AusFinance Gazette

How to choose the right art for your home

So, you’ve got this wall. Actually, you’ve got a few of them. And while they’re holding your house up just fine, they’re looking a little bare for wear.

But before you go riffling through the garage to dust off that old framed Taxi Driver poster you swore you’d thrown out years ago, take some time to ponder, plan, and then purchase the right pieces for your home. Here are some helpful tips to consider along the way.

Make sure you love it

This might sound obvious, but don’t buy art for your home if you don’t love looking at it. While your guests might be impressed by the hanging rubber Koi fish installation created by an up-and-coming artist the gallerist insisted was the next big thing, you’re the one that has to look at it every day. The art you exhibit should also be a reflection of your personality, so make sure it paints a recognisable picture of you and your taste.

Consider the space

The right art can completely transform a space and set the tone for an entire room or home. If you see a piece you love, before you buy it, stop and think about where it will hang. If it’s in the bedroom, consider a subtle colour palette and soothing subject matter—especially if you intend to hang it on the wall opposite the bed. Ask yourself, do you want to go to sleep and then wake to this image every day? Sure, De Niro was great, but is Travis Bickle really the face you want staring back at you first thing in the morning?

If you’re looking to breathe new life into the living room, go for something a little more adventurous and thought provoking. It’s the room guests will see and spend the most time in, so make it a conversation starter. Avoid hanging art above your TV so that it’s not competing for attention (it will lose), and instead opt for a large empty wall with optimal lighting.

If the corkboard cluttered with old photos and receipts isn’t cutting it in the home office anymore, consider hanging a gallery wall of smaller works of various styles and sizes to mimic a mood board of sorts. Gallery walls also work great in tough-to-decorate areas like entryways and breakfast nooks, injecting character and personality into an otherwise forgetful space.

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Hang to scale

When hanging an artwork in your home, it’s all about visual balance and proportion. It’s pretty simple—big works go on big walls, and small pieces on small. But that rule doesn’t extend to the size of the room altogether. If you’re hanging work in a small room, opt for one large piece of art, as it will make the space feel bigger overall, as opposed to a number of smaller pieces that will only add to the cramped and cluttered feel.

If you’re looking to make a statement with an art piece, the only thing stopping you is the ceiling. Filling the void of a huge vacant wall in the dining room with a moody and evocative modern abstract can really set the scene, while an oversized black and white photo print in the living room gives off a cool and contemporary vibe.

Mull over mediums

Art comes in all forms, and while the most commonly considered are paintings, drawings, and photos, not all art needs a nail to nest on. Sculpture is a great way to bring texture and depth to a space and can either complement or introduce a new element (like concrete, wood, or stone) to a room’s aesthetic. Textile art like weavings, tapestries, and carpet design are another unique and striking option outside of the conventional choices, providing endless opportunity to match home décor and accessories with its colour palette.

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