4 Tips for Choosing Artwork for Your Home

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4 Tips for Choosing Artwork for Your Home

Staff Writer · Feb 1, 2010

The most important aspect of choosing artwork is finding pieces that express your personality while enhancing the look of a room. Artwork is an accessory that should add interest and sophistication, without creating unnecessary clutter and distraction. Be mindful of your color schemes and decorating themes when selecting a good art piece for a room and look to create balance and harmony with the rest of the room’s contents.

1. Understand Your Personal Style

Artwork comes in all shapes and sizes. If you’re traditional, go for a watercolor landscape of a garden or beach scene. Those with more romantic tastes can look to impressionist-style portraits, or photographs of couples. Photography is a great option for the trendy minimalist. If you’re looking for something modern and eclectic, pick pieces with bold colors and shapes. For a bohemian, artsy vibe, think antique items rather than paintings. Look for vintage record covers or movie posters. Frame and arrange them elegantly to maintain sophistication in the room and prevent it from looking like a college dorm.

2. Decide the Role You Want Artwork to Play in Your Room

Art can either play a large or small part of the decorating scheme in a room. If you have many large, ornate furniture pieces, look for smaller pieces of art. Frame a few, simpler 8″ by 10″ photographs or pictures. Rooms with slimmer, more streamlined furniture can afford to let large pieces of art shine. Think to hang a large painting, reflective of the personal styles described above, on the wall over a straight, simple couch. You can also tack floating shelves to walls to display standing frames or non-linear pieces of art, such as sculptures or collectibles.

3. Work with the Other Colors in the Room

This can mean either selecting art that contains and matches the colors on walls, bed, couch or pillows, or picking a piece of art in a contrasting color. If you’re in the former camp, look for modern art pieces with blocks, shapes and stripes painted in your favorite colors. Frame them in a complementary color to create some interest in the room, though. Have fun if you choose to go the contrasting route. If the rest of your room is bright and bold, create balance with black-and-white photography in thick, black frames. Or if your room consists of earthy neutrals, jazz it up with artwork that contains bold blues, rich purples, playful greens or vibrant reds.

4. Think Outside the Box

Artwork doesn’t necessarily have to be something that is sold and branded as such. Be creative in what you search for and select to hang as art on the walls of your apartment. If you’re interested in a certain picture or motif but can find it, ask an artistic friend to paint you something, or purchase a print from your aspiring photographer friends (everyone has at least one). Even consider looking to your fabric store. Frame interesting patterns of material to look like rich tapestries. For another twist, display interesting plates or vases as pottery on a floating shelf.

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