Art really makes a difference in a home. Whether you’re sprucing up your interiors (since you’re spending so much time in your home, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic) or you’re planning a new space, once it’s beautifully designed, you will want some art on the walls. We always tell clients that you won’t really feel moved into your new home until we place your rugs and hang your art. Art just makes a house a home.
Art can be many things to many people and lots of people are intimidated by it. You don’t need to be because all that really matters is that you like it (and hopefully it looks nice in your space). When choosing art, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Buy what you love. Art should cause an emotional response when you look at it. You can decide what that emotion should be, but I’d suggest happiness, warmth and love! As seen in this next photograph, we mixed modern art on the far end of this room with traditional art on the right side for a classic look that doesn’t disappoint. Both pieces tie in with the colors of the room as well as the styles that this client really appreciates.
A high price tag doesn’t mean it’s a better choice for you. Buy things you like and can afford. A really special piece can be added here and there when it’s appropriate for you. Even inexpensive pieces such as posters, mementos and your own creations can look fabulous when appropriately framed and hung.
We like to curate a collection by including unframed canvases, framed pieces behind glass and pieces that are framed and matted. It looks more interesting and collected over time when there is a mix. If you need several pieces to line a wall or create a gallery wall, you can work off themes, such as family photos, travel scenes, nature photography or even combine pieces with similar colors. I like the below gallery wall from Hotel Alexandra as published in Dwell’s “10 Tips For Hanging Art in Your Home—and Our Picks For Creating Fearless Walls“. You’ll see that while most pieces on this wall are framed, there are some non-framed pieces that aren’t rectangular. Starting at the circular clock in the center and moving to the right, the art is displayed in almost a staircase fashion. Intentional placement like this guides the eyes and adds visual interest.
Another take on the gallery wall by Burnham Design is shown below from Kathy Kuo Homes’ blog. “Salon-style also works best when you mix and match multiple types of wall hangings, from paintings to prints to photos to text pieces to wall sculptures,” the article states. Since the art is carefully balanced, it isn’t overwhelming. Each piece has significant meaning to the homeowner for a personal touch.
Choose art that includes a pop of color in neutral rooms. As seen in this photo on the right, the matting surrounding this piece of art polishes off this otherwise neutral bathroom. This room uses two framed pieces (see the reflection in the mirror) with deep red and gold tones. Together, the pieces add visual interest and add warmth to this well-appointed half bath.
Of course, don’t forget the installation! According to this Architectural Digest article on hanging art like a pro, “the center of a framed piece of artwork should be 57 inches above the ground (that being the average human eye level, and the height galleries and museums use to decide where to hang pieces.” I like the easy-to-follow steps in this online article that walk you through how to measure for proper art hanging, centering your masterpiece on a wall and tips for hanging heavier pieces.
Whatever your style, we can take a ho-hum pile of paintings and turn them into a mini-museum. It’s all about the display. Treat art like a puzzle and take the time to put pieces together in pleasing combinations and arrangements. There’s nothing more fun than seeing your own pieces look fabulous on your walls! What challenges you most about selecting art for your home and how to display it? Have you taken a collection of your own and created an intriguing display? Share your questions and comments below. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.