Interior design experts agree that art prints are one of the best ways to elevate the look and feel of any room. Wall art offers an easy and budget-friendly way to express your personality and make your home uniquely yours. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming trying to select pieces that complement your existing decor. This guide will walk you through how to pick the perfect wall art for your home.
Know Your Style
The first step is identifying your decorating style. Do you lean towards modern and contemporary or prefer traditional designs? minimalist or maximalist? Cool-toned or warm? Once you nail down your style, it will help narrow your wall art search. For example, those who gravitate towards mid-century modern may opt for abstract prints with bold shapes and colors. While individuals drawn to farmhouse decor will likely seek out vintage-inspired paintings and family photos in classic frames. Determining a style direction guides you in choosing pieces that enhance – not compete with – your current room aesthetics.
Consider the Room and Placement
You’ll want to select wall art based on where you intend to hang it. Is it for a small hallway or over the mantel in your living room? Above the bed or in a high-traffic passage? Both the room size and placement spot will influence size, medium, and design. Large statement pieces make sense for wide open living rooms or at the end of long halls. More intimate spaces and narrow walls call for smaller prints and groupings. Art placed too high or distant from natural light will lose impact. When determining placement, envision how you’ll interact with the piece and if it will be easily visible.
Complement the Color Scheme
A common rookie mistake is choosing wall art purely based on the image while ignoring how the colors fit – or clash with – the existing palette. Before falling in love with a print, analyze if its dominant tones coordinate or contrast with your current wall colors, furniture, carpeting, and decor details. Complementary hues and tones allow the art to seamlessly blend in. Vibrant pops provide eye-catching contrast. Muddy mixes will simply look off. You want the artistry to enhance the overall ambiance. So be sure what you select plays well with your color lineup.
Balance Light and Dark Areas
For a harmonious look, aim for balance in the contrast between light and dark values. This applies to both the art piece itself and how it interacts with the wall behind it. If the print or painting lacks variation – very dark or very light – it can create visual tension, especially against a contrasting wall color. Try framing an airy, light piece in a dark wood tone. Or have a bold, graphic print matte in white to soften the intensity. The interplay of dark and light values is key to tying everything together.
From petite prints to oversized canvases, wall art comes in all shapes and sizes. But size inherently impacts visual weight. A small piece gets lost on an expansive wall. While an enormous print overwhelms a narrow hallway. You want sufficient negative space around the edges so the art doesn’t feel cramped. Oversized art makes a dramatic statement but needs adequate wall area. Measure the target wall and envision appropriate proportions. For groupings, play with offsetting various sizes. Scale adds interest while anchoring each piece to the wall.
Seek Variety and Contrast
The hallmark of a visually-striking gallery wall is variety. Mix up sizes, orientations, framing, textures, mediums, subjects, and colors. Too much uniformity looks flat and boring to the eye. Seek out both complementary and contrasting pieces. The interplay between vibrant landscapes, muted photography, bold abstracts, and delicate watercolors creates lively energy and dimension. However, don’t let it turn into visual chaos. Aim for purposeful variation balanced with some repetition of colors, themes, or styles to tie the grouping together.
Focus on Quality over Quantity
It’s easy to get carried away purchasing inexpensive wall art to fill up empty walls quickly. But a thoughtful, curated collection has so much more impact. Seek out high-quality, archival prints rendered on thick gallery-style paper or stretched canvas. Black and white photography printed on aluminum composite panels adds amazing depth. Go for solid wood frames, quality matting, durable plexiglass instead of standard glass. Inferior materials degrade over time while quality art remains vibrant for years. So focus your budget on investing in a few special pieces you’ll treasure over underwhelming mass-produced prints.
Express Your Personality
Never underestimate the power of infusing art with personal meaning. Canvas prints of family photos capture precious memories. Showcasing heirloom antiques shared across generations tells a unique story. A map marking meaningful travel destinations makes an inexpensive but sentimental statement. For a playful touch, decorate with colorful abstracts your kids created. Even basic decorative accents like plates become art statements when they reflect your passions. The ability to convey your personality and what sparks joy gives art meaning beyond merely looking attractive on the wall.
With a myriad of options for stunning wall art, determining what speaks to you and complements your space may seem daunting. But following these guidelines will ensure you select pieces that elegantly elevate your home’s decor. Thoughtfully curated art pulls a room together, creates visual impact, and expresses your unique style. Ready to transform your blank walls into captivating gallery displays? Browse the expansive collection at wall art to discover stunning prints and paintings suited for every style and space.