How to Choose Art for Your Home If You Don’t Know Anything About Art

There are many accomplishments that mark our journey up the ladder of adulthood: your first job, your first apartment of your own, your first serious relationship, the first time you care about what the word “escrow” really means. But there’s one last frontier, an activity that’s so grown-up that it means you’ve truly left your wild and reckless youth behind: home decorating. Decorating can be surprisingly complex with many layers and it’s very easy to get it wrong . And art is a key element of that, making your home a more comfortable and inviting place.

If the thought of going out and buying a bunch of art for your walls intimidates you, don’t be intimidated. First, art doesn’t have to be very expensive – there are plenty of places to buy cool original art for cheap . And secondly, to equip this place is easier than you think. If you managed to paint an accent wall and choose a sofa, then you can buy a few paintings, even if you know absolutely nothing about art. Here’s how to do it.

Choose what you like

Lesson one: trust yourself. You may not know much about art, but you know what you like. Art is an expression of your sensibility and taste, so don’t get hung up on whether someone else finds it “good” or even attractive. If you like something, you should hang it on the wall and allow yourself to feel joy every time you see it. Also, keep in mind that art is easily removed and leaves little trace of its existence, so even the roughest and weirdest piece of art on your living room wall won’t make it to your permanent list.

Consider each room separately

Then think about the rooms you choose art for. It is a mistake to buy art in bulk for the whole house: yes, each room has its own atmosphere, but also its own climate. For example, art placed in the kitchen or bathroom needs to be more durable and resistant to moisture. And in different rooms there are different pieces of furniture, of different scale. Your bedroom and its oversized California king bed may need smaller pieces to make up for that girth; but if your living room is minimalist and delicate, large and bold pieces of furniture may suit you.

And don’t feel “trapped” by the style of your furniture or other design choices – while your room’s design complements your interior well, you can (and perhaps should) opt for contrasting pieces of art. If your minimalist living room is an homage to modernism, the art you place in it can be more classic, creating a pleasant tension that makes the entire space feel more sophisticated.

Plan layout

The worst thing you can do when hanging pictures on the walls is to just scatter them all over the walls. If you are going to hang a picture on the wall, you need to plan how you are going to do it . Designer Tara Bernerd advises that you take your time with this part of the process and don’t rush things. It’s better to lie on the floor for weeks while you take some measurements and think about different layouts than to jump into it half-finished and end up with a chaotic smudge of art on the wall.

Mind Your Mood

Another aspect to consider when choosing artwork for your home is the mood you are trying to create in the room. For example, a foyer or lobby needs to be welcoming and inviting, so choose accessible art that won’t put off your visitors. On the other hand, if you have a formal dining room, you may want art that offers understated, abstract vibes to support a sophisticated mood.

That being said, let me bring you back to the first point: trust your intuition. Sure, you need a mood for every room, but that shouldn’t stop you from choosing art that brings you joy.

Watch online, buy in person

Shopping for art can be fun – overwhelming, but fun. But if possible, try to buy it in person in a store or gallery. It’s not a requirement, but seeing the art in real life and under real lighting makes a huge difference. Unrolling illustrations you’ve only ever seen online can be a surprising moment when they turn out to be less dramatic or more fragile than you expected, or if the colors don’t quite match what your screen was showing. The photos used on the internet platforms are also usually professionally lit and adjusted, so the picture can look completely different with Home Depot lighting in your living room.

Don’t Forget the Third Dimension

Finally, there’s a tendency to focus on wall art when we’re thinking about art for our home (in fact, I’ve done it here in this article), but remind yourself that you can go three-dimensional with sculptureā€”and sculpture. maybe on the walls. Textiles can produce a visual effect similar to a painting, but can also produce a tactile effect through texture and relief. Everything else that is discussed here, from trusting your instincts to creating a mood, applies equally to anything that is not a painting or a photograph.

If you’re thinking about buying art for the walls of your home, congratulations – you’ve matured. Now relax and enjoy the process because it’s easier than you think.


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