How to Choose the Perfect Wall Art for Your Home

When you are decorating, whether for the first time or to update a room, choosing the perfect pieces of art to hang on the walls is what draws your whole room together. It helps to pull the space together, complements your other decor choices and makes a room a whole lot more interesting and inviting. It's the finishing touch you should definitely not overlook, but just how do you choose the perfect wall art for your home?

First of all, be prepared to spend time and effort in to find the right pieces for each room. Grabbing the first thing you see off the shelf isn't going to work. To truly complement and improve your space you need to put some effort in. Luckily, our guide gives you everything you need to choose the perfect pieces.

Wall art defines your space but it also gives your home character and warmth and injects some of your personality into the decor. There are no hard and fast rules to choosing art work, but there are several aspects to consider as you search for the perfect piece. Here's how to choose the perfect wall art for your home:

1. Size

Evaluate your space carefully, what size of art do you need? Do you have a large, blank wall desperate to be filled or a tiny corner that needs some detailed personalisation? If your room is a blank canvas and you are buying more than one piece, choose the largest first and then work your way down.

Other considerations, such as do you want one large piece or to create a gallery wall will also determine the size of art you are looking for. You might want to use a large canvas as a centrepiece or to use something a bit smaller and then balance it with a pair of pieces one on either side. Wall hangings and tapestries work well hung over furniture, such as a bookcase or a sofa.

As a rule of thumb, one or two large pieces per room is standard, but be guided by the size of your room and ceiling height. What would look great in a large drawing room will look ridiculous on the wall of your tiny apartment. Match the size of your art to the size of your furniture, so two small stacked pieces over a side table and a large canvas over your sofa, for example.

Small pieces usually work better gathered together in small rooms, while a sitting room can usually take at least one large piece without looking cluttered.

There are some principles to remember, such as photos should hang at least 15cm above your furniture and a painting or print should not be more than two-thirds longer than your sofa. Use art and furniture together so hang art lower, at eye height, not way up the wall.

2. Style

Once you have decided what size/s of art you are looking for, the next consideration is style. If you are creating a gallery wall or collecting a few pieces together, works by the same artist will complement each other well. Or you could use technique or other elements of art such as line or form to group art together. You can put two prints together but they should be visually linked, by style, colour or size perhaps.

Think about well known styles and designers such as Bohemian, Ralph Lauren or Kelly Hoppen. Does your style match any or echo any of these? What would go with the furniture you have? You probably won't want a collection of posters if you prefer beautiful antique furniture and a muted palette.

3. Colour

What colours do you already have in your room? You could follow this colour scheme in your art to create a cohesive theme. Bringing the whole room together like this creates a more sophisticated, contemporary look.

For example, your largest piece of art might have a background that matches your wall colour. Shades of similar colours work well, for example a light blue cloud filled painting on a navy blue wall. Or you could use the colour wheel to choose a complementary shade. But there is an argument for clashing colours, so you could try a piece of work in a predominant colour that is on the opposite side of the colour wheel.

Whether you choose to match or clash, remember not to bring in too many colours, a maximum of four colours is advisable. Use your wall colour as a base and add pieces that work with it but are not limited by it. Use mirrors to reflect art and add the idea of more colour to your room.

4. Theme

You may not think your home or room has a distinct theme, but take a step back and consider how it all works together. Do you have a preference for strong colours redolent of North Africa, jewel colours, or perhaps a love of the sea which permeates your home? Use this theme to direct your art choices as it will pull together the colours and pieces in your home to a more cohesive whole.

Unless you want to use them as a feature, keep frames minimal to let the art speak for itself. Consider the use of the room in your theme too. A large canvas over a bed should be hung at eye level, and an abstract in shades of your chosen room colours works best, while pairs of smaller pieces work best in a bathroom.

5. Do you love it?

Does the piece inspire you? Even with all the considerations above, ask yourself above all if you love it. You will see this piece of art every day and if it doesn't evoke some feeling in you, what's the point? Your home should give you pleasure, help you to relax and make you feel happy. Does the art you are considering do that? Once you have narrowed your choices down, the main consideration is: Do you love it?

If you find a painting or object you love, use that to inspire your other choices. A vase in your dream colour, or a glass paperweight you find at an antique fair can inspire a whole room. Your inspiration piece may even be a painting or a sofa, whatever it is use it to determine your colour scheme and to direct you to other pieces of wall art that will work with it. At the end of the day, choosing art is a much more intuitive process so listen to your eye, your gut and your heart.

Wall art defines your room and makes your home a more finished and welcoming place. Take some time to select the perfect pieces and you will be surrounded by things you love to make your home a happier and more comfortable place.

Article created in association with Fine Art America

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