I’ve recently been on the hunt for some new wall art for my living room and have literally {and sadly} spent hours upon hours searching for just the right art pieces. The good news is that today I’m sharing some of my tips for choosing the “perfect” art for your home! Keep in mind, while I’m not an art expert, but I am an expert shopper with an eye for decorating! These tips aren’t for the art investor, but the home decorator.

 

Here are my 8 favorite tips to help you choose art that is right for you!

 

Why hang art?  Art is one of the many finishing details for a room and helps set the color palette, mood, style, etc. Think of art like jewelry for an outfit.  With or without jewelry your outfit might be great, but with the right accessories, you can take it to the next level!  These EIGHT TIPS will help you search and find just the right art for your home that reflects your style and personality, while fitting your space perfectly.  Sorry, there aren’t tons of pretty pictures in this post, just lots of useful buying info.  :)

 

1. Buy What You Love

Just as with everything in your home, the things you own should really appeal to you – you should love them! Art in particular is very personal and each piece is meant to evoke an emotion and a feeling and be personal to you. Above all, you should truly love the art that you select, so don’t buy anything just because it’s the right size or price. Make sure you love it!

And don’t be afraid to go in a different direction if you find something you love.  You might not understand why you like something or you might think it’s out of your comfort zone, but don’t let that stop you.

French Farmhouse Gallery Wall around a TV

 

2. Determine Your Scale {Size}

Choosing the right size is key and each situation is different, but a general guideline is for the art to fill 1/2 to 3/4 of the space.  For contemporary art, consider going even bigger, as this art style lends itself to making a bold statement both in terms of the art itself, but also the size of the canvas.  If large-scale artwork isn’t in your budget, consider using several, smaller pieces of art grouped together.

 

{via Heather Bullard}

 

 

3. Select Your Orientation

As a general rule of thumb, select your artwork to complement the shape of the space.  So a tall, narrow wall will look best with a portrait {vertical} orientation with a rectangular shape.  Conversely, many people like to hang art above the sofa, which is a long rectangular space, so choose a landscape {horizontal} orientation in a rectangular shape.  A big square wall can accommodate a square piece of art, and so on.  Look at the shape of the space you’re trying to fill and select artwork of the same shape.

Here, a grouping of art is used to create a horizontal rectangle to mimic the shape of the wall.

 

4. Determine Your Spacing & Height 

If you’re creating a gallery with several frames next to one another, space the frames 1 1/2″ to 2″ apart.  Take this measurement into consideration before buying your art so that you know how much room you’ll have left for the art itself, and therefore, what size to buy.  When it comes to hanging art, if it’s hung too high it can look quite awkward and take away from the beauty!  Always hang art so that the center of the art rests at eye level, around 65″, give or take.  When hanging art above a sofa or other piece of furniture, place the bottom of the frame anywhere from 6″-12″ above the furniture.

Art should be hung so that it feel connected to the people and space around it.

 

5. Go Beyond the Canvas

When looking for art to fill your walls, don’t limit yourself to canvas or print artwork.  There are so many types of objects that work well on walls and function as art, like tobacco baskets, quilts, mirrors, antique shutters, vintage doors, and even architectural pediments!  When shopping online, these types of items are often listed under “Wall Decor” as opposed to “Wall Art” so you might need to adjust your search a bit, but be open to all of the options before searching for the right art for your space.

{via Ballard Designs}

 

6. Pick Your Color Scheme 

Obviously the color of the art that you select is critical, as it needs to work with your home’s overall color scheme and surrounding decor.  You can select art to blend with your walls, pick up an accent color, tie your entire color palette together, or even stand out on its own {more common with contemporary art}.

One word of caution: I would refrain from browsing online sites by color.  In my experience, if you filter by color, you’ll only see a fraction of the artwork available that might have colors that work for your home because if the retailer doesn’t tag its color when they load it into their system, it won’t show up in your search!  Also, sometimes art gets tagged only by the color of the main image, not the background.  So for example, I was looking for blue artwork and many pieces were filtered out that had blue sky or blue rivers because they are considered secondary, but for me, those images would fit my needs.

Can you believe this didn’t show up in my search for “blue”?  I would have missed it if I had filtered by color!

 

 

7. Set the Mood

The mood of your artwork will affect the mood of your room, so be sure to take it into consideration for the room in which you’ll be using it.  For example, modern art is often vibrant and high-energy, foggy riverbanks evoke a somber feeling, animals can be whimsical, etc.  A beautiful canvas depicting a misty mountain might be the perfect size and color for your space, but if you’re hanging it in a children’s playroom, it might not be the right energy for the room.

When you find something you love, think about whether the mood conveys a feeling that you want represented in your space.

 

8. Know Where to Shop

In all honesty, one of my favorite places to find artwork is HomeGoods, but as you might know with that store, the selection is hit or miss.  They have pieces of all sizes and styles and the prices are unbeatable, but it’s really just luck if you come across just the right thing for your home, which is why I often shop online.  Here are some of my favorite places to look for art, in no particular order.

 

 

Again, selecting artwork is very personal, but the goal is for you to love it and for it to be the right size, shape, and color for your home.  Are there exceptions to the rules above?  Of course!  What would life be without some variety?!  But these tips should help get you started in the right direction to put the finishing touches on your space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 comments on “How to Choose The Perfect Art for Your Home”

  1. Hi Kim! I used to edit posts for a client and noticed #5 was numbered with a duplicate 4 on this. Love the content!! Re-posting on my page. I’m a color consultant and would love to help others with #6 on their lists!

    • Lol! I originally had 7 tips and then added one and you’re right! I forgot to finish changing the numbering! Thanks so much for catching that and thanks for sharing on your page. :) Kim

  2. Hi,
    This is an excellent post you share here. I love all your arts work. Here I want to share one home decoration idea with you. My idea is that, you can use a tapestry wall hanging for decorating your house. It is a perfect product for enhance a wall. Thank you for sharing this post. Keep sharing new home decoration ideas with us.

  3. I have a ling sofa with high ceilings. I had a large horizontal piece of artwork over the sofa. I was just not happy with the look, and an interior designer told me to get a large vertical piece of artwork in a fancy gilded frame. It made all the difference. I also huge things on either side of it since the wall is very long and solid. You suggested a horizontal piece above a long sofa. Just thought I would mention that a vertical piece really goods great and changes up the horizontal look. What do you think?

    • It sounds beautiful! With things hanging on either side of the artwork, it sounds like you created a grouping that flows well with your sofa. Sometimes, a big horizontal image combined with a sofa can look too heavy, in which case it’s nice to break it up with a combination of art and objects, and with your high ceilings, it sounds like vertical was the way to go! :) Kim

  4. Hi Kim, for those who still like works on canvas or paper, think about supporting LOCAL ARTISTS. There are often local art groups holding their shows/sales which contain beautiful works at reasonable prices.

  5. Great Advice Kim! We must be careful in choosing the artwork, as you said it will affect our mood. so think wisely and choose accordingly :)

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