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How to Select Artwork for Your Home

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

I want to talk about something that a lot of people struggle with; selecting the perfect art piece for your home. This subject is a deep passion of mine. Growing up the daughter of an extremely talented professional artist, my mother, Joy, had a huge influence on my knowledge and passion for all types of art. I spent a good portion of my childhood at art shows, exhibits and around very talented professionals. Often to pass the time, my mother would put me in front of a canvas and put a paint brush in my hand. I absorbed vast knowledge of different styles of visual, graphic, textural and other art. She has since passed this on to every grandchild where each has taken individual tours through art museums with her and their world was opened up. As a result of that influence, she has 2 children, 1 grandchild, and 1 great grandchild all heavily involved in creative arts.

As we all know, art is visual and subjective. One size does NOT fit all in the art world. In truth, most people do not really know where they stand on art. When asked what art style they prefer, a good number of clients respond with, “I don’t really know,” and “I’ve never given it any thought!” Most people have ‘hand me down’ art or something they picked up in a local store to fill a spot. This is not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve seen inexpensive art pack as big a punch as expensive signed originals. For example, one of my all time favorite art installations was for a couple who had a very large collection of both expensive and inexpensive art they’d amassed over the years. We were able to make an amazing gallery wall displaying some of the beloved pieces. The wall tells an incredible story for the homeowners. The project “Broken Finger Room” can be viewed here and their story is on our blog here.

For every project requiring new art, I highly recommend the client be present with me during the selection process. Art usually takes front and center as the focal point in a room. It can make or break a space in the highest terms and is something a client will pass by everyday in their home. For this reason, the selection of art should be given as much attention as the sofa you sit on daily.

With limitless possibilities, it can be difficult to choose a good piece of art. If you are not working with a designer, here are a few tips to consider when selecting art:

1). Ask yourself if the art evokes a mood, a response, if the piece ‘speaks’ to you.

2). Make sure the art is consistent with the space and vibe. What mood are you trying to create in the space?

3). Whether choosing color or black and white, select something that complements the room.

4). Pay attention to scale. It needs to be proportionate. For example, art should be 2⁄3 the length of a couch. If more than one piece is being used, look at those as a grouping.

5). Pay attention to the framing. Framing can completely change the look of a piece. Don’t be afraid to give new life to an old piece with a different frame and matte.

6) Don’t hang your art too high. Large pieces should be hung at eye level.

7) Consider hanging multiples. This goes a long way in making a big statement.

8) Go outside the canvas or print. Art can take many forms, including sculptural, metal, organic, glass, etc.

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