For most of us, buying art is scary, and figuring out where to hang it, well, forget about it. It looks so easy in magazines until you turn to your own room and think, ‘my house will never look like that.”
When Trulia.com contacted me to ask for tips on how to use art in a house, I knew it was time for this article.
Look, besides painting your walls, adding art to a room is one of the quickest and most effective ways to transform a space and add your own personal touch. So don’t get discouraged, get daring! And try some of these tried and true ways to bring more art- and style- into your home and your life.
This salon style mash up includes paintings, photos, crochet & collageArt Mash up
One of the easiest and most versatile ways to hang art is known as ‘salon style’: hanging where you put together an eclectic mix of smaller pieces to make a big colorful impression.
Grab all of your art, even old needlepoints and kids finger paintings, into the room where you want to have some fun. Lay everything out on the floor moving pieces around until you’re happy with your arrangement, then, one by one, transfer the work to the wall.
I like to start with the larger pieces first placing them towards the center of the wall and just about 12 – 18 inches above the sofa or whatever piece of furniture is on that wall. It’s a great way to fill big walls, add big impact, and bring together smaller pieces that might not go anywhere else in the house.
Buddhist prayer cards found in an estate sale displayed in matching metallic framesCollections as Art
Similar to salon style hanging, many of us have wonderful and quirky collections of things that when displayed together, rather than strewn throughout the house, make us look like bona fide curators.
This souvenir spoon collection lines the walls of a hallway
Whether you stockpile vintage perfume bottles, scary masks, or garage sale landscape paintings, your collection takes on the beauty of art when you display it all together.
Rather than hang floral art pieces around the house, bunch them together like a garden.
Use matching frames, line things up on shelves, or hang them on hooks. Even you will be impressed with what you’ve created!
Bigger is Better
One of the biggest mistakes people make when choosing and hanging art for their homes is that they choose pieces that are too small for a wall.
Don’t be afraid to fill even small-ish walls with art that nearly touches the corners. When you display art that fills the space, your room will look larger and your space more dynamic while giving people something exciting and engaging to enjoy in the room.
A vintage mirror frame is backed with fencing wire & covered in paper butterflies.
Lean large posters or mirrors against the wall on a stack of books in the dining room. Hang architectural elements like windows and doors in the living room to add dimension, or frame your favorite textile piece like quilt or a kimono for the entry to impress visitors.
A muted stencil motif makes the perfect backdrop for a small colorful painting.
Notice the art on the other wall is quiet in color but much larger to to fit wall.
Play with Scale
To play devil’s advocate, there’s also the idea that hanging one small piece on a large wall will draw people in like they’re discovering a treasure. To do this, make sure the wall itself is dynamic by using a dramatic paint color or interesting wallpaper. Find something that sparkles, or reads well from a distance, and hang the piece just below eye level so it’s in nice proximity to the furniture around it without being too low to see.
Ultimately, art is subjective, so don’t worry about what other people think of the things you display in your home. Focus on pieces that best reflect your personality and take the time to display them beautifully so that even if they’re humble objects, they’ll look like a million bucks.