• Stephanie Bond

The art of choosing art for your home

Do you agonize over design choices, couch fabrics, wall colors, even window treatments? If so, you may be just as selective when it comes to the art on your walls. Alternately, perhaps you just don’t know where or how to hang the art you have already collected. Or maybe you’ve wanted to buy some art for your home and don’t know where to begin. No matter what your level of experience with purchasing and displaying art in your home, there’s always more to learn. According to our colleague, Compass agent and art consultant Stephanie Bond, while there are no hard and fast rules, there are some essential things to keep in mind when integrating works of art in your home.

What type of home do you have?

Think about the architectural style of your home: whether it's a craftsman style bungalow or a Victorian beauty, consider art that reflects the age and particular style of your home from a structural perspective. Selecting art that gives a nod to the overall style will lend a sense of cohesiveness to your home.

Consider the art first.

Art can be the perfect starting point for the overall design of a room. It gives you an instant focus and color palette to work from. However, that can feel overwhelming for some people. If you’re not a design expert, you don’t have to worry about matching the colors exactly. The wall color, for instance, should reference the artwork, not mimic it exactly.

Determine the shape of the wall space.

Find art that is shaped to match the shape of the space where it will hang. When determining the shape of the wall space, be sure to take into account items like bookcases, arching floor lamps or moldings that frame the shape of the space, not just the wall itself. Is the wall space square or rectangular, vertical or horizontal? Framed art that mimics the shape of the space where it hangs will be most pleasing to the eye. If you don’t have one piece that fits the space in this way, consider hanging several pieces together.

Do you love the art?

It may seem obvious, but it's helpful to remember this rule of thumb: select pieces that you love. In general, you want the art you look at every day to bring you enjoyment. Art tends to elicit a particular emotion, so it will set the mood for the entire room. Perhaps you want the space to feel quiet and serene, or lively and celebratory. Choose art that makes you feel the way you want to feel in that particular room. If you’re not sure what mood you want to convey, stick with choosing something that simply puts a smile on your face.

Don’t hang your pieces too high or low.

Typically, you should hang a work of art so that the midpoint of the art piece is 60 inches up from the floor—unless a piece of furniture is in the way or you are hanging over a mantle. In that case, the bottom of the art should be between 6-10 inches up from the piece of furniture. And when it comes to hanging your framed art, forgo the “one hook in the middle” approach. Instead, two hooks spaced evenly from the center keeps the art level and prevents it from constantly shifting.

Whether you’re a seasoned collector or an enthusiastic beginner, there’s always room for enriching your home’s spaces with well-chosen works of art.


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