How to choose the right artwork for your home
Adding artwork to your home can take your space from dull to full of personality and life. It can add color, joy and a personal touch. However, knowing how to choose art for your home is almost an art form in itself. It's not always easy to know what would look good where, how to plan your color scheme or even where to shop. Fear not: we're here to help. Below are tips on how to choose wall art that will make your house feel like home.
Know your space
When you choose art for your home, you'll want to do a bit of planning. Here are some of the first steps you may want to take:
- Survey the open space on your walls.
- Choose areas to fill.
- Measure the space.
- Choose themes and colors.
Take inventory of the open walls and space that you have. You may not want to fill every open bit of wall space, so stand in each room and decide where you think art would look best. Once you've identified space for art, make sure you measure it. Write down which wall it is and measure the length and height of the space you want to fill. This way you can make sure you don't fall in love with a piece before realizing it's too big for your wall.
Once you know how much room you have and how many art pieces you'll need, you can start thinking about theme and color schemes. This is a largely personal decision but having some direction may make it easier when it comes to choosing artwork for your home. For instance, you may want to choose a pop of color in the art for your living room to stand out against your neutral couch, or you may want to hang your more personal family photos in your bedroom.
In that same vein, you may also want to decide what type of art you want to feature in each room, such as gallery walls, paintings or photography.
A gallery wall is a curated collection of paintings, photographs and other art that's framed and arranged thoughtfully on a wall. This is a great way to fill a large wall, and it's an alternative to purchasing a single, large piece of art.
Gallery walls also give your room a distinct focal point, allowing you to show off your personality through the art pieces you choose. When creating a gallery wall, you can either choose each individual piece of art yourself and get coordinating frames, or you can purchase an already curated set of framed art pieces.
If you're creating your own custom gallery wall, the first thing to do is start collecting the artwork. If you aren't sure how to choose art for your home gallery, here are some steps that may help:
- Decide whether you want the art pieces to vary in size or to be uniform.
- Create a theme. The pieces don't all have to go perfectly, but they should all follow some theme — even if that theme is just art that makes you smile.
It can be hard to know exactly how many pieces you want, so you may want to sketch out a few ideas to get an idea of placement and size for each frame. You can do this by hanging poster board or paper that's roughly the size of the art pieces you're considering. Then arrange them on your wall to see how you like them. Once you have all the art pieces, you can even put them on the ground to work on the perfect layout. After you've finalized the sizes of the art pieces and their layouts, you can get to work on getting frames. While some people may prefer all matching frames to add a bit of cohesion to the varying artwork, others may like the eclectic and artistic look of mismatched frames; it's an entirely personal choice.
It may go without saying, but the number one rule when picking artwork for your home is to choose what you like. Picking out paintings is a largely intuitive process, in which you should pick the art that speaks to you. However, if you're decorating a specific room, you may want to keep the color scheme in mind when shopping around. Now, you may have a lot of flexibility when it comes to color if your walls and furniture are neutral tones. But if your space already has some colorful pops, it might be useful to take photos to bring with you while you shop so you can ensure the art will be complementary to the space.
If you're having trouble deciding on paintings for your home, try learning a bit more about the artists behind them. Creating a personal connection with the art through its creator may help you commit to pieces more easily.
If you're at a loss for how to choose wall art, starting with the images you already have can be the spark of inspiration you need. Photography is a great way to add personal touches throughout your home. Plus, it finally gives you a reason to print some of those vacation photos you've taken. You can pick a theme, such as photos from your travels or portraits of your pets — or you can do a mix of photos that showcase special moments and people in your life.
There are a variety of ways to print photos from either your phone or a camera, including in larger box stores or through an online order. It's important to keep in mind the quality and resolution of your photos when deciding on what print size to order–— a low resolution photo will look grainy and blurry if blown up too large. Ideally, a photograph should be 300 dpi, or dots per inch, for print. To make your printed photos look more upscale, try matting them in their frames. This can be done through online services or in some craft stores, and it adds a more finished look to framed photos.
Other tips for finding the right art pieces
Choosing the right artwork for your home can take some time and creativity. Don't limit yourself to big box stores when you're searching for pieces to take home. You can find some great up-and-coming artists at your local galleries, so do some research to find gallery nights for different artists near you.
Thrift stores are a great place to look for both interesting artwork and frames. You're likely to find a wide variety of tastes at a secondhand store, as well as lower prices. Estate sales and antique shops also provide opportunities to find artwork and frames. If you're willing to put in the time, you never know what hidden gems you might find. Another hack? If you find a frame you love but aren't a big fan of the print or painting, you can repurpose the frame for a piece of artwork that's already caught your eye.
If you're really at a loss for direction, pick a day to visit an art museum or two. While these pieces are not available for purchase, of course, they might provide inspiration and give you a better idea of the types of art you're drawn to. Take note of the names of the piece and the artist so you can do research to learn more about what you like. You may also get inspiration for how to display art in your home.
Ultimately, knowing how to choose art for your home is a skill that must be developed. Your first foray into finding art for your home will likely be a slower process, but as you learn more about your likes and preferences, it will become easier. Plus, it's a very personal process, so don't put too much pressure on yourself. There's no way to get it wrong.