Art is essentially the crown jewel of any home. It's a bad idea to just buy art in a rush, or end up with only a very few pieces you're happy with. On the other hand, I know that everyone is different, and so, there isn't one golden rule for how you should go about it. By the end of the article, we'll all have the information we need to make sure you choose great art for your home.
Consider the size of your room.
- Consider the size of your room. Begin by considering whether you have a large or small space to work with. If you are placing your art in a smaller room, choose a smaller-sized piece and create symmetry by placing two similar pieces on either side of the fireplace or bed. A large piece of art will fit best in larger rooms such as living rooms and hallways, where there is more space for it to “talk” to furniture and other items within the room.
- Don’t overcrowd your wall art. Avoid hanging too many pieces together, which can make walls appear cluttered. Instead, consider how you want to tell a story with your individual pieces.
Don’t hang your artwork too high or too low. The middle third of most walls is considered an ideal height for hanging wall art because from this vantage point, it is visible from practically anywhere in the room and elicits the strongest emotional response from viewers (unless you are decorating for children).
Consider the colors in your room.
In my experience, there are two primary ways to approach color when choosing artwork for the home: either make it match or make it pop. We’ll start with the first option.
If you want your artwork to blend nicely into any room, I recommend choosing pieces that have a similar color palette or coolness/warmth as the rest of your space. For example, if you have cool blue accents in every other room in your home, finding an abstract painting with similarly colored tones will help tie everything together and create a more cohesive look throughout your space. If you have a lot of neutral colors in your apartment—think creams, whites and greys—you can also play off of this by choosing a piece that has similar tones in order to add some subtle visual interest while keeping things quiet and calm.
On the flip side, if you like making bold statements and want something more eye-catching than complementary colors, I would suggest considering pieces that include accent colors that contrast with one another to create visual tension and excitement (e.g., an orange accent wall paired with a light blue abstract painting). Other options include adding color through nature-inspired prints featuring pops of reds or oranges or going all out by creating a gallery wall full of bold patterns and bright pops of color for maximum drama.
Consider the existing furniture in your room.
If you have a large, overstuffed sofa, look for art that complements its shape. For example, a curved sofa might be complemented by an art piece with similar curves. If your furniture is more tailored and linear, look for an art piece with similar lines. The chair above has a loose but tailored feel to it; the painting above it is more formal and structured, but it's still loose enough to match the chair. Both of these pieces are traditional and soft, so they work well together.
Consider buying local artwork.
There’s a reason that it’s called “local art.” The artwork you buy will likely be created by someone who lives in your area, so when you purchase their work, you are supporting the local economy and a fellow member of your community.
Whenever possible, buy from local artists instead of browsing online or looking at mass-produced items that can be purchased from any big box store. You should also try to visit galleries or art fairs to purchase directly from the artists instead of going through a middleman. Purchasing artwork this way can make it more affordable, too—you won’t have to pay extra fees for shipping and handling or sales tax if you buy locally.
A great benefit of buying local artwork is that it can give you insight into the culture and history of your area. No matter where you live, there are probably many talented artists in your community who have created works about their experiences and their interpretations of life there. This can give you an opportunity to learn more about people who might have very different backgrounds than yourself and broaden your horizons by seeing something unfamiliar in a new light.
Consider looking for art with a message behind it.
Art can be an incredibly powerful way to express yourself and the things that are important to you. Consider looking for art with a message behind it. Art is often more than just images on a wall; it can also carry meaning and messages that relate to your life, or remind you of something you've been through, and inspire you in some way. Art with a message has the added benefit of being able to start conversation. You can tell visitors about what it means to you, how it reflects your own personal experiences, or why it inspires you.
Consider what interests you in life.
When you think about what interests you in life, consider your hobbies and activities. What is important to you? What do you enjoy talking about? What do you enjoy learning about? What makes you happy? When looking for art pieces, seek out something that reflects those qualities.
There are many different styles of art, so find something you love and will match your home!