Which Stretched Canvas Size Works Best For You?

Now that you’re ready to start hanging art around your home, you’ve probably realized that you have a lot of different options in sizes, frames, and styles. One style of artwork that has become popular is the stretched canvas print. This can either be an original oil painting of your own, or it can be a family photo that has been transferred to canvas. Stretched canvas is so popular precisely because it makes any art look truly special. So which stretched canvas size works best for you?

In order to answer that question, you first should give a little thought to aspect ratios. An aspect ratio is simply the ratio of the length and width of a painting. A square photo painting, for example, has an aspect ratio of 1:1 because both sides are the same identical size. Other classic aspect ratios include 1:2, 2:3, 3:4, 4:5 and 5:6.


To understand why aspect ratio is so important, think about the difference between a traditional 5 x 7 or 4 x 6 photo and a square Instagram photo. Think about watching a YouTube video on your phone when it is held horizontally, and then when it is held vertically. Or think about watching a Netflix movie on your TV and how it is “letterboxed” to make it fit your screen. Simply changing the aspect ratio can fundamentally change the way you view a work of art, and for that reason, certain aspect ratios (i.e. shapes) work better in certain rooms of your house than others.

One popular size of stretched canvas is 12” x 12”. This is a great way to display a photo, especially when you have limited wall space. (If you’ve been taking a lot of Instagram selfies, this square shape is a natural fit, too!). This size of print is a great way to add a special touch to small rooms in your home – such as bathrooms – as well as to add a distinctive touch to gallery walls (where you have several different prints, all of them different sizes and shapes). Larger square canvas prints (such as 24” x 24”) are good for guest bedrooms, dining rooms and smaller living rooms.


But what about a more distinctive shape, like a 36” x 12” stretched canvas print? This is a relatively unique elongated shape, and as a result, deserves to be placed in unique places around your home. They fit nicely above a fireplace mantle, for example. They also can be placed over a kitchen stovetop and in long hallways, where a long stretched canvas print can really help to highlight your walls and guide guests down the hallway.

Another popular size is a 20” x 30” stretched canvas print. This size print can be placed in studies, bedrooms and living rooms. But what happens when you change that size from 20” x 30” to, say, 20” x 16”? By changing the aspect ratio, you open up new opportunities to place that artwork around your home. A 20” x 16” stretched canvas print is great for hanging in offices, game rooms and living rooms. Popular types of photos for that size include wedding photos and stunning landscapes.

As you can see, there are certain sizes and shapes that work best for various rooms of your home. The bigger the stretched canvas print, the more dramatic of an impact that it can make. A large stretched canvas, for example, can become the centerpiece of attention in your living room, and the first thing that guests see when they visit your home. To make that wall art really pop, you just need to give some thought to the types of images that work best for different sizes.