Nothing transforms a space like artwork. Great art can attract your attention, hide a room’s shortcomings and turn plain white walls into a gallery. Yet if you’re not comfortable with selecting and displaying art, it can seem like a decorating challenge. Here are eight ways to put art to work for your space.
1. Lighten up.
Selecting artwork doesn’t have to be a stressful or intimidating process. It shouldn’t feel like buying a house or a car. So start with the idea that it will be enjoyable and let it be.
2. Make it personal.
Find art that you love. If you don’t find it right away, keep looking. Displaying art is a way of expressing your personality and your point of view—so don’t settle for what you think you should choose or what’s expected. Hold out for artwork you truly connect with, and you’ll enjoy it every time you see it.
3. Set the tone for a space.
Art has a way of creating a mood. Select artwork that helps you create the feeling you desire for the room— such as bold, energizing graphics for a kitchen or a muted, calming landscape for a master bedroom retreat.
4. Embrace color.
Once you’ve identified the mood you want to create, look to color for inspiration. If you’re choosing artwork to complement the existing aesthetic of a room, use color to solidify your design plan. If you’re starting fresh with a room that’s a ‘blank canvas,’ you can begin by finding artwork that you love and build your décor plan from there.
5. Experiment with scale.
Consider the placement of your art as you shop. Nothing looks sadder than one lonely, undersized canvas hung above a sofa. Embrace scale and go extra big or group several small pieces together for an unexpected presentation. Relate your art to the room size, the wall size and the size of your sofa or surrounding furnishings.
6. Shop everywhere.
Art galleries are just one of many places to shop for art. Furniture stores, home shows, estate sales, craft fairs and specialty shops offer a variety of choices. There are also a number of online stores that let you select your art and specify the exact size of the print or canvas you want produced.
7. Hang it properly.
Take the time to hang your new treasures correctly. Make sure they are secure and level. Ideally, the center of a piece of art should be at eye level, or about 60-70 inches above the floor.
8. Make it an ongoing endeavor.
Home decorating is an ongoing process and so is art collecting. Take pictures of the areas of your home that need art, and keep them on your phone so you can refer to them when you find artwork that you like.