Without a doubt, the most common questions I get asked are about art. What size is best? How high should it be hung? How to make a gallery of frames? Unfortunately, finding the right piece and hanging it the right way are often easier said than done. I wouldn’t go so far to say that a poorly placed piece of art coud break a room but it certainly creates an unwanted eyesore. So, if any of you have ever found yourself in an endless cycle of puttying up trial-and-error nail holes or even regretting that painting you scooped up from the local Art Walk- I put together a fool-proof guide to help rescue your sanity (and your walls).
Bringing art into your home is a great way to add personality to any space. Your art is a reflection of your personal style and helps to set the tone for your home. A large monochromatic abstract painting certainly sets a different tone than a collection of flowery botanical prints.
What is your personal style? When I shop for art for my clients I always ask a few key questions before I begin my search. I first try to get a better picture of their personal style and the style of their home. Is the client’s personality quirky and eccentric with a home filled with funky pieces and eclectic decor? Or is the client more conservative, valuing traditional design styles and tailored furnishings?
Where is it going? The location of where the art is going to be placed also helps guide the selection process. Different areas of your home serve different functions and are used for specific purposes. Your bedroom is used primarily for sleeping and getting ready where as your kitchen is used for cooking, eating, and often times, entertaining. Since the functions of these two rooms are so different, it stands to reason that the art you choose for the bedroom would be different than something you would choose for your kitchen.
How much do you want to spend? Think about your reasons for purchasing art. Are you simply looking to fill some empty wall space or are you looking for an investment? If you are looking to find a piece that will appreciate in value, original art is your best bet.
If you love the look of an original work of art but don’t want to shell out the cash, go for the reproduction. Reproductions are great because they are a fraction of the price and usually come in a variety of sizes so you’re not committed to the original size. Depending on the look you’re going for, sometimes a print looks too flat because it lacks the texture you get with a painting. If your wanting more dimension, you can take the print to a framing store where they can apply a gel over the print that replicates the look of bush strokes. I’ve had this done on some of my own pieces and have been quite happy with the results.
Where should you be looking? If you’re looking for originals, art galleries and auction houses will be the place to start. If you’re not set on original pieces, there are a variety of awesome online sources you can use. Many of the sites I use will even matte and frame the pieces for you so there is no fuss once you get the piece. Here is a list of some of my favorite affordable online art sources:
Once you find those perfect pieces to adorne your walls, the next step is hanging them up. I have quite a few tips to share when it comes to hanging so be sure to stay tuned for Part 2 of this ART 101 mini series. It will cover everything from the best hooks to use to tackling those tricky wall galleries!
Top Image: Ron Marvin