The goal of this post is to help some of my customers and potential buyers in figuring out which size of print to buy. This comes from the overall reality that none of us know what size our walls really are and general lack of experience in purchasing images for said walls. I wanted to take some of the knowledge I have gained hanging up photos in customers homes and my own home for the past few years and share it will you.
(All measurements are in inches and without frame)
How to Plan the Right Size of Photo
If you are planning to purchase a photo for your home, there are a few things I recommend. Buy the painters tape, and measure/mask the size of photo you think you want where you want it and the orientation you want (vertical or horizontal). This is a quick method for choosing the right size of image for your wall. My images come in the following sizes unless specified or custom sizes are needed.
Queen Bed: The most popular bed that people own is the Queen Size Bed. It measures out to be 60in wide. The size of photo that matches best with this size of bed is an image that measures at least 48 inches wide. Height matters less as there usually is plenty of room to work with in the vertical axis for these spots. The best size for this though is 60inches wide. So if you are considering purchasing a photo of mine that will go above your bed I recommend the following images.
King Bed: The King sized bed is 74 inches wide. In order to match that with a photo it needs to be at least 60 inches wide, but similar to the queen you want a photo anywhere between 60-74 inches wide. The above photos make for good options as well.
Dressers: Dressers are a little side decorative unite that I see my photos end up frequently above. Dressers come in two varieties, the single stack or the double/triple wide. The single stack dressers are all about the same size and all of them only match 20x30 or 24x36. For the double/triple wide the story changes and the design shifts to the much larger prints. From here you will need a minimum of 24x36 and up.
Almost all bathrooms have taller walls than wide; because of this all photos that go in bathrooms will probably be vertical images. Additionally most bathrooms are not particularly big, so the proper size of in image will be either a 16x24 or a 20x30. These two sizes will satisfy just about any bathroom wall space. Below I have some suggested images that often match the cooler bluer color pallets often seen in bathrooms.
A note on bathrooms, particularly full size. Showers produce condensation and paper photos may become damaged. In these environments, metal prints shine. They can get wet and will not be damaged by any of the moisture coming from the shower. Another nice things with my metal images is that they are entirely made of metal, so no wood backing to warp seen in many other metal printers.
Hallways are tricky. This is due to the odd aspect ratios of hallway walls. I find customers use hallways as surprise photos, something that hides until you come around the corner and you are face to face with the photo. Outside of that, the most frequent size that customers purchase for hallways are 20x30 prints.
Many homes have large entrance ways with a bare wall that is specifically designed to have a photo or a painting placed there to be as a welcome to my home image. Usually these are larger images. For these locations the size of images should be a 24x36 or larger. Almost everyone I have ever sold an image to that plans on putting an image here buy the 30x45 or 40x60, but most common is the 30x45. Additionally these photos should be bright as guests usually come in and ogle these photos for a bit. The most common photo customers have purchased have been my arch images with sun starts. They are eye catching and they are bright and warm. Here are some of the suggested and observed purchases people have made.
Couches: Couches come in two sizes generally speaking, the three piece sectional and the two piece love seat. The three piece couch will range form 8-12 feet in length and the love seat will range from 5-6 feet give or take six inches. From personal experience, I recommend the following ways to decorate above couches. First align center of the couch or the wall don't compromise on this. Second choose an images that is 60 inches wide unless you are decorating for a love seat than 48 inches wide works fine. Third if you the single images is too much, you can cut the cost and fill more space with a three image center piece setup (example below). Choose a large center piece image that is vertical and choose two matching horizontal images that compliment it. This can save hundreds and it can take up more wall space and it looks really good (I do this regularly in my own home.)
Living rooms also have nooks cranny and decorative cut ins. Many of these cut ins only accommodate images from 20x30 to 24x36. Occasionally they go bigger, but more often then not they only allow for images that size. Also many living rooms have odd walls between hallways that are too big to be small but too small to be big. Almost all of these need a 24x36 to 30x45 in size to fill the spot.
I think the most important piece of advice I have is choose the photo you love and use that as the guiding light. Unless you are only purchasing for decorative value, then choose as you please, but if you are choosing based on which image is your favorite or you have a connection to the place, use that as your guiding light.