Choosing Wall Art

Published on
August 9, 2021
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Even if you can’t tell a Pissarro from a Picasso, you are capable of selecting beautiful wall art. No need to choose pieces based on artists or current trends. Choose what works based on size, style, or color.

By Size - It might be easier to start with larger pieces, filling large chunks of empty wall space before working your way down to the tiny hanging knick-knacks. One rule of thumb is to keep pictures about two-thirds the length of your sofa. But in general, stick to common sense rules. Small bathrooms would need small art pieces. And very large living rooms could support very large artworks. You could even group smaller (similar) pieces together to fill a bigger space.  

By Style - Don’t worry, this isn’t art school. Style in this sense refers to matching pictures and wall art with the room’s furniture. A Scandinavian interior design scheme might call for pictures of fjords or tundra landscapes. A coastal design might include more nautical images. And an industrial look might just be factory scenes. Basically, choose wall art that helps to sell the existing style. And if your favorite art doesn’t seem to match the room, try using picture frames to match the room’s existing furniture. If the coffee table and shelving have sleek metal legs, for example, sleek metal frames will make any wall art look good.

By Color - To keep things simple, choose wall art by color. You can incorporate colors that are already present in the room to help pieces blend in. Or you can choose bold, contrasting colors to emphasize the artworks themselves and create interesting focal points. Neon wall art, for instance, can make a dark muted color palette look instantly cooler. 

Non-Art Wall Decor Options 

Wall decor is more than just framed paintings on a wall. And making a room feel cohesive definitely shouldn’t break your budget. Look at the way designer Angel Strawbridge decorates her 19th century French castle in Escape to the Chateau. She’s taught us that just about anything can be used as wall decor, from dried flowers, to old record disks. And you don’t need to spend much money to make a room feel special.

Get quirky and make your home truly unique by repurposing items into decorative masterpieces. A quick Google search will reveal endless wall decor possibilities. Below are some of my favorite ideas:

  • Leaning a mirror against the wall for the illusion of more space and light (or a gallery of tiny, hand-held mirrors)
  • Floating shelves for extra storage 
  • Hanging a rug or tapestry
  • Photo collage of small frames 
  • A gallery wall made of everything you never really know where to put
  • Hanging colorful dishes you never use 
  • Making rustic DIY wall planters

The simplest solution to wall decor, however, has to be paint. We don’t normally paint statement walls for home stagings here in the San Francisco Bay Area, but it is an easy way to turn an empty wall into a bold statement. Check out this list of accent wall ideas for inspiration or let your creativity run wild.

Angel’s wallpaper collage proves that wall decor inspiration can come from anywhere. And at the end of the day, like any other artistic endeavor, wall art and decor is meant to suit your individual preference and taste. There is no such thing as an artistically-challenged person.

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