If you were anything like us, your first few years of living solo meant framed posters and cheap art. But as our taste matured, we wanted to have “real” art in our home, and that meant paintings.
Updating your home with a bit of art is a great way to liven up the space but do you know how to do it correctly? It’s not as simple as just hanging up a painting on the wall and putting a light over it. Especially if the painting itself is going to be the centerpiece of the wall or the room, you need to know how to do it justice and get the best effect. Paintings tell a story; sometimes there is a back-story behind the picture, sometimes the painting itself needs to be examined closely to appreciate the fine details, and sometimes the painting is meant to compliment something else in the same space. To get the best results you need to take these factors into consideration.
If you are fortunate enough to have a high-quality painting from a renowned artist, you don’t want it to blend into the environment and be barely noticeable. You want it to have a center stage where all the focus is on the masterpiece. Even better, you can build up the space around the painting so that it complements the art and adds to the visual appeal of the space. At the same time, you don’t want your home to lose that cozy feel. You still want it to look and feel like a home, not an art gallery.
Whether you want to decorate your own bedroom, the main living area, or even the children’s bathroom, there is always some kind of art that can be used for that specific purpose. In fact, a lot of pieces that you already own can be repurposed in other areas of the home. If you want to position a painting in your home in the best possible way, these are some things to keep in mind.
Knowing Where To Buy Art
You know that you want a painting, you might even know the exact kind of painting you want, but procuring it is a challenge. Local sellers will either have a limited variety or the prices will be beyond what you want to pay for one. Instead, consider looking into online options where you have access to a much larger library and the prices are quite competitive. On many platforms, there is a bidding system where the best bidder gets the painting. These types of marketplaces offer even better rates and you can often find very unique and sought-after pieces.
The ways in which you want to spruce up your home will determine the types of paintings you should buy. Don’t settle for something that you feel half-hearted about. Spend a bit more time, and even a bit more money, but get something that really resonates with you and the style of your home’s interior. Good pieces of art are collectible items and they will likely spend many years with you. If nothing else, getting a good painting today can be a good investment for tomorrow.
The dimensions of a painting and the size of the space within which that painting is displayed make a huge impact on the final look. If the size of the space overpowers the painting itself, you undermine the artistic piece. If the painting doesn’t “fit” in the space that you have chosen for it, you choke the painting and it isn’t in its full glory. In some cases, for instance, with a painting of a large open scene like a landscape, it is better to have plenty of room behind the painting just like what is being represented in the painting itself. In other cases, say with a very intricate, medium-sized painting of a face, it is best to place it in a tighter-fitting space so that the viewer has the chance to focus on the details.
To get the best result, don’t be afraid to mix and match and see what works. Getting the right ratio between the painting itself and the size of the display surface is also a subjective matter. See what you like personally and develop the rest of the strategy from there.
When you are looking at a few pieces of art and are trying to select one, it can be a difficult choice. There are certain things that appeal to you in one piece, but there might be elements of another that have you thinking the piece will look better in a certain part of your home, a third option might be a better price than the first two, and this can turn into an endless debate with yourself. The best piece to select is the one that grabs your attention and calls to you. If you aren’t able to make a decision right there and then, sleep on it. If you like a piece but only want to pay a certain amount for it in the bid, then bid what you think is appropriate and be happy with letting it go if someone else sees more value in it. At the end of the day, it is your home and you are the person that will be looking at the art piece the most. So, all in all, select something that you enjoy rather than something that critics and other experts claim is a better painting.
Small changes often have the biggest impact. There isn’t much you can do to the painting itself to improve or change it but you can always customize the frame to give it a new look. Many artists create paintings on a raw canvas and that is what they display it on. The frame is added on later by the seller or the auction house, and you have all the right to change that to your liking later on. Rather than sticking to the classic wooden frame, try something new like an aluminum or steel frame painted in a color of your choice. The frame is your chance to personalize the painting and make it better suited to your home.
Going Outside The Box
A lot of times when people are looking for art for their home, they try to stick to neutral options such as a painting of a landscape, animals, or something religious. There is no harm in venturing out to something bolder like a painting of a person or a close-up of a face. These pieces have a lot more character and they work particularly well if you want to add emotion to the space.
On the other hand, if you enjoy a certain kind of art, such as abstract or silhouette paintings, then take a look at local artists’ work. You’ll have more styles to choose from since each Australian artist differs from the next; you’ll have a plethora of eclectic options. If you enjoy art from a certain time period or you like a certain theme across the paintings that you own, this in itself can be a great theme to have in your home. You get to have a style that is common across the different paintings while propping up local talent, making it that much more personalized and enjoyable.
If you are having a hard time choosing where to place the art, try to picture the piece in that space. For instance, if you are looking for something for your dining room and you don’t have a wall close to the dining table, then it would be better to go for a larger painting that can be on the wall away from you but still clearly visible. If you want something you can enjoy while you lay in bed then select something smaller that you can place on your side table or have on the wall at eye level. Larger pieces, especially those that have a grand image, do better when they are slightly higher up and have a bit more room around them. Small pieces or those that have intricate details do better at eye level, and in a spot where it is easy to see the details.
The things that surround a painting, and the general environment around the painting, will impact how it looks when it is placed there. Ideally, you want to have a balance between the story the painting tells and what you have around the painting. Simple things like choosing the right background color can make the piece stand out. If the painting is representing a certain time frame and has significant elements in it, then surrounding it with decorations that resonate with the elements will give the piece that much more life. However, at the same time, you don’t want to overdo it to the extent that you are overpowering the picture. Sometimes having too much empty space can also work against you; the silence around the painting can isolate the art. Experiment with different options and see what you enjoy the most and build from there.
Think outside the box to add another layer of art to the painting. You could use a hat, a pair of sunglasses, some real flowers, dried flowers, or maybe even a pile of sand. Any kind of decoration that gives the painting and space a bit more character, making it more fun and vibrant. Also, what you do today doesn’t have to be the final choice. You can always change things and build on what you have later on. Be open to experimenting and welcome change.
Generally, larger paintings tend to be more expensive. Some people like small paintings, others like paintings that can cover an entire wall. The size of the painting you choose plays a big role in how it makes your home look. You might like a small painting at the auction house but you have to think in terms of how it will look in your home. If you need something to decorate the space near your coffee table, then something small at eye level will be great, something too big can be overwhelming and there won’t be enough distance for you to see the entire frame. If you are considering a smaller painting, don’t be afraid to group different pieces together. With the right strategy, whether that is based on color, themes or anything else, you can put together various styles and coordinate them. Buying smaller paintings is more affordable and you can fill up a large space with a thoughtful collage.
Coffee Table Books
If you enjoy reading with your morning cup of coffee then coffee table books are a great choice. These books are filled with colorful pictures of classical artwork and even the covers can be quite attractive. If you have a little bookshelf near the table, this is a great way to add more color to the space and have something to read while you are there. Books that have particularly colorful covers can be displayed on the table itself and will liven up that part of your home. Add in a low-hanging fluorescent lamp and you have the perfect spot for a wintery evening with a warm beverage.
Tech And Art
NFTs and other forms of digital art are also becoming very popular. In fact, you can get digital copies of some of the most popular paintings in history that you can display around your home. Rather than just using them as a desktop theme or a wallpaper on your phone, get a high-resolution screen and use that as a moving portrait that showcases some of your favorite pieces. You could also get a tablet and use that as a place to display paintings. You can install free apps that allow you to revolve a certain album of paintings, so you can enjoy a digital display showcasing the artwork. The great thing is that you can add music and make it an immersive experience rather than just having visuals.