Choosing Art for Your Home

Posted by Christine Boado on August 06, 2012

Art breathes life into a room and can inspire a variety of emotions. It can dramatically change the tone of the room or elegantly complement your current interiors. But choosing a piece of art can often seem daunting and the choices are seemingly endless. You may opt to pick an art piece that you love and then build a room around it or you might simply have an empty wall that is in need of some art. Regardless of your intentions when decorating a space, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

1. Scale

Make sure to choose a piece which is in correct proportion to the furnishings in the room and the wall space available. You don’t want a piece that overwhelms the other furnishings in your room with its size, however you also don’t want a piece that is too small and looks out of place or lost in its surroundings.

Illustration demonstrating differences in scale.

If a single painting doesn’t seem to be the right size for the room you want to hang it in, you can create a collage of several images that share similar characteristics to cover up a specific area of the wall. You might pick pieces that have the same color tones or that share a similar subject.

Once you have chosen the piece you want or have created a collage of multiple pieces, you will need to hang it at the right height. L.A.-based interior decorator Christos Prevezanos suggests hanging art with the center point of the piece 57" from the ground, a comfortable eye level measurement for the average person. If you opt to hang a collage, find the center point of the entire collage and use that as your guide to hang the collage.

2. Color

The color of the art piece should complement the space. You can do this by either choosing an art piece in the same hues as your interiors or choosing one that contrasts your current palette. Either way, pay attention to the colors in the painting you chose and how they look on the wall you plan on hanging it.

"Color is key to how the decor is perceived," says New York City designer Scott Sanders. If you have a chair or a lamp that you want to bring attention to, choosing a piece of art in the same color will bring unity to your room. Matching the colors of your art piece to objects in the room is an easy way to pick an appropriate art piece.

3. Subject

Animals, botanicals, still life or scenery each have a different impact on their surroundings. Whether you choose a piece of art as a focal point, or simple to fill an empty space, choose a subject that reflects the mood you want in the room.

A piece with a distinct subject such as a still life or an animal will draw more attention to itself than a scenic panorama. In addition, many pieces have subjects with deeper meaning whether they be wished for good fortune or traditional paintings that impart a sense of gravity and history.

Remember that choosing and hanging art is an art in itself. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different sizes of art or with choosing a piece in a bold color. Good art is art that you love to look at!

Living room featuring Art of Silk piece, Eighteen Koi Fish.
Guest bedroom featuring Art of Silk pieces, Loquats and Mountain Bird (left side) and Two Magpies (right).
Living room featuring Art of Silk piece, Lijiang Scenery.
References:
  • Bury, Martine. "Key Measurements for Every Home." Relationship, Style, Living and Beauty News and Photos on MSN Lifestyle | Glo. http://glo.msn.com/#!stackState=0__%2Fliving%2Fhouse-by-numbers-key-measurements-8354.gallery (accessed August 5, 2012).
  • "Post Expo LIfestyle." ELLE Décoration, November 1, 2010.
  • Spier, Carol. "Choosing Interior Paint Colors - Advice on Paint Colors - House Beautiful." Home Decorating Ideas, Kitchen Designs, Paint Colors - House Beautiful. http://www.housebeautiful.com/decorating/colors/advice-choosing-paint-colors (accessed August 5, 2012).
  • "The Pure and Fresh Style of South Asia." Home Idea, January 1, 2007.

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