Choosing the right piece of art to complement your space can be one of the most challenging things in decorating. With an unending variety of choices, settling down to just a few pieces can be tough. So if you're struggling to pick the perfect piece, consider these 5 tips.
Color is the number one thing people get caught up in when trying to choose art, often because they're trying to find something that matches with the other colors in the room. But while matching some of the colors is a perfectly acceptable method for choosing art, it's not the only method. Sometimes the colors in the art you choose can be the direct opposite of what you already have in your room, or in some cases; you might want something that's only black and white. What matters is that you find something that compliments the space—sometimes it's through color, but not always. Look for a piece that attracts you to it, and don't worry too much about perfectly matching colors.
Size and Scale
When it comes to choosing art bigger is usually better. Choosing art that's too small is a very common mistake. Take for instance the wall space over a sofa. As a general rule, the art above it should be approximately two thirds the width of the sofa or larger. Same goes for space above a bed. However, even this rule can be broken. In a gallery wall, several small pieces can work together in one display. In this case, think of the overall display as one unit and try to follow the same guidelines. If you have a particular painting or print that you adore but the size is too small, consider having it framed with an extra large matte to increase its visual impact.
Mix Old and New
Contrast is what keeps a room exciting, and art can play a big part in creating that excitement. So consider art from different eras to create a robust and compelling collection. In a traditional room, a piece of modern art can create a striking focal point, just like classic pieces can lend some tradition to more contemporary spaces. And when used together in the same room old and new pieces can complement each other in wonderful and unexpected ways. It can also be a lot of fun to mix colors and themes, so when choosing art don't get stuck in a rut—mix it up!
While love, at first sight, should never be discounted, it's usually a good idea to shop around before settling on a piece of art for a particular spot. There are so many options that you want to make sure you know some of them before settling (it's impossible to know all the options, but do yourself a favor and shop around so you can get to know what you like). The good news is there are plenty of sources, both online and in brick and mortar shops. Apartment Therapy has gathered together 13 sources of affordable online art which is a great start, but also check out local galleries, craft shows, vintage shops and garage sales.
Buy What You Love
Whether it's original or mass-produced, expensive or cheap, make sure to buy only what you love. Original artwork is a great way to add something unique to your home, and it can certainly give a room a certain amount of character, but it can be very expensive—particularly if it's a known artist, or if it's something rare or unique. Plenty of people have found themselves guilty of investing in a piece simply because it's an original and they think it has value, but this can be a big mistake if you don't truly love it. If you want something original but don't want to overspend look for artists that don't already have a huge following in order to get a good price (online sites like Etsy, or local craft/art shows are good places to start), and make sure it's something that makes you smile every time you look at it. If it's a cheap-looking print you find for $5 at a garage sale then so be it!