Artwork is a great way to bring a room to life, adding interest and beauty to your home. But where do you start when trying to choose art? Don’t stress. We’ve got you sorted!
Do you love it?
Ask yourself this when looking at artwork to buy – it doesn’t matter how expensive the piece of art is, or how famous the artist is, if you don’t love it, don’t buy it. Artwork should be about you, and helping to create a space you want to spend time in. What do you feel when you look at a particular piece of art? Happy? Inspired? Peaceful? If you like how it makes you feel, then that is a good place to start. It can also be a good idea not to rush straight in; take a look at the piece a couple of days later and see if you still love it.
Art takes many forms
Don’t rule out alternative forms of artwork; sculptures, wall hangings, photos of street art and even your children’s Christmas decorations – they’re all art! Think broadly when looking for artwork. There are plenty of websites or social media sites where you can source digital prints for free or cheaply. Even your favourite greeting cards, tea towels, old records or treasures could be beautiful pieces of art from your home – just find the perfect frame, and voila!
Scale. Scale. Scale.
This is important. Think about where you want to hang your piece of art, and how the scale of the artwork will complement your room. You probably wouldn’t want to put a tiny frame in the middle of a huge, blank wall as it will get lost. However, just to be confusing, a large painting on a small wall can often make a room look bigger. Multiple frames on a small wall will make the room look cluttered and smaller, while on a large wall it can add interest.
Also consider other objects in the room – will the size of the artwork balance with tables, mirrors, sofas? If you know the space you would like to fill, take measurements of your ‘ideal’ artwork. If in doubt, create a mock ‘painting’ with a piece of cardboard and see how the size of it works in your room. Ask family and friends for advice.
Colour and style
Trust your instincts and your personal sense of style – the artwork is for you. Make sure you know what mood you want to create in the room. Generally, light and bright colours are more casual, while a piece with more structure or darker colours will be more formal. If you already have lots of feature pieces in your room such as loud furniture or bold rugs, consider using artwork that is a little softer, and picks up on elements of the room, such as a specific colour or theme. If you can do this well, a piece of art can give strength to other objects in the room, bringing all of the elements of the room together. Alternatively, if your room is quite stark, use striking artwork to add interest to the space.
Framing and hanging
A good frame can really make a piece of artwork sing! But not all art needs a frame. For example, displaying a canvas without a frame can give a more casual vibe to your space.
Generally, black and white frames will always look chic. Timber frames look great in homes where there are other elements of timber, but be wary of mixing dark and light timber – it will look confused.
Most people tend to hang their paintings a little too high – as a general rule, paintings should be hung so that the centre of the painting is at eye level (approximately 160cm). This is only a guideline though and is more relevant to large paintings, so you should feel free to experiment.
But don’t confine yourself to hanging your art on a wall. For example, you could lean a frame on mantel piece for a less formal and modern feel.
Don’t forget to have some fun with it – while artwork can be an investment, it shouldn’t stress you out. Enjoy the process of livening your home!