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Size Matters. How to Scale your Artwork for Impact Outdoors

According to a recent study conducted on behalf of Re/Max, Canadians saw a strong shift toward outdoor upgrades and amenities in 2020, specifically the addition of a pool or larger exterior living area. Much of the demand was prompted by COVID-19 and the desire for more recreational space. Increasing house prices and access to equity have prompted homeowners to invest in home improvement projects and support the trend towards “don’t move, improve”.

And Homestars discovered that 50% of surveyed homeowners took advantage of staying home during the pandemic to start projects such as pools and decks. Popular projects homeowners were interested in included hot tubs, landscaping, fences, and playgrounds. Also, 25% of survey respondents claimed that the reason for home remodeling was to create more functional and fun outdoor areas as they are spending more time at home.

We have definitely seen this desire to expand and enhance outdoor living spaces from our customers. At the same time, our valuable customer interactions have brought something else to light that is worth a discussion.  Ready for it? It turns out that size matters (at least in the outdoors it does).

Have you ever gone into a backyard and seen it dotted with a spindly arbor or trellis that looks almost fragile in the space?  Or noticed how sad and lonely a few tiny little flowerpots look on a huge patio?  People seem to be afraid to go big when it comes to outdoor décor – that’s because they are governed by indoor principles.  But when the sky is your ceiling, there really are no limitations.


In terms of choosing artwork, lots of questions come into play including colour schemes, subject themes and size.  We are often asked by customers to look at their space and make recommendations in all of these areas.  Most people tend to underestimate the size required to deliver real impact in their outdoor space.  Where a smaller piece indoors may be sufficient to create visual interest, there’s simply more scope and less risk to going big outdoors. 

We’ve also noticed that outdoor art tends to add ambiance and mood, creating “virtual rooms” and adding dimension to landscape designs, rather than simply being the focal point of the design.  Instead of walls and partitions creating distinct living and dining areas, as an example, strategically placed large art prints are able to define unique spaces without actually taking up space or blocking sightlines.

That’s why we have created 6 standard sizes for our art prints, the largest of which is 70” x 46.5”.  That sounds like a lot indoors, but once outside the size almost adjusts to its environment. In past articles, I’ve highlighted the “magic of 3s”, that is hanging 3, 5 or other odd numbers together in a formation.  This is another great use of space with smaller pieces that end up delivering the same big impact.

These same principles work for all kinds of outdoor décor and accessories – from large boxy couches and chairs to hurricane lanterns housing dramatically oversized 6 wick candles.  At the end of the day, it’s about optimizing space and decorating for both scale and proportion to please the eye.

If you have questions about outdoor art and décor we are always here to help.  Email us at any time.  And in the meantime, remember that size does matter, well outdoors anyway!


Lisa Hartley, Founder

Off the Wall On the Fence