Artwork on the Walls

Wall art is something that is subjective and in the eye of the beholder. Tastes vary from one person to another and it can be difficult sometimes to find art that works effortlessly in your home. Finding space on the wall is never a problem for a picture but finding the right place is. Equally important is the style of art for the décor of the room. Usually you would expect traditional classical pieces in traditional classical settings with modern and abstract art gracing the walls of a very contemporary modern room. It is not quite as simple as that because the right piece of modern art can look equally well in a traditional setting as a modern picture can look in a traditional one.

Knowing your taste is a good place to start and visiting art galleries of different kinds and reading art books can help you to develop your taste. You may have strong preferences in which case it is how to match that style in with the décor of the room. Colour is another aspect to take into account. The size and shape of the room will also play a part in your choice of artwork. Small pictures in a huge space will be lost and oversized pieces in a snug sitting room will look wrong. Proportion then is also something to take into account.

Do not be too bound by period décor, by no means is it written in an interior design rulebook that if your home is Victorian then your décor must be Victorian and your artwork Victorian. You will know instinctively when something works and suits the space because when you look at a painting, lithograph, or other kind of artwork it will look right and when it looks right for you, and then it is right.

Some of the best arrangements of artwork are a mismatched selection of different styles in subject matter and frames. This look works well where you have a number of smaller pieces that can be displayed in a random offset fashion to create interest on the wall and draw in people to look at the pictures. This is great for personal framed photographs or you can select one theme like watercolour or mix it up with some small oils, sketches, and prints. Rows of pictures lined up in military fashion can also look effective particularly for a series of sketches in the same theme.

A well-framed oil painting is classic and provided it is well painted; it will look fabulous as a centrepiece over a fireplace. Many oil paintings can be bought very cheaply from auctions and some will be by talented amateurs from a century or more ago and these pictures, which often are quite lovely landscapes or portraits. You may even come across a hidden gem! It is fun buying from auction and often worth buying cheap paintings for the frames, which are often elaborately hand carved. Once you have your collection together, you can create a travellers study with lots of oil paintings, old desk, armchair, and bookshelves for a very affordable price.

Why not try one of our interior design courses where we teach the fundamentals of proportion and getting your eye in. Learning to mix different looks to display your art gives you confidence to try different ideas.

-Thanks to Tresa Edmunds at for the image above – see her original article here

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