Mai Pham
November 29, 2023

Art can do more than just brighten up a room – it has the power to transform your living space, creating an illusion of more room. The way you hang your wall art can be a game-changer in making your living room look bigger and more inviting. Whether it’s an oversized painting, a collection of small prints, or even a mirror, the placement and arrangement can dramatically enhance the perception of space. This guide will provide 10 handy tips to help you hang your wall art strategically to maximize your living room’s potential. Let’s turn your living room into a spacious haven using the magic of art!

Tip #1: Use Larger Pieces to Make the Living Room Look Bigger

One effective technique to make your living room appear larger is to hang one or two larger pieces of wall art as opposed to numerous smaller ones. Larger pieces draw the eye and can create the illusion of a more expansive space. They can serve as a focal point, anchoring the room and defining the space. For example, consider an oversized painting or a large mirror, both of which can make the room seem more spacious by drawing the eye upward and reflecting light, respectively.

Mix Art Styles in a Room

Tip #2: Scaling and Sizing Wall Art for a Bigger Look

Being mindful of the scale and size of your wall art in relation to your living room can be pivotal in creating the perception of a larger space. Art pieces that are too small can make the room feel cluttered and cramped, while oversized pieces in a small room can be overpowering. Try to maintain balance by choosing artwork that relates well to the size of your wall and the surrounding furniture. A general rule of thumb is to fill two-thirds to three-quarters of your available wall space with art. This approach can effectively expand the visual field and make your living room seem bigger.

Tip #3: Choosing Art Pieces That Reflect Light and Space

Art pieces with reflective surfaces, such as art prints with metallic accents or mirrors, can be a strategic addition to your living room. They can bounce off natural light during the day and artificial light during the evening, magnifying the sense of space in your living room. Mirrors, in particular, can double the visual field by creating a mirror image of your room, making it appear more expansive. For example, a mirror placed opposite a window can reflect the outdoor view, giving the impression of an extra window in the room. Similarly, shiny or metallic art works can echo light and color, adding depth and dimension to your space.

Tip #4: The Role of Color in Creating Spaciousness with Wall Art

Colors play a crucial role in influencing the perception of space. Lighter hues are often recommended for smaller spaces as they help to open up the room and make it feel larger. When hanging wall art, consider choosing pieces that incorporate light, soft shades, or cool colors like blues and greens which can create an illusion of more space. Additionally, artworks that depict scenes with depth or perspective, such as landscapes or cityscapes, can extend the visual field beyond the room’s actual confines, giving a sense of spaciousness. On the other hand, avoid art with dominant, dark colors as they can make the room feel smaller and more enclosed.

balance wall art in a living room

Tip #5: Arranging Multiple Pieces of Art to Elongate the Room

When you have multiple pieces of art to display, their arrangement could significantly influence how large your room appears. Creating a gallery wall is a popular method, particularly when arranged in a vertical fashion. This layout draws the eye upward, giving the illusion of a higher ceiling and hence a larger room. However, be careful not to overcrowd your wall; leaving some empty space gives the room a chance to breathe, contributing to the feeling of spaciousness. You might also want to consider the use of matching frames to bring a sense of cohesiveness and order, reducing visual clutter. Finally, keeping a consistent space between each piece of art can maintain balance and harmony, further enhancing the perception of a bigger room.

Tip #6: Combining Wall Art with Mirrors for Added Depth

Mirrors and art can work together to add depth and dimension to your living room, contributing to the illusion of a larger space. Incorporating mirrors into your wall art arrangement can reflect both the artwork and the room itself, doubling the visual impact and enhancing the spacious feel. You could consider pairing a piece of artwork with a similar-sized mirror on the same wall, or even mix smaller mirrors into a gallery wall of art. The juxtaposition of art and mirror can create an eye-catching effect, with the mirror’s reflection adding depth and interest to the overall display.

Tip #7: The Effect of Vertical Hanging on Room Height

A clever trick to add height to your living room is the vertical hanging of your wall art. When artworks or frames are mounted vertically, they tend to draw the eye upwards, creating an optical illusion that the room is taller than it actually is. You could consider hanging two or three smaller pieces on top of each other or choose a tall, narrow piece of art or a set of vertically aligned prints. For added impact, choose pieces that have strong vertical elements within the artwork itself, such as towering trees or skyscrapers. This method of hanging wall art not only enhances the perception of room height but also adds a stylish and contemporary touch to your living room decor.

make the living room look bigger

Tip #8: The Balance of Wall Art and Furniture to Enhance Room Size

The relationship between your wall art and furniture also contributes to the perception of room size. Ideally, your art should be in proportion with your furniture to maintain harmony and balance in the room. Oversized art can overwhelm smaller furniture pieces, whereas tiny art pieces can get lost next to large furniture. A common practice is to hang the artwork so that its center is at eye level, which is usually around 57 inches from the floor. If hanging art above a piece of furniture like a sofa or a console table, leave a gap of 6-8 inches between the bottom of the art and the top of the furniture. This arrangement draws the eye around the room in a way that maximizes the sense of space. Also, consider the width of the furniture; your artwork should not exceed the width of the furniture underneath it. By considering these factors in how you hang your wall art, you can enhance the perceived size of your living room.

How many paintings should be in a living room?

Tip #9: The Use of Framed Art to Create a Border and Expanse

Framed art can be utilized effectively to create a visual border, thereby making the room appear larger. When hanging framed art, consider creating a uniform border around the room at a consistent height. This technique defines the space and further draws the eye around the room, creating a sense of continuity and expansiveness. Besides, the use of larger frames can also add to the room’s perceived size. Large frames, particularly those with minimalistic designs, do not overwhelm the space but instead contribute to the illusion of a larger wall area. Incorporating frames of varying sizes and shapes, while maintaining a consistent color scheme, can also add a dynamic element to your decor, creating visual interest without adding clutter.

 hang your wall art to make the living room look bigger

Tip #10: The Power of Minimalism and Negative Space in Wall Art Display

Minimalism and the intentional use of negative space can have a profound impact on the perceived size of your living room. When it comes to hanging wall art, less can often be more. An oversized art piece on a wall can be a striking and stylish choice that avoids the clutter of numerous smaller pieces. This minimalist approach allows the artwork to breathe and the wall behind it to show through, enhancing the sense of spaciousness. Negative space, or the space around and between the subject of an artwork, also plays a crucial role in creating a feeling of openness. Art pieces that incorporate a lot of negative space can prevent a room from feeling cramped or cluttered. So as you curate your wall art, remember to also consider the power of simplicity and the beauty of bare space in making your living room appear larger.

Should every wall have a picture

Read more: How Many Paintings Should Be In A Living Room?

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Conclusion

Strategically hanging your wall art is an art itself, one that can dramatically transform your living space. It’s not merely about adorning your walls but also about creating an illusion of a larger, more open space. By incorporating these tips into your decor—considering the balance with furniture, using mirrors alongside art, applying the power of vertical hanging, defining space with framed art, and embracing minimalism and negative space—you can make your living room not only stylish but also spacious. Remember, it’s your living room; there are no hard rules. Feel free to experiment with these tips and find what arrangement works best for your space and reflects your personal style. Decorating is a journey, enjoy the process!

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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