Wall art is the perfect finishing touch for any space. It gives the room character and conveys your own personality. It can fill the space with colour and light. But with so much art out there, how do you choose the right wall art for your home?
If you’re struggling with wall art selection, or you’ve never had to choose wall art before, here’s a simple but handy guide to help you out!
Featured image: At Peace Canvas Print by Urban Road, available at Zanui.
1. Choose Wall Art by Size
Wall art should stand out and be a focal point of a room. It should connect everything else in the space—from the furniture, to the lamps, to the rug, to the cushions.
For this to work, it’s important that any artwork you choose be proportionate to the size of the wall it’s hanging on.
If you’ve got a huge expanse of wall that needs filling, a small 60x90cm canvas print will just get swallowed up by the empty space around it. The last thing you want is for your fabulous art piece to be overlooked or overwhelmed!
If you’re hanging an artwork over a piece of furniture—such as a sideboard, sofa or bed head— you can use its measurements as a guide. In most cases, you don’t want the artwork and the furniture piece to be the exact same width.
The general rule of thumb is to go two thirds or three fourths the width of your furniture. Your console table might be 120cm wide. You would therefore opt for an artwork that’s between 80 to 90cm wide. But if you want to hang two artworks side-by-side over that console, they should each be about 40 to 50cm wide.
If your plan is to simply sit an artwork on top of a mantelpiece or a console table and lean it back against the wall, then a smaller-sized artwork will work best. One that’s too large will look out of place, like maybe you just haven’t gotten around to hanging it yet.It’s also important to consider the orientation of the artwork. If the wall space you’re filling is taller than it is wide, go for a portrait. If the wall is wide and empty, opt for a landscape to fill in that space, or a series of portraits hung beside each other. Another option is a gallery wall, with multiple artworks or photos of different sizes hung together.
2. Choose Wall Art by Colour
Wall art should really be the first thing you choose when styling a space. This is because wall art can help set the colour palette of the entire room.
Hot top: Pick out colours from the artwork and use them to help you select other pieces. These might include soft furnishings, such as cushions, bed linen and rugs, as well as furniture upholstery.
If you’d like a more neutral colour palette, look for an artwork with white, beige and soft pastel tones to guide you. If you favour a warmer interior, select an artwork that contains red, brown and earthy hues. For an opulent interior, go for really rich tones, like dark blues and greens and even black or purple.
3. Choose Wall Art by Interior StyleIf you have a particular interior style in mind for your space, then you probably already know the kind of artwork you need.
For a coastal interior, of course you want a gorgeous print of a seascape or coral or other beach scenes.
You could also choose something other than a print. A dreamcatcher, a macrame wall hanging, an intricately carved timber wall panel, a feather juju, a cluster of natural fibre bowls or even a mirror with a natural fibre frame can all be excellent choices for a boho interior.For a mid-century modern interior, abstract art pieces work best. Look for art prints with bold, bright colours and fluid shapes to really channel that retro vibe.
For a Scandi or Nordic-inspired interior, the simpler the better. Line art is a great choice. Monochromatic landscapes and portraits are also perfect for this interior style.
4. Choose Wall Art by Subject
If you’re not really set on any particular interior style, then you might consider choosing your wall art based on its subject matter.
You can find an artwork of pretty much anything these days. Landscapes and cityscapes, plants and flowers, nautical and coastal scenes, portraits and human forms, photography and illustrations, cars, animals, tropical motifs, typography, street art—the list goes on and on.
So, ask yourself, what are your interests? Then find an artwork that reflects those interests.
Find out more about different artwork themes by reading our blog post.
5. Choose Wall Art Because You LOVE it!
The best advice anyone will give you when choosing an artwork is to simply pick something you like! If it sparks joy, as they say, then go for it. You’re going to be looking at this artwork for a long, long time. You want something that’s going to please your eyes time and time again.
The space doesn’t pick the artwork. The person picks the artwork. So don’t worry if you think the artwork won’t suit your space. If you love it, you will make it work!