Do you ever struggle to pick out art for a space or just knowing what to put on your walls? Maybe you love what you have, but are unsure of how to feature it in a space? What you put on your walls can really make or break a room. Several months ago, I asked you to chime in with your burning questions on art! I have compiled those questions and hopefully I can give you a few tips that I use when picking art and wall decor for a space. Doing it right from the beginning can save a lot of money and questions! I also linked some of my favorite go-to places for art, my art sources!
- Q- Do you pick art first and then the rug and pillows? You can really start with any of these! But start with one, as the main inspiration for the room. I often start with the rug. But if I found a piece of art I was in love with, I could see designing the room around that.
- Q- How do you find out your style? I do think it helps to know the direction you are headed to avoid buying something you don’t love. I find that saving a bunch of photos in Pinterest or Instagram helps! I go back through my saved photos and look for a common look! And stick with that.
- Q- How do you pick something that everyone will enjoy? Mainly I only worry if Kevin and I enjoy it, we are the ones that pay for it. I do feel that all of my family enjoys our home because it is a safe and happy. What art I select won’t change that. For Kevin and I to agree on art, it is pretty easy, Kevin likes what I like 🙂 but I think that is because I pick art that has meaning.
- Q- If you are hanging photos, do you break up pictures with pieces of art? Black and white versus color? YES! I personally love to mix in art with photos. But I have seen it done with just photos and both look great. And I do like to keep it either all black and white or all color.
- Q- How much is a good amount to spend or budget for art in a space? Good question. It really depends. I have found great art at Good Will that cost $25! Or I have framed all children art in a kids room that the only cost was the frame. But in general a good starting point for a 24×24 with a frame is around $200. To fill a wall with affordable art can average around $200-$1000.
- Q- What if you have a large blank wall but don’t want a gallery. Then just do a large piece of art! I will say if all the walls just have oversized art that could feel a little heavy. So try to mix up one of the walls. You could even do wallpaper on a wall, or add a cool wall treatment, like board and batten (notice I didn’t hang any art on the wall below).
- Q- What height should art be hung? Eye level. If you have a large wall and you worry about filling it, just remember that nothing really needs to go above eye level.
- Q- Best places to buy art and prints. I love to buy from local artists or someone I know and adore. Or I shop Etsy, second hand shops or look for limited edition. (I linked a bunch of my favorite sources for art at the end).
- Q- How do you determine the size? Size is based on what it is going above. I don’t like to hang art that is bigger than what it is going above. Or if it is in a hall then it is based off of the size of the hall.
ART TIP: Art should never be larger than the furniture it is hung over.
(Art above fireplace was a custom piece painted by @kimhassold it was a photo I took that she turned into art!!!)
Art Grouping Examples-
I just found this art company online and I am obsessed!!!! They make it so easy for you to put a gallery wall together. You can even just use their “wall designer” tool and put together a gallery wall with actual sizes! It helps to visually see what you want to do. (Helpful tip- the sofa they have on the wall designer is 9 feet long)
The top art grouping I curated for our new kitchen space! I want to order it to go above our banquette seating. As you are selecting art it is really telling the design style you love- I love bright, playful art, that looks vintage. (You can shop the art by clicking on an image below).
You can get a custom design look like @katemarkerinteriors dining nook!
ART TIP ONE: Pick something that means something.
When choosing art that is sentimental, think about your family culture. Where do you live? What do you like doing together? What is your favorite vacation spot?
Sentimental Art- I have a piece that was custom painted by a friend of a picture that I snapped at the beach. It was shortly after moving to CT, and our family was hanging out at the beach. I saw this elderly couple holding hands and walking toward the water. It was so tender and made me excited for the future. When I saw the picture, I noticed little Lola sticking her head in a bucket and I couldn’t help but laugh at the juxtaposition! It was a fun memory for us and I love having it become art in our home!
Vacation photo turned into art- You don’t need to have a custom art piece created either! Is there a favorite snapshot you have taken on vacation? I love to use the waterlogue app to make photos from my Iphone look like water color art! Here is a picture I took of some pineapple in Hawaii (a favorite vacation spot). I uploaded it to the Waterlogue app, and then sent it to Walgreens to print. Easy, inexpensive and meaningful art!
Place you live- This one may seem obvious, but you may be surprised at how many people over look this very basic tip! I loved featuring this “FAIRFIELD” art in Rachel’s kitchen! It is the town where they live! It makes the space feel personal.
Frame Children’s Art- Framing kids artwork is really the best kind of art you can have. It cost nothing and means everything. Some of Luke’s art was from when he was 6! Rachel, Luke’s mom said it had been hanging on the wall since he was 6 and never moved. And there is nothing wrong with that. But hand-selecting what pieces of art you frame and also rotating art is great to do too.
Hobbies and Interest– When I helped my friend with her bonus area, I spent time choosing art that meant something to her family. They love playing golf and have three sons! This art relates to the culture of their family and works well in a fun, game-type room! We utilized the long-haired cow print as well since their family spent some time living in Texas. When I brought it, she said that they have some Scottish roots and those are native to that country! Bonus!
ART TIP TWO: Know where it is going before you buy it!
This is really a good tip for not just art, but for anything in your home! It can be so tempting to fall in love with a piece of art or a mirror and buy it without knowing exactly where it will go. You may think that you love it so much, you will definitely be able to find a place only to come home and discover that the size is wrong or the color scheme doesn’t work.
Sometimes you get really lucky and art works in multiple places! This beautiful canvas from Lindsay Letters was purchased to hang over the mantel at my mom’s house when we redid her fireplace, but then I also loved it by her front door too! Just because you have an idea of where it will go, doesn’t mean it HAS to stay there! It just means that it definitely won’t go wasted!
When I was working on this makeover for my friend’s dining room, I found that navy-rimmed wall basket at Goodwill and knew that it would be great in her dining room! I already had that navy wall basket and was so excited to find another one to pair it with! Sometimes art can be anything you want it to be.
ART TIP THREE: Consider Size, Shape and Color
This bedroom makeover we did for Robin was so much fun to pull together right before town for the holidays! I had a couple comments saying that the mirror over the bed was too small, or that we should have done three. When I read that, I took another look at the picture, and decided that I really did like just the one. Three would have felt a little overpowering and this piece fit so perfectly in between the boards. And I wanted it to look like a window.
Sometimes you have the perfect art, but it isn’t quite big enough for the space intended. In Keith’s bedroom makeover post I shared a great way to add interest to a wall without creating a full gallery look. Grab this hook and hang a great houseplant from it! The macrame is linked here. I love finding ways to add plants in unexpected ways!
When considering what to hang on your walls, try not to be too repetitive. Notice the different shapes and textures that we put in Amy’s master bedroom makeover. The art over her desk was a piece that she picked up from a thrift store, but was originally from Minted. The round shelf was also a thrifted item. When deciding what to hang over the bed, I wanted to add a mirror and chose a shape that wasn’t already present in the room. The gold color unified the other art and the ceiling fan.
Favorite Art Sources-