3 Simple Tips for Selecting Art for Your Home

I have heard from many people who feel lost when choosing art for their home. I’m going to give you some tips that should make this much easier. It doesn’t have to be hard or intimidating!

1. Identify the Size and Shape
It is best to have a plan when you start out in your search. Just like when you are shopping for furniture it is essential you know- what will fit where. I’m going to assume you already have a location in mind for your art. So first determine if it needs to be horizontal or vertical or square. You want the art to fill the space nicely without a lot of blank wall space.

I’m going to use the example of finding the right piece to fit above a fireplace, but you apply these same guidelines to other areas in your home. Let’s say you are selecting a showpiece for above your fireplace mantle. Image the distance from the top of the mantle to the ceiling is about the same distance as the floor to the mantle. In this example you would not want to use a skinny tall vertical piece. It would leave a lot of empty wall space on either side, leaving the art looking lost. A horizontal or square would work nicely. Look at the images below to better illustrate what I mean.

The vertical shape looks a little lost.

The square shape commands attention.

If the distance above mantle to the ceiling is double the distance or more than the distance as the floor is to the mantle, you would want the artwork to be vertical.  See image below.

The vertical size and large scale make a dynamic statement.

Determining the size of the artwork would follow the same criteria. You want to fill the space with art without having a lot of empty wall space. You wouldn’t want it to look lost. On the other hand, you don’t want it to be too big either. You want the space on the wall to act as another frame. If there isn’t enough wall space around it, it would feel like the artwork is shouting at you.

So let’s take the example of the fireplace mantle again. Say you determined that you need a horizontal piece of art. The leftover space on either side of the art should equal 1/4 the length of the art.

2. Identify the Texture

I’m going to use another assumption. I am going to assume you want your art to add to the beauty of your room. Creating a beautiful room encompasses many elements. Element such as space ratios, colors, repeating elements and there are many others. One element that is often forgotten is texture. Texture adds depth and interest to a room. So how can you add, not distract, to the interior design with the art you choose?

Back to our fireplace mantle scenario. Image you have a room that is rich in texture. The room has dark solid wood floors with lots of distressing, the fireplace has heavy round stone boulders. In this instance it would nice to add an oil painting with a smooth surface to help balance out all the existing texture.

Then imagine a room with smooth tile floors and a sleek surface covering the fireplace.
Selecting a piece of art that is three dimensional piece of art would add so much interest and contrast to this type of space.

3. Identify What Moves You

The effect that Art has on people has been studied by neurophysiologists. They have found that beautiful artwork can affect a person’s autonomic nervous system, their hormonal balance and their brain neurotransmitters. The awe that people can feel when looking art can inspire them and wake up their creativity. It has also been documented that art can have a have a big role in decreasing stress. It has been proven that stress affects your immune system by ramping up inflammation, Our immune system is greatly affected by inflammation. Inflammation is a precursor to many threatening diseases: cancer and heart disease two of the most serious.
I tell you all this so you can know all the benefits having something beautiful in your home.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This is why it is important to chose something that really moves you, that gives you an uplifting emotional reaction. An easy test to help you identify if a piece is right for you is to ask yourself “When I look at this does it make me feel lighter or heavier? It is that easy.

Don’t let selecting art be scary, hard or intimidating. Use my suggestions for size, shape and texture and then allow your heart find the piece of art that would give you the most positive effect every time you look at it. When you select with your heart you cannot go wrong.

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