Artwork is a tricky topic, as it is purely a matter of taste and personal choice, but it’s a key element that will elevate your home into a refined and personalized space. The styles and mediums you choose for your home, and where you place them, reflect your sense of style, as well as your personality. Artwork can also set a mood — e.g., lively or cozy, calming or playful — depending on where you place it and how it integrates with the rest of your home décor.
Matisse, Andy Warhol, the guy on the corner who does quick caricatures on demand: They are all artists, and all their work is art. So how do you select and display artwork — from paintings and prints to sculptures and sketches — in order to complement each room and enhance your pleasure in your home?
Deciding What Works for You
If you’re just starting a collection, or just beginning to think about where to place your objets d’art, asking yourself a few key questions can help guide your decisions.
Show your personality. Do you like neat rows and matching colors? Or are you more into eclectic collections of items?
Consider the style of your home. If you live in a Victorian, do you want to enhance the ambience with antiques? Or provide contrast with a modern collection?
Set a mood. Related to the questions above, what kind of feeling do want to have when you walk into your living room? Your bedroom? Do you want to be energized, or soothed? Industrious, or relaxed?
Once you’ve answered these questions to your satisfaction, you can confidently begin collecting your artworks.
What Do the Experts Recommend?
Here are some tips from professional decorators to keep in mind:
Mix it up. There’s more to art than just paintings. Sculpture, tapestries, mirrors, mixed media, even your family photographs — these are all décor elements that enhance your home.
Start with the art. If you have a piece of art already that you absolutely love, you can reverse-engineer, and decorate your entire room with that piece as the focal point, using furniture placement, color and pattern selections, textures, and lighting to showcase it.
Think big. It can be easier to start with big pieces of art, especially paintings. You’ll make a bold statement right away and can fill in empty space as you go along, with less pressure to finish all at once.
Show Your Style
On a more practical note, what’s the best way to hang or display your collection? Again, while it’s a matter of personal preference, we do have a few tips:
Hang wall art 6-10 inches above furniture. You won’t hit your head that way.
When hanging art over a sofa or fireplace, choose pieces that go almost all the way from end to end.
When hanging multiple pieces together, leave about 2 inches between each piece.
Ideally, sculptures should be displayed so that they can be viewed from more than one angle. Never light them from below, from behind, or with a single spotlight above.
Like objects can be grouped together to present a theme or enhance a feeling or mood.
Buying and showcasing artwork shouldn’t be intimidating. Show your personality, choose carefully, and most of all, trust your own taste, and you’ll have a lovely and well-displayed collection.