Choosing Art for Your Home

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Art is an important part of any decor scheme, and we'd even go so far as to say that it's what makes a house a home. Selecting and purchasing art can be an intimidating process, though. With this in mind, this week's blog will focus on how to choose art for your home and what mistakes to avoid when doing so.

Art is a place where you can and should express yourself. Your likes, passions, interests, hobbies, even your favorite colors should all be conveyed in your art choices. Although we give a lot of general design advice in this blog, art is a place where you should throw all of those rules and principles out the window and go with your gut. The colors, textures, and content of what you're drawn to say something about you; that's a story you should tell and what better place than your home, after all.

Our number one recommendation when it comes to art, then, is to choose from your heart. That way, you'll never choose wrong. For this very reason, we recommend waiting to purchase anything until a piece really, truly moves you. This doesn't mean that you should leave art selection for last in the decorating process, using it to fill in gaps and bring the room together. On the contrary, if you love a piece, you should absolutely get it and use it to inform your decorating choices.

In our Urban Parlor project, we based the colors in the room around this painting that our clients already owned.

We love how the colors in this painting don't match exactly with the furniture but definitely go with it. Image via Pinterest

So how do you go about selecting art? Be ready to act fast. Art is often one-of-a-kind and you don't want to miss out on something that speaks to your soul. We also suggest attending local art events to get acquainted with emerging artists in your city. It doesn't matter who the artist is or how well known he or she is, what matters is that their work speaks to you in a meaningful way. In the same vein, quality art doesn't have to be expensive; it's more about something resonating with you than it is about a particular piece being pricey so therefore it's "good".

We're obsessed with the colors and themes in this gallery wall. Image via Pinterest
The simplicity of this painting, when paired with the tufted headboard and printed pillows, is simply stunning. Image via Pinterest

Even though we just said there are no rules when it comes to art, we do have a few tricks up our sleeve to ensure you display your art correctly. After all, what's the point of investing in something so special to you if you don't get to properly enjoy it? The most important suggestion we have is that art should be displayed at eye level. Hang a piece too high or low and it'll get lost. Speaking of hanging, art doesn't necessarily need to be hung. Sometimes a piece looks just right perched atop a dresser or leaning against a wall. Another tip is to use correct scale. If your art is too small, it will just look silly when hung in a large room. But again, there really are no rules. If you're going to hang a huge, oversize piece in a not-so-huge room, have fun going for it; in other words, make it obvious that the off-kilter scale is intentional and not a design faux-pas.

The above is a good example of how to lean paintings for a cool effect. Bonus points for layering pieces and adding in decorative objects! Image via Pinterest

Here we have leaning art and an oversize scale, which somehow totally works. Image via Pinterest

Another example of an oversize piece of art working in a space. Image via Pinterest

So there you have it! Remember that above all else, art is supposed to be fun so don't take it too seriously and choose what you fill your space with at the heart level.

Written by Amanda Barkley. Designer at Rae Duncan Interior Design

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