How Much Should I Budget For Wall Art?

The same math used for budgeting home décor projects can be used to establish a budget for wall art.


If your living room is 15 feet wide by 25 feet long, you have 375 square feet of space to work with. So what should you budget for wall art?


A quick Google search estimates homeowners typically spend $11,000- $25,000 on living room furniture and accessories. This translates to $29.33 - $66.67 per square foot for 375 square foot of living room decor.


I usually recommend that 25% of your total wall space is available for art. 


Most homes have on average 5 feet of available vertical wall space (6-8 feet for homes with high ceilings), accommodating electrical outlets and furniture obstacles. For a 15’ W x 25’ L room total possible wall space is 400 square feet. This means the available wall space for artwork is 100 square feet (25% of 400 square feet).  For high ceilings available wall space is 120 – 160 square feet.

Base your artwork budget on this amount of available wall space.


Next, you decide whether to spend the same amount (or more/less) on the walls as you have on the floor space.  To match your art budget to the rest of your room décor you would budget $2,933 - $6,667 for wall art ($29.33 - $66.67 per square feet x 100 square feet of wall space).  For homes with high ceilings budget $3,520 - $10,667 (using 120 – 160 square feet).


What can you get for that budget? I generally recommend you cover only 40-50% of your available wall space with art.  Smaller rooms look best at the lower end of the range. (There is the exception of a fabulous art collection that covers more wall space.)


I always recommend spending the most on a piece for the focal point of your room. You can buy one quality 48” h x 48” w (16 square feet) original artwork for over a fireplace or sofa for $2,000 – $6,000. Plan to spend more than the minimum of the range.

Add additional pieces to complete the room. The options are endless: add another large piece or smaller/medium artworks in sets of 2 or 3. For a curated look include a variety of artwork types like limited edition photography, art prints, mixed media, ink/pencil and watercolour originals on paper in addition to canvas for $300 – $4,000. 


For budgets less than $29.33 per square foot, go with quality (i.e. not from a big box store) art prints or enlarging and framing your own travel photos or installing one of your own creations, but be sure to match your room décor to complete the room successfully.


Of course art collectors are much appreciated for their support of artists, spending more than an average budget. Regardless of your budget, be sure to only choose artwork that means something to you. The art you choose should make you feel something emotionally so you will love it forever.


Karen Mayer, Art Consultant

September 21, 2018