Have you always dreamed of having a well appointed home with a beautifully displayed art collection? Odds are, you already have an art collection or the beginning of one, so get it out and show it off! Whether you have expensive commissioned canvases or vintage garage sale finds, you can display your art and decor in a way that looks organic, intentional, and comforting.
Here are five tips to avoid awkward looking art displays.
5 Tips For Displaying Your Art
-Go for variety
Mix up your styles and materials. Don’t fill the space with all canvases that only show green abstracts. Have some canvas, some framed paper works, some prints, etc. And try to make sure to have more than one style. While consistency in your decor helps tie your home together, you don’t want it to be stale and boring. Tie it together with a frame style, brush stroke type, or color scheme, but not all three.
-Go bold when it comes to size
Many people really mess up in home decor by not keeping the scale in mind. Have you ever walked into a room that just seemed very wrong even if all the items in it were quite nice? If you place a tall back chair, a low back sofa, and a too small area rug in your living room, it will all look off and seem somehow wrong. Scale is important for continuity and for ‘grounding’ a room. If you have a dining room with a large table and a large white wall, don’t put a small painting on the wall. It will look like it is floating away. Go for a larger piece or create a gallery wall of medium pieces to create a large visual impact. Don’t fill a large wall with a zillion small pieces or it will look like a yard sale on your wall. If your gallery collage is on a large wall, keep it fairly consistent. If you have a depth change in a wall on one side of the room you could place a large art piece on the large section and perhaps a very small piece on the connected wall to create impact and take advantage of negative space in a single room.
-Layer the art among other decor
Having tons of large art hanging at perfect face height on every wall can look blah and stale. You could dedicate months to decorating with all this art on your walls only to have your decor lack depth. What ties together a great vignette is layering. Have a tall plant standing partially in front of a large framed print. Place a canvas over a dresser with the corner behind a lamp and a clock. If you are leaning art on a shelf or furniture, place another smaller artwork right in front of the larger work. Layer your displayed art with books, plants, bowls, tapestries, etc to create interest and texture in your room.
-You don’t always need to hang it
Speaking of leaning art on shelves, walls, and furniture, take advantage of the lean.
Shallow wall shelves, AKA picture ledges, are a great way to display art in a variety of orders, layers, and groupings. Plus, if you decide you want to rearrange the art, you can do so without rehanging each piece individually. This is great for the decorator who loves to tinker and rearrange often. I love shopping my house and moving things around for a new look! You can also lean your art pieces on bookshelves, dressers, consoles, and even the floor.
-Tie your room together for consistency, but don’t go crazy
You want some sort of continuity in the room decor. If you have 20 different styles going on in a single room with no unifying theme, it can end up looking like a flea market. Your “theme” can be style, era, a single unifying color, a feeling, anything really. You could decide to go with all light neutral colors in your art, furniture, and accessories, but then add interest with textures. You could decide to tie together a hodge podge of art and items by placing together pieces that happen to have a little bit of the same shade of blue. You could go all white with one big pop of color, or all dark with a big pop of white. You can create a serene room celebrating minimalism and have just one large monochromatic canvas. The point is, don’t do ALL THE THINGS in a single room. It will be overwhelming and provide too much stimulation and your beautiful art collection will be lost in visual clutter. And on the other end of the spectrum, don’t go nuts on the matchy matchy. Have a couple things that are unexpected. I know you love your minimalist landscapes, but toss in a figure painting or a bright abstract every now and then. Or add some items that are not traditional art, like a tapestry or pressed leaves of your favorite tropical plants. Have fun with it.
Now gather up your quirky collection and get started!