Inspired Interiors :: Adding Art to the Home

art via elle spain.jpg

There's nothing that makes a home as warm and welcoming as art. It's perhaps the single most reflection of one's self in a home. Highly personal, whether paint, photography, or mixed media, a piece of art serve as an accessory or a focal point.  Art adds color, personality, sophistication, even whimsy. It completes a space and is the perfect solution for those who want to add color but are afraid of bold paint or don't want the hassle of wallpaper.  A wall filled with art, whether a large painting or a gallery, is a wall that tells a great story. But this takes time. It takes a while to grow one's art collection - piece by piece. 

I've been hearing a lot of people talk about wanting to buy art for their homes, some know exactly what they are looking for - others not at all. Many are intimidated by the process, worried that they'll buy the wrong thing, or haven't a clue where to start. I tell them it's easy, pick something you like!

Art needn't be expensive. But it should come from the heart. There's no right or wrong piece to purchase; beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder. The best places to start are by visiting craft fairs, art exhibits, tag, yard and garage sales, flea markets and antique shows. Galleries, even coffee shops, boutiques and salons have pieces for sale, often done by locals. Don't worry about whether you're making a good investment or not - if something speaks to you and you like it, it's a good investment!

Look for the pieces that speak to you. Look for pieces that fit in with your existing decor. It's perfectly acceptable, if not welcome, to mix paint and photography, black and white. It's also ok to separate the two. You can also look for pieces online, 1stdibs and Etsy are great places to start. eBay and other art-centric sites are great places to source posters, framed and unframed, vintage and non. A well-framed poster can look as spectacular as any other piece of art. Another great way to source art is when you travel. I love picking up pieces from places I've been to. Not only do they make the best souvenirs but they're perfect reflections of one's lifestyle. If you have children, you have a budding collection right at your disposal! (Read here about displaying children's art elegantly in your home.)

Don't just focus on the main living areas - the dining, living and bedrooms, think about every room including kitchen and bathrooms, even hallways. Below are some examples of ways to hang and display art throughout your home. (Hover over each image to enlarge.) 

Some tips on hanging and displaying art:

  • A large piece is a great way to accent a room. It can anchor or fill a wall. That said, don't hang a small piece on a large wall unless there are others that will be hung with it. 

  • Consider hanging artwork on bookcases, or placing them on the shelves.  

  • To create a gallery wall work from the middle on out. If you don't have a lot to work with center what you do have in the middle of a wall, so that the room doesn't look off center or unbalanced.
  • Group by frames
  • Group by color
  • Group by black and white
  • Mix frames and art
  • Do include children's art
  • If you're coming up short, think of printing one of your own images. We all have phones and they all have images on them. Have fun. You could curate your own in-home gallery!
  • Shelves are a great way to display art either neatly lined up side by side, or layers by size
  • Places art on mantels
  • Install shelves specifically for showing art and photography
  • Do use caution when placing art in kitchens and bathrooms, the steam from both could ruin the artwork. Best sticking with framed images in these rooms, as opposed to images on canvas. Wipe down your frames from time to time.
  • Use particular caution in kitchens that aren't well vented - grease is carried in the steam and can place a film on everything. When hanging art in these rooms, be sure to show those that can easily be wiped down. 

This weekend marks the official beginning of summer and many of you will travel. Whether locally or abroad, when you're roaming around keep your eyes peeled for art to incorporate into your home!

Image credits: Top left to bottom right - 1. Architectural Digest, 2. Apartment Therapy, 3. Better Homes and Gardens, 4. Bre Purposed, 5. Country Living, 6. Design Hunter, 7. Domino, 8. Elle Espagna, 9. Etsy, 10. Etsy, 11. Home Edit, 12. Life on Virginia Street, 13. Luxe, 14. Mix and Chic, 15. One Kings Lane, 16. New York Magazine, 17. Pinterest Addict, 18. Sniply, 19. Style Curator, 20. The Chriselle Factor, 21. The Cut