Your home is a work of art. It contains your memories, personal expressions, moments with family; it is the oeuvre of your life’s ambition — the sum total of “you.” Soft light diffuses through the curtain lighting the room in a warm glow and shows off your decor. Yet as you step back to admire it you notice it’s missing that certain je ne sais quoi. Dawn rests her golden gaze upon your naked walls and it becomes evident that they need something to dress them up. You’ve been putting it off and we get it, you appreciate art, but you’re no art curator, appraiser, gallery owner but that shouldn’t stop you from making your home the masterpiece it was always meant to be.
Don’t worry, picking great art is, well, an art and we’re here to demystify the process.
Before we begin let’s get a few rules out of the way:
Rule #1. You’ve probably heard art is subjective, but we prefer to look at art as emotion. Therefore, you’re allowed to like what you like. If you see a piece that speaks to you and makes you feel something then make no excuses. Feel privileged when art speaks to you; if it speaks to you then the artist communicated in a language only you were meant to hear. Art transcends the verbal milieu through colour, context, texture, and form. What is it saying to you?
Rule #2. It doesn’t have to match your current decor. That’s right, you read that correctly. This opens you up to a world of possibilities because it’s not about matching the current decor, it’s about creating a centerpiece to draw the eye and inspiring conversation.
Rule #3. If you like it learn about the artist, technique, or meaning behind it. Remember how we said it’s meant to be a conversation starter, well, knowing a little about the piece will liven up those dinner conversations with your guests.
Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way let’s get on to choosing the right piece for your home.
1. Express Yourself
We’re going back to Rule #1 here, but art is an expression of your personality. It reveals your interests and desires. Therefore, first identify what you like and then go shopping.
Power Tip: Check out Pinterest or online galleries for inspiration to get a sense of what you enjoy. Create boards and look to see if there are patterns in what you seem to gravitate toward. For example, do you seem to like Impressionistic styles, is it watercolours that seem to be the medium of choice, is it a certain subject such as animals or ships, or maybe you just have an affinity for cooler colours (blues, greens) in what you choose. Obviously, you want to mix it up a bit, but seeing what you enjoy can give you an idea of what you’ll be on the hunt for when you do go to pick that perfect piece.
2. Identify your Space
Take measurements of your space to see just how much room you have to work with. You’ll want to consider if the art that is displayed will be landscape oriented or portrait. Allow about 6 to 12 inches between the edge of the frame of your piece and any furniture underneath.
Power Tip: Art should draw the eye so display each piece where the center will meet eye-level. Consider if you’ll be spending more time sitting or standing in the room in which the piece is displayed and ensure that the center of the piece meets that eye-level height.
2. Let the Room Decide
The bedroom is supposed to be a calming place to relax. This may not be the best place to use warmer colours which have been shown to stimulate brain activity. Try cool hues, black and white, or scenes that invoke a tranquil feel.
Conversely, be bolder around the kitchen, dining room, and living room to spark creativity and bring energy to areas where appetites and conversations about dreams and passions happen most.
3. Think Outside the Frame
Not all art has to be paintings, sometimes a nice reef or overlaid branches can spruce up a bare space and invoke the marriage between architecture and nature. Photography, sculptures, quilts, and even plates used as wall hangings can create a nice motif that shows off your style and creativity.
Don’t be afraid to be daring and experiment. Afterall, life is one big exploratory journey with friends and loved ones and art should help make it just that much more beautiful along the way.
What are you drawn to? Share with us some of the patterns you’ve identified in the art you choose.