Choosing art for your home can seem like a daunting process. And in the age of HGTV and Interior Design influencers, there can be a huge amount of pressure to choose the "right artwork" for your space and to treat your home like a showpiece. Ultimately-- there is no right and wrong when it comes to how you decorate your home. It is *your* space, the place where you spend a large part of your day with the people that you love. Home needs to be a place that you enjoy spending time in, that is filled with things that make you smile.
That being said, many people would still appreciate a little bit of help deciding on a piece of art for their home. Maybe you want to emulate a certain decor style in your space because you just can't get that beautiful home you saw on Instagram out of your head. Or maybe you just need to find something that compliments the art, furniture, and style that you already have. If you are one of these people- I've got you!
There are a few basic things to consider when choosing a piece of art for a space.
1/ Are You Easily Bored?
If you are the type of person who often changes their home decor, original art may not be the right choice for you. Instead, choose a print that you enjoy! The nice thing about prints is that with their more affordable price point, switching them out when you need a fresh look is much easier on the pocketbook. Some people even choose to rotate prints on a seasonal basis when decorating for other occasions. Christmas time? Throw a winter landscape in that frame. Easter? Pop in an airy floral print. The options are endless.
2/ Choose What Makes You Happy
The most important consideration for your home decor should be choosing what speaks to you. Art is highly, highly subjective. Think about a minimal but bold abstract painting. Some people would look at it and say "my three year old could do that. " Other people will look at the same piece and say "I love how dramatic it feels. It makes me think of...(insert memory here)." It's the same artwork, the only difference is the viewer and what they are bringing to the experience. If art makes you feel something-- whether calm, or energized, or reminiscent-- and you like that feeling, it's probably a great choice for your home!
3/ Consider the Colour Scheme
The art you choose for a room can set the tone for the space, especially if you are deciding on a large original piece. Art can either match, contrast, or bring a new energy to a room depending on what you settle on. If you want your space to feel harmonious, art that has similar colours and tones to what is already in the room will help create that effect. If you prefer drama, look for pieces that contrast what you already have in the room. Consider the colour scheme and style that is there, and then find something that will stand out. If the room is more traditional and muted, choose something more dramatic and colourful!
4/ The Right Frame Can Go a Long Way
A beautiful piece of art can be ruined with a bad frame choice. Choose a frame that compliments the art and don't settle. I like taking a picture of the art I need framed and plugging it into a website like Framebridge or Posterjack. Although Framebridge isn't available here in Canada, I like that I can try on multiple frames and matting styles with a simple click of the mouse, which gives me a better idea of what to look for when I am out shopping.
Another thing to consider when deciding on a frame-- if you are more drawn to bold, dramatic pieces but don't want them to dominate the room, try choosing smaller artwork and putting it in a neutral frame. If it still seems too bold, try pairing it with other pieces that are simpler in colour and design (think line drawings or minimalistic watercolours). And finally, if all else fails, you can use my favourite trick-- creating visual space around a print with matting. It works like a buffer, so that instead of your brain being assaulted by colour and shapes and patterns and ALL. THE. THINGS....it sees the art, and then can take a visual "rest" before moving on to the next thing.
5/ Variety Creates Interest
This one is pretty self explanatory. Too much of one thing is not always good. Try mixing and matching abstracts, landscapes, and portraits with photos, textile art, and other meaningful things around your home. It will add depth and character and will make it feel like an expression of you.
These tips should have you decorating your home like a pro in no time. And if you are still stuck when trying to find the perfect piece for a space -- ask a friend what they think. Sometimes all it takes is having a fresh set of eyes!