One of the major superpowers of the professional (and successful) interior designer is restraint – in their colour palette, in their choice of imagery for canvas prints and other wall art, and in their sense of scale. Amateur interior designers often get swept away in the sheer fun of making creative choices; that’s why you can almost always tell a designer’s first project just by looking at it: It will be too big. Too splashy. Everything about it will be loud and obnoxiously creative. Over time, a good designer learns that they must temper that enthusiasm because a room isn’t an art project, it’s a space people will live in. That means that a powerful, dramatic design can become fatiguing.
So, it’s natural when you first start off to think of canvas art as a way to Go Big. People usually start off their love affair with canvas prints on the walls by choosing huge pieces that fill up walls and dominate spaces – and it can be a powerful moment when you do. But just as powerful, and often more powerful, is the choice to Go Small.
Canvas Prints and Subtlety
Subtlety isn’t always easy. It takes a light touch and an almost instinctive sense of when to pull back – subtlety is, in fact, something most designers (professional and amateur) need to learn over time. Big, huge pieces of wall art make big, huge – and instant – impressions. The gratification is instant, and that’s why we love using them.
Smaller pieces require more thought. Their effect isn’t always obvious. We’re all ruined by the “reveal” moments on those home renovation shows on TV – we want people to gasp when they walk into a room. Small scale canvas art often doesn’t get that gasp right away – the gasp comes later, over time, as people are mysteriously drawn back to the room over and over again, and instead of getting tired of loud, big statement, they become intrigued and drawn to smaller, more mysterious statements.
The key is, smaller-scale canvas prints give you flexibility in your design. Think of everything you put into a room like a musical note. Big splashy canvas art? Those are power chords: Big and loud and they get people out of their seats. But if you limit yourself to those big moments, it’s difficult to have a melody. Smaller pieces are like having more notes to work with to create something delicate and beautiful.
Here are just a few ways that Going Small with your wall art gives you more creative options:
- Colour Variations: Smaller pieces allow you play around with tone in contrast or complement to your chosen wall and flooring colours – larger pieces tend to be more monotone in execution.
- Telling a Story: Small canvas art means you can have a larger variety of images in the room, allowing you to construct a narrative, however subtle and metaphorical.
- Sectioning: Smaller wall art also allows you to easily create subtly divided areas in a larger room, signalled by the changes in colour, texture, and lines.
Going small is something you learn over time, but once you’ve “got it” it’s just one more tool in your creative toolbox. When you think you’ve figured it out, click here and we’ll take your small-scale vision and turn it into something with large-scale impact.