Wall art adds character + colour to your home. Read our tips for discerning what style, palette, and size would suit, and where to hang it in relation to your furniture.
Art injects instantaneous vibe and personality into your home. It gives it dimension. It speaks to the soul. It’s inspiration harnessed to yield beauty. And so, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder – those proverbial people were right – the perfect piece of art for you will always be something exquisitely personal. (Yes!!!)
The first rule of Art Club then is to always think with your heart. But we’ve put together some guiding principles that might help your ticker on its quest for the perfect art match.
DESIGN YOUR LOOK
Whether you’re drawn to vintage ad posters or artwork of evocative places, pieces that espouse nature’s beauty or abstract and graphic effusions, the ideal artwork is out there for you. Discovering what type of wall art affects you is a good place to start.
Not sure? Have a browse. Don’t limit yourself. Take notes. You’ll soon discover there is some method to the pieces that pique your appetite. (Art is a hunger, surely!) It is about what is meaningful for you.
Your home is a visual narrative of you. You’re intensely private? Minimalist artwork or abstract pieces might suit you best. You love travel? Photographic pieces could answer your needs.
MATCH YOUR PALETTE TO YOUR DESIRED AMBIENCE
If you are looking for a piece for a specific room, consider the mood you’d like to imbue. Calm and soothing works well for bedrooms. But so does high passion! To each their own. Think about how you’d like to feel when you’re in this space and adjust your palette accordingly.
High contrast hues will create a bold + dramatic effect, whilst graduated and less saturated tones (like pastels) tend to be more tranquil and elegant. Consider sepia and black and white works for that sophisticated cum vintage touch.
Searching for something for your kids’ rooms? You don’t have to opt for brash primary colours and surrender your own style. Consider pastel tones in a chic geometric print… Or a graphic quote instead.
DEFINE THE RIGHT SIZE + SCALE FOR YOUR SPACE
The debate about whether you buy the wall art you love and find a place for it or you seek out the right artwork for your space rages on. (If you ask us, it needn’t be either/or. Surely you can buy what you love AND go fossicking for the perfect piece for a particular spot!)
But if you do have a particular space in mind, considering size and scale is important. Even if you find the perfect piece, if it’s too teeny, it won’t look right. (But you could pair with other pieces for a stylish gallery wall! See below.)
Art should fill two thirds to three quarters of the wall. Think about how the shape of your wall art (e.g. square/rectangular) will work in the available space. (For more about this, see how to hang it below.) For modern art, bigger works better for max impact. It’s about getting the balance right between the simplicity of negative space and your artwork.
MIX + MATCH CONSCIOUSLY
If you’re looking for a piece to match a space with an existing artwork, think about picking up an essence of the palette used to tie them together. This will give your room a curated and cohesive look.
Can’t stand to be hemmed in like that? You’re obviously more bohemian in your approach to life. Eclectic pieces will reflect your free-spirited nature. Provoke intriguing conversations with your diverse choice of wall art.
TO FRAME OR NOT TO FRAME
Stretched canvases add dimension to your décor. Opting for textured canvas prints introduces depth. However framed art prints look refined and stylish and a framed piece has longevity. Have an art print you adore? Frame it in an antique mirror frame for old-world charm!
Consider choosing artwork crafted on wood or diverse materials for character.
HOW TO HANG IT
We’re looking now at some common questions people ask about getting it right in the space.
What height should I hang it?
Hang your wall art (or your wall art collection) so its centre is at eye-level. Where your eye-level is will be depend on whether you’ll be sitting or standing when you view it.
How close to the furniture should it go?
Keep about 6 to 12 inches between the bottom frame of your wall art and your sofa, dining table, buffet, or other piece of furniture. Try it out with butchers’ paper and blu-tack to get the position right.
Be bold. Trust your instinct. Break the rules if it works better that way. You’re the boss. 😀
Should it be symmetrical or off-centre?
Whilst symmetry works well for a clean + classic look, hanging art off-centre is also an eye-catching option. This leaves nice expanses of negative space for that open spacious aesthetic. Plus it’s uber-modern.
Does art work better on its own or in a collection?
Both work well. If investing in a large-scale artwork is not on the cards right now, consider a gallery wall – combine landscape and portrait pieces for visual interest, create a triptych or a curated collection.
Include framed photos of your memories to create an interesting contrast with professional artwork.
Obviously hanging your art on your walls (by itself or amidst a gallery) is just not your only option. (You can also lean it up against the wall on the floor or on a shelf.
Think about exploiting any quirks in your room’s architecture: a fireplace, an alcove, a stairwell!