When I say ‘art’, what pops into your head?
Galleries? Fancy openings with impossibly long champagne flutes?
Being judged for not understanding a painting that looks like something your toddler made?
Beret-and-sunglass wearing artists who’d rather just spend all their time in the studio instead of schmoozing with potential clients?
Well, you’re not wrong.
That’s the world of high brow art, where you’ll see price tags on paintings that you’d normally see on a new car in a showroom.
But it’s only a fraction of artists who manage to get representation from a gallery.
Or find patrons who can afford those kinds of paintings.
Getting art into your home doesn’t have to be difficult or even expensive.
Especially since the internet has changed how we buy things, finding art that is perfect for you is easier than ever.
Having art in your life is really something you don’t want to miss out on because it really makes a huge difference in how much you’ll love your home.
Hanging art is usually the last thing you do when decorating
It’s the final step in a large puzzle.
However, I find that it’s often the one that creates the biggest impact.
Buying art – whether it’s a painting, a sculpture, fine art prints or posters – can be very daunting.
You obviously want something that will look good and vibe with the room.
You also want it to speak to you and express something about you.
So, how do you pick those pieces that are perfect for your space?
Tip 1: Just start
The best way to figure out what your style is and what you like is to just start!
If you have something you like or something you think could look good, just try it!
Art prints are a great way to get unique work at a fraction of the price of original or commissioned work.
Tip 2: What you choose is not forever
As your tastes change, you move house or renovate, you’ll want to evaluate if you’ve got the right art in your house.
Art should elevate the space, catch the eye and make you feel great.
If a certain piece has stopped feeling right for you, don’t be afraid to switch it out, relocate it or simply put it in storage (or even sell it).
Art is such an easy way to influence the feeling of a space that you should never be afraid to switch it up.
If you’re unsure about the placement of something, just put it on a shelf or on a desk to see if you like it there, before you commit to hanging it on the wall.
Tip 3: You do you, boo
When choosing art, get what you love. L-O-V-E, love.
Pick art that you want to look at every day, that inspires you and lifts your spirits.
This is a decision to be made with the heart and completely emotionally, so go for it!
While your décor, in general, may follow some common rules, such as neutral colours in couches and floors, art is the place to make irrational and eclectic choices.
Art is the place for self-expression through colour, content, texture and finish.
Let your gut feeling take over and go wild or go home!
This is something that you’ll be looking at every day, so make sure you’re happy with your choice.
Your home should represent you and it’s best to not be too driven by trends.
Tip 4: Art isn’t just paintings
Art doesn’t just have to be conventional paper or canvas art.
Especially, when buying from independent artists, like myself, you can often find that many of us offer our art on a variety of products (cushions, curtains, rugs, apparel etc.).
I personally love “functional art”; i.e. products that allow you to carry your favourite art into your practical life (as opposed to simply hanging on the wall).
Notebooks and stickers are some of my favourite ways to add a little art sparks into my everyday life!
Tip 5: Sculptures, pottery and plants can be art too
Also, consider getting sculptures or ornate pottery to fill out your space.
With a little searching, you can find some amazing pieces that serve both as functional items and beautiful art!
Plants can be gorgeous sculptural pieces as well.
If you don’t have much of a green thumb, consider getting fake plants or dried plants that require zero care (say hello to framed dried flowers!).
Terrariums along with succulents and cacti are great low-maintenance ways of adding greenery to your space.
Tip 6: Research the piece
When possible, take a look into the piece that you’re buying.
Chatting to the artist at a show is a great way to find out more about a particular piece or about their artistic principles.
When buying online, you can often find more information about a piece in the description that will help you understand the context surrounding the work.
Understanding the intent behind a certain piece of work can really help you appreciate it better.
Tip 7: Mix and match
Just because you finally decided to splurge and buy an expensive abstract original from your favourite artist, doesn’t mean that you can’t put a cheap mass-produced print next to it.
Modern spaces can carry traditional art and traditional spaces can showcase modern pieces.
Move things around, try things out, see how it affects the mood of the space until you’ve got the feng shui down just right.
Art can often benefit from you making eclectic design choices.
Since having too much of a good thing is still too much (unless you’re making a very strong statement).
Tip 8: Create a gallery wall
A gallery wall is a great way to display artworks in different sizes, colours and styles.
Take your time in choosing which pieces you want to showcase in your gallery.
And plan it out in advance, really considering what would look good.
To create a great gallery wall that will look thought through, rather than chaotic and haphazard, you need to take it slow.
Lay your plan out and take some time to think about it.
To get a feel for what it would look like you can print out the works and put them up on the wall with a bit of tape to get an idea of the final look.
You can also take a picture of the wall with your phone and try out the different pieces on the wall digitally.
Your gallery wall can be as big or as small as you want it to be, and it can be made up of art, photos and items.
Tip 9: Get creative
If you’re looking for something really personal or are shopping on a budget, you can always make some art yourself!
Make some of your own art or take some of your kids’ creations and frame them.
If you’re concerned about not being good at drawing or painting, you can still make gorgeous abstract pieces.
You can find lots of free art downloads online; like you could print and colour in some free line art.
Tip 10: Commission a custom piece
If you have a perfect idea but can’t find any ready pieces that match your vision, you can always commission a custom piece.
You can commission custom pieces of just about anything – people, pets and even houses!
Your art is for you, so pick what you want to see every day
Hopefully, this will have sparked your imagination and showed you that adding art to your home is really not difficult at all.
Art should make your house feel more like yours, so don’t worry about what others would think looks good.
Choose what you like and what makes you happy. Good luck with your art decorating!