Art, especially paintings, have always been and always will be an integral decorative piece of the home. It’s a great way to create beautiful conversation starters, spruce up your boring walls and add a personality to your home. Here are some helpful tips and pieces of advice in using paintings in decorating your interior:
- Choose them first to get an instant color palette
Often, paintings are often treated as an afterthought, like the items you buy after your walls have been fully painted and your rooms are furnished, yet still looks incomplete. But paintings, however, can create a design base for the entire room when carefully considered and chosen. Perhaps you’re aware that choosing a color palette is one of the most critical phases of interior decoration. And the seemingly endless shades of paint available makes choosing a lot harder. So, if you would select a painting first, you can use that piece to inspire you to the room’s potential color palette.
Try to pick out two to three shades from the wall art that you would like to incorporate into your wall and décor colors. Choose the main color and a few shades of accents. Then, you can look for those colors in buying items to decorate your space. Through that, you can have a coherent-looking interior. Repeating the same colors from the artwork increases its impact in a room.
- Observe proper scaling
Whenever you choose a painting to hang on a space, consider if it fits into the relative scale of the rest of the room so it won’t get hidden by, overlooked or distract other items. A good rule is to find a piece of art that has almost the same size as the other pieces next to it or below it to balance the look. If you hang a piece of art that is too small in a space that calls for something larger, it would just look awkward. If you do the opposite thing, space would look crowded.
But if you want to display a piece that is out of scale for the rest of the room, make sure it seems intentional, not looking like you had no choice. Pick a piece that is way too big or way too small to create an obvious, dramatic effect.
- Create a gallery wall
If you own a lot of paintings, make a gallery wall out of it. Group them together to create a focal point. Make sure the paintings have something in common: style, topic, theme or colors before you group them. Or, even if they have nothing in common, as long as they look great together, you may do that.
You can also have a theme that connects the function of the room and the art itself. For instance, if your portrait paintings, you may group them into a wall on a hallway or a living room. If you have paintings of food, you may display them in your kitchen or dining room wall. This way you can have a gallery wall that’s cohesive and eye-catching.
- Space out paintings as needed
Having some paintings hanged in your own home speaks of your enthusiasm for art and your aesthetic tastes. While displaying them is good, over-crowding them is bad. Avoid the temptation of filling every wall up. Let the wall breathe – don’t over-decorate. And if your pieces aren’t at all connected and clashes each other’s style, then it’s best to keep them separate.
- Keep them at eye level
One common mistake in hanging art is keeping them miles above a furnishing, whether a bed, a table or a sofa. Placing a single painting high up the wall with plenty of space below makes it look awkward. Keep the artworks at eye level to keep them friendly for the sight.
One creative tip: Display a collection of same-sized and same-themed paintings on a tight grid just right above a couch. Stack them all the way to the ceiling to call attention.
- Forget about observing symmetry all the time
A gallery wall, especially when you’re dealing with paintings of different styles and orientation, doesn’t always have to be symmetric. You don’t always need to form a grid or balance out everything on all sides. Be bold and hang in a loose, salon-style arrangement while keeping the pieces look connected and collected. Start from the center and continue moving outward.
To prevent getting a disorganized look, pick paintings with the same theme or color palette. You can also unite them by putting them in similar-colored or styled frames or same border colors.
- Combine works of art of the same artist
To better group together artworks with a similar style, choose a couple or more paintings from one artist for greater impact. You don’t necessarily need to group them like you would with a gallery wall – just placing them tastefully in a specific area will do the trick. For instance, you may hang a landscape painting on top of your fireplace, a couple of vertical hangings on each side. It will make one draw their eyes first to one and then to the others, then back again.
- Place mirrors opposite the paintings
Double the impact of a painting by putting mirrors on their opposite wall. In a hallway, for instance, placing mirrors on the wall and the ceiling can get the painting repeated in reverse and upside down. It will get you to study the painting to see how it looks at another angle.
- Go big
Sometimes, one oversized piece of painting is enough to grab all the attention, rather than piecing together an entire gallery wall. It’s also more economical, too. A big painting makes a huge statement for the room, especially on seating areas like the living room.
- Go frameless
For a more casual and relaxed look, hang up paintings without a frame. Unframed pieces can prove that you don’t really need frames to make a painting complete. A collection of paintings on a square canvas creates the contemporary, fuss-free vibe. It’s cheaper, too.
- Keep the surroundings neutral or monochromatic
When hanging a painting with bold colors, keep everything else neutral or in one color scheme. Support the art by putting on restraint on colors and patterns on the rest of the room. For instance, an eye-catching painting can be more highlighted in a living room with white walls, plain and sleek gray couches and a sisal rug.
- Use furniture to accentuate your art
The placement of your paintings should be well thought out, but so is the placement of other furnishings surrounding it. A painting on the wall under the stairs brightens up the otherwise blank space. It works great all by itself, but if you place –say for example, a bench or a console table under it – the art is more accentuated. You can use furniture to “underline” your paintings to give it emphasis.
- Don’t stop at hanging
You don’t have to whip up hammer and nails every time you want to display a painting in your home. They don’t necessarily need to be hanged at all times – try leaning them. Experiment with different places and techniques to lean art so it won’t look like you forgot to hang them.
You may find a nice console table, a dresser or other storage mid-room height storage pieces and make your painting lean there. Just observe proper scaling to the piece it’s leaning on. You may install floating shelves to make a gallery wall for medium to smaller-sized art. Or you can hang a huge painting against a wall, then decorate with tall vases on each side and a complementary rug on the floor to make it look like it really belonged there.