My name is Holly von Huene. I am an interior design consultant who is passionate about inspiring and helping people create spaces they will love. I am the founder and editor of HvH Interiors where I offer online interior eDesign services and blog about interior design inspiration.
I am very pleased to have been invited to guest post here and answer your question about choosing art for your home.
“Hi Holly! SmartyGirlHome Readers were interested in your blog posts about your art choices for interior home settings such as Caren Alpert’s photography using scanning electron microscopes, soot art by Steven Spazuk and watercolor and pen by Danie from Pasadya. What advice or tips would you give to DIY home decorators when selecting art for their homes?”
I’m glad your readers took note of my art picks. I would gladly put any of those artist’s works in my home – especially the black and white options, since they’re in line with my home and my personal aesthetic.
I know it can get tricky when you start thinking of art for your home. Sometimes you may fall in love with a painting or a piece but you can’t be sure it’ll look right in your living room. Maybe you’ll get sick of it. The thing is, since art is such a personal thing, there are no set rules to help you make decisions about art for interior spaces. However, I can offer some advice.
Let’s say you stumbled upon an amazing piece of art you think would look perfect in that lonely empty space in your living room. What do you do?
Four tips for choosing art for your home:
1. Consider Mood (of the room or the surrounding space where you imagine the art to go).
What does the living room feel like? What do people do there? Is it a place where people relax and chill and sprawl themselves on the couch? Is it a place with more of a formal feel, like somewhere you would sit with guests for tea? What kind of decor style characterizes the room? Is it eclectic, classical, modern? Think about the space. How does it make you feel? Then look at the art piece. Look at the lines and curves and shapes and colours. Does it have that similar feel? If yes, that’s a good sign.
2. Consider Scale and Proportion
Before you invest yourself further, consider scale. Scale is the size relationship of one object to another. Proportion is the size relationship of one design element to the whole (but also to surrounding elements). Scale and proportion are so important. Even if colour scheme and mood are are perfectly paired to your art piece, but the scale/proportion is off, it still won’t look right. If it’s too small or too big compared to what would be surrounding it, and you can’t really make adjustments for it, forget it. If you have a good feeling, your best bet is to try it out.
3. Consider Colour
If the mood and size of the piece are a good match, it’s time to consider the colour scheme. What is the colour scheme in the space where the art is going? Is it monochromatic, complementary, analogous, neutral, warm/cool? Will the piece fit in? Can you make minor adjustments to make it happen? Sometimes all it takes is changing out some accent pieces and that could be worth it if you love the art.
4. Be Confident
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Don’t worry about what others think, or if it fits with a trend. Art is a personal thing and it’s all about how it makes you feel. The art you choose should speak to you or mean something to you. For example, even though the pieces I chose above would technically fit my interior scheme and I get a good feeling from them, they are also special to me because I learned about the artists and the techniques behind the work.
Well, there you have it. These are my very basic guidelines for choosing art for your home. If the outcome is positive to these 4 guidelines, then take the art home and try it out (but inform yourself that you can return it if it doesn’t fit). With the art in place, revisit the 4 guidelines. When you know your space and you are true to your feelings then you can be sure you are making a good decision.
Do you have anything you’d like to add to this list? Would you like to share your experiences for choosing art for your home?