Home Decorating

How To Use Original Artwork In Your Home

Your home is an extension of your personality.  And using original artwork is a great way to show that individuality.  With a little effort, you could greatly enhance your home's status by showcasing original art in your living spaces.  In this article are some tips to consider when choosing artwork.

Trust your gut.  Buy what you love.  There's always room on your walls for something you love.  You are the one that will have to look at it every day.  The pieces you choose add life and dimension to your home.  They tell your friends, family, and guests who you are.  The artwork in your home should feel special to you.  If it doesn't, it's better to have an empty void until you find something that makes your heart burst.

What do you love?  Is there someone special in your life?  What do you do in your spare time?  When have you been the happiest?  What location is the most special spot in the world to you?  All things you should consider before making a purchase.   

What about size?  Look at the space you wish to hang a piece of original art.  Is it large or small?  What's around it; lamps, doors, windows, or other pieces on the wall?  Will it be the focus of the room or something to fill a small void?  Will anything obstruct its view?  The scale of pieces is important.  Too big and it can be oppressive in absorbing all the visual space.  Too small and it can get lost among the furniture and other decor.  Generally, most residential spaces can accommodate pieces in a range of 12 inches (30 centimeters) to 4 feet (122 centimeters)

What color piece should I choose?  The answer depends on your space and what you want to accomplish.  Do you want the piece to blend in to the space or do you want it to be the focus and "pop?"  Are the colors in your room bold or light and pastel?  To my patrons, I usually suggest looking at interior design websites, magazines, pinterest, etc. to find places similar to theirs or how they want their spaces to look.  I'll even bring paint swatches from the hardware store to come up with a palette.  And if your house is all beige or gray, something bright and bold maybe what you're looking for.  Or if your walls have a lot of color, a black and white piece may be a stunning addition.

What about my style?  Do you like clean lines and a modern look?  Something messy, abstracted, and bold might add interest into your home.  Are you more traditional and love Victorian design?  Perhaps a gallery wall of paintings with unique frames would look great.  If you choose a bright, bold piece, other items in the space should be minimal.  If your space is already very busy, a simple piece may make the best statement.  And feel free to mix family heirlooms with contemporary pieces.  Maybe put a thrift store painting in a modern frame.  Use depth, texture, trends, traditions, complimentary, and contrasting items to create visual interest.

Where Can I Find Art?  A good place to start is online.  Especially if you're not sure what you're looking for.  Randomly visit pages on  Etsy.com, SaatchiArt.com, Sothebys.com, and even Craigslist.com to see what artists are making.  You may not find what you are looking for, but you may discover the styles and subjects you want.  And that's a great step forward.

Social media can be a wonderful tool for finding and purchasing artwork too.  If you find an artist you like, you should follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or any other places you have in common.  Many artists will share their latest pieces, upcoming shows, or give insights into their work.

While New York City, Paris, and London are famous for their galleries, many towns have galleries of their own with a range of local and international artists.  Art festivals and craft fairs are popular annual events that can sometimes travel around the country.  Many artists have studios that are open to the public.  Shows, events, and studios are great places to visit when you're on vacation too. 

It's also important just to keep your eyes open when going around town.  Does the cafe where you get your coffee in the morning have pieces for sale on the walls?  What are those paintings in the garage sale or thrift store?  Does the pieces in your favorite restaurant have price tags on them?  Interesting artwork can show up in unique places.  And the more unique, the better the story usually is.

What if I don't know anything about art?  I can help you?  An interior design professional can guide you.  And, with the internet, books, and magazines, you can help yourself.  Art is all about training your eye how to see.  Lots of people look at things, but many can't "see" them.  What is the difference in style, texture, colors?  Is this piece original or a reproduction?  Feel free to ask questions if there's something you don't know or understand.  I've had questions about an artist's piece and have been given amazing demonstrations about their technique.

How do I start a collection?  Every collection started with one piece of art that someone loved.  The most important thing about collecting art is that you are having fun.  Some people save their money for one special large piece.  Others have collected countless, affordable small pieces.  And most people are somewhere in between.  Over time, you'll figure out what is best for you and that is what will make your home wonderful.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.  MikeKKraus@gmail.com

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