Last week we received a treasured gift – an original painting by a dear new friend. Just a few days earlier I mentioned that I was planning on adding more unique art to our home to honour my value of self-expression and creativity and just like that, the same week we receive this special gift. Now I would be lying if I said that I didn’t already have my eye on a piece by this talented artist, but receiving one now was a wonderful surprise. It still needs to be framed, but for now I’m enjoying looking at it just like it is. It reminds me of the good times we had showing our friend around Vancouver a few months ago.
Adding original art to your home will definitely make it unique, but how do you do it so it will be the focal point of the room? Sometimes you might not have the budget for a large painting, are looking for new ideas for how to hang the art you already own, or simply need inspiration for how to deal with an unusual space.
Here are four ways you can make a statement with art in your home.
One. Make it personal
One way to have impact with art is by adding pieces that are personal to you. The most obvious way to do that is with family photos. However, consider doing something more unique than just a few frames hung traditional gallery style. For example, fill the entire wall from floor to ceiling with frames to make the collection into a statement piece in the room.
Or, choose just a few of your favourite images and feature them prominently in large frames for a contemporary look. You can even select a brightly coloured frame to draw further attention to it.
Tip: Planning and hanging a gallery wall can quickly become overwhelming. Buy and hang the frames first, then decide which photos go where to make the whole project more manageable. You can even take a photo of the wall with the frames up and try a few different mock-ups on the computer by trying out photos in different frames to decide on placement.
Two. Go big
Instead of adding multiple frames, go big with a mural. Filling the entire wall with an image will have a huge impact on the space and transform how you experience the room. You can buy a ready-to-hang mural online, have your own photo printed into a wallpaper, or use a work of art you admire.
For example, Victoria from @triospetitefilles loves adding statement art to her home. She recently had The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer printed on canvas and hung it in her bedroom. The effect is stunning. Imagine waking up every day to see this beautiful painting.
The print fills the wall from floor to ceiling behind the bed, but a cleverly placed mirror offers a reflection visible while one lies in bed. Photo by @troispetitefilles
Tip: If you would like to print a specific painting or photograph that you didn’t create, check with the artist to see if they will give you permission. If it’s a historical piece you may be able to download a high resolution file for free. You can check by looking it up online to review the copyright. Wikipedia will often include the information if you click on the image show on the right side of the Wikipedia page.
If you’re not ready to commit to a specific photo or painting, you can always add colour and set the mood with a pattern or bold graphic. Both of the examples above make a striking statement in the room, yet each has such a different feel to it. Take a photo of your space and experiment using a program like Photoshop to try out different ideas.
Three. Transition with art
Add art or photos to transitional spaces or hang them in an unexpected way to draw the eye. Filling up a hallway wall with frames, or even wrapping the frames around a corner will make them stand out. If you have a collection of smaller pieces, such as postcards you collected while travelling, this is a good way to make them into a featured piece. The smaller scale of the art will also give you flexibility to work around obstacles such as unsightly switches and plugs, or otherwise fill an area where a traditional piece might look lost.
Tip: You can even use this technique to cleverly transition colour between rooms. For example, you could hang up a collection of frames and fill them with colour swatches that transition from the palette used in one space to the colour palette of the other. Cut out blocks of colour from old magazines, or collect paint swatches from the hardware store, then play around with your arrangement on the floor first so you can customize placement.
Four. Make it bold
If you are a fan of mostly neutral decor, adding a large pop of colour will inevitably make a big statement. A large scale photograph, print, or even fabric stretched on a frame will create a focal point for the room.
You can also use the colour of the art to make a few new additions to your decor using fabric and accessories. If you’re not into the bright version of the colour, add more muted or toned down pieces with the same undertone. For example, if blue is the dominant colour in your art, select blue-based greys, pale blue, or navy for throws, pillows, vases, and other accessories.
Tip: Original artwork in large sizes can be very expensive. If you don’t have the budget for an investment piece just yet, consider buying a large print of a painting or photograph instead. Sites like Minted sell prints up to 44″ x 60″ and also offer framing for a fairly reasonable price. Plus you get to see exactly what the framed piece will look like before you make the purchase. If you are feeling creative, you could also buy a blank canvas and try your hand at painting a custom abstract art piece of your own.
Think about the blank walls in your home – is there a spot that could really benefit from some new inspiration and art?