

Selecting the right wall art for your living room is a key step in achieving a balanced look. The art piece’s size, color, and style should complement your room’s overall aesthetic and not overwhelm the space. Here are some practical tips to guide you:

Size: Wall art should fit proportionately into your space. A very large piece of art can overpower a small room, while a tiny piece may get lost in a large room. As a general rule, wall art should take up about two-thirds to three-quarters of the wall space above a piece of furniture. For instance, over a sofa, the artwork should be approximately two-thirds the length of the sofa.

balance wall art in a living room

Color: The colors in your wall art can either complement or contrast with the colors in the rest of your room. If you want your wall art to blend with your living room decor, choose art that contains some of the colors already present in the room. If you want to make a bold statement, go for artwork in contrasting colors.

Style: The style of your wall art should mirror the style of your room. If your living room has a modern feel, choose abstract pieces with bold colors and geometric patterns. If your room has a more traditional feel, go for artwork with more detail and a classic frame.

Remember, the goal is to create a cohesive, visually balanced space that reflects your personal style and taste.

How to arrange wall art for balance

balance wall art in a living room

Arranging your wall art in a balanced way is a crucial part of the process. Here are a few pointers to guide your arrangement:

Spacing: Keep a consistent amount of space between each piece of wall art. This not only creates a neat and organized look but also helps each piece stand out. If you’re creating a gallery wall, try to keep at least 2 inches between each piece.

Height: The center of your artwork should typically hang at eye level, roughly 57-60 inches from the floor. This height is commonly used in galleries and museums and is considered the most comfortable viewing position.

Wall Coverage: As a general rule, artwork should cover about 60-75% of the available wall space. For example, if you have a blank wall space of 48 inches wide, aim to fill about 30 to 36 inches of that with artwork.

Arrangement: Whether you’re hanging a single piece of art or creating a gallery wall, consider the arrangement. For multiple pieces, you might want to lay them out on the floor first to experiment with different arrangements.

Remember, these are just guidelines and not strict rules. The most important aspect is that the arrangement feels balanced to you and fits with the style and decor of your room.

How to use color, size, and form to create a balanced look

Utilizing color, size, and form in your wall art can significantly contribute to achieving a balanced look in your living room. It’s about creating a visually harmonious relationship between the different objects and the room’s layout.

Color: The color of your wall art can dramatically impact the mood and feel of your living room. For a serene and tranquil atmosphere, consider using art pieces with similar hues and tones as your room’s color palette. For a vibrant and energetic vibe, go for art pieces that offer a stark contrast to your room’s colors. Remember, color balance doesn’t mean all colors should be the same. It’s about ensuring that no single color overpowers the rest.

Size: The size of your wall art is crucial in creating balance. Too small art pieces might feel lost in a large room, while too large ones can overwhelm the space. A tip to achieve size balance is to relate the art size to the wall or furniture size. For instance, if you’re placing art over a couch, choose a piece that is about two-thirds the length of the couch.

Form: The form or shape of your wall art can add an interesting dynamic to your room. Round or curvy art forms can balance out the straight lines of your furniture, providing a visual contrast. On the other hand, angular art pieces can complement modern, minimalist decor. The key is to diversify your wall art forms to achieve a well-rounded aesthetic.

By considering these aspects, you can successfully balance wall art in your living room, creating a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing space.

Balancing Wall Art with Other Decor Elements

Combining Wall Art with Furniture and Other Decor Elements

Striking the right balance between your wall art and other decor elements, such as furniture, is crucial to maintaining harmony in your living room. You should consider the size, color, and style of your furniture when selecting and positioning your wall art.

Size Relationship: The size of your wall art should complement the size of your furniture. As a rule of thumb, artwork above furniture should be about 75% the width of the furniture. Larger pieces of furniture, like a sectional sofa, can be balanced with a gallery wall or a large piece of artwork. Here’s an example of balanced art-to-furniture size relationship.

Color Coordination: Color coordination is key to tying your artwork and furniture together. If your furniture is a neutral color, consider selecting artwork that includes some of the accent colors in your living room, or vice versa. This harmonious blending of colors would create a cohesive visual appeal. Take a look at this image, where wall art and furniture colors complement each other.

Style Sync: If your living room furniture is modern, you might want to opt for contemporary art with clean lines and simple forms. For more traditionally styled furnishings, consider classic paintings or prints. This photo illustrates how modern furniture pairs well with abstract art.

The Role of Lighting in Emphasizing Balance

Effective use of lighting can dramatically enhance and balance your living room’s aesthetic. It can spotlight your wall art, create mood, and draw attention to your favorite pieces.

Accent Lighting: Accent lighting, such as spotlights or wall-mounted fixtures, can highlight your wall art and make it a focal point. See this example of how accent lighting is used to emphasize a piece of wall art.

Ambient Lighting: Ambient lighting provides overall illumination that softens shadows and helps artwork colors pop. It can be achieved through ceiling lights or floor lamps. Here’s a living room that makes good use of ambient lighting.

Task Lighting: Task lights, like reading lamps, can add another layer of interest and function to your living room. When strategically placed, they can also draw attention to your wall art. Take a look at this setting where task lighting is used to shine light on a wall painting.

Remember, achieving the perfect balance of wall art in your living room is not just about hanging art on the wall. It involves combining art with furniture, integrating different decor elements, and using lighting strategically to create a harmonious and inviting space.


In conclusion, achieving a balanced look with wall art in your living room requires a thoughtful blend of color, size, form, and lighting. The interaction between these elements is key to creating a harmonious and inviting atmosphere. It’s important to remember that while these guidelines provide a good starting point, the ultimate goal is to create a space that reflects your personal style and taste. You are the one who will be living in the space, so make sure it feels right to you. With a little planning and creativity, you can transform your living room into a masterpiece of balance and harmony.

About the Author

I am a working mother who more than often prefer to come home and rest rather than doing house chores. I am passionate about simplifying house chores to live and enjoy life more.

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