Adding framed artwork to your living space is a wonderful way to decorate a room, as well as inject some personality into the space. The selection of artwork is a very personal decision and something you will be looking at for a very long time. Since it is based on individual taste levels and one’s own eye-appeal, no one else can choose for you. Therefore, do not let anyone talk you into purchasing a piece that you do not love. With the abundance of mediums, styles, sizes and frame options on the market these days, selecting the right framed artwork for your walls can be very confusing and overwhelming. However, there are some things to keep in mind to help you pick that perfect picture.
Before purchasing anything, do some research. Visit stores, galleries and look online to see what catches your eye. Pretty soon, you will start to see a pattern emerge and get a sense of what you are drawn to, whether it is a bright color palette or landscape prints. This will help narrow things down. Try to determine which medium or category you like such as acrylic, oil, pencil, photography or a mixed medium, as well as the genre which may be contemporary, abstract or pop art.
Now that you have a sense of what you are intrinsically drawn to, you can concentrate on the general topic and color scheme. Topics include images like landscapes, architecture, florals, botanicals, animals, wildlife, figures or coastal art. The intended room will also influence the choice. For instance, one person may be searching for vintage sports reproductions for the game room, while someone else wants coastal art for the living room. Be sure that the frame is cohesive with the piece of artwork. Whether it is a period, traditional, transitional or modern frame, it should complement and enhance the artwork.
When you know which room the artwork will go in, you can decide if you would like it to blend with existing wall colors and decor, or if you prefer it to stand out. Some people are looking for a piece that will provide a pop of color in a neutral room, while others want subdued or monochromatic shades that will match and blend with the walls and furnishings. Basically, the tone of the artwork needs to be in tune with the rest of the space.
Because framed artwork comes in many different sizes, the scale of the selected piece needs to match the intended location, as well as the scale of the other pieces in the room. One tiny little botanical print hung above a large buffet in the dining room will look lost and out of place. Therefore, select a large piece that is roughly the same width as the buffet to provide balance. Another option is to group several small pieces together to create the effect of one large piece. This results in a pleasing visual effect of balance and proportion. Framed artwork also can be grouped in a wide, horizontal pattern, by hanging three pieces side-by-side. For a narrow space, hang one tall, slender piece or several smaller pieces in a vertical pattern.
When researching framed artwork, it is just as important to know what you do not like, so pieces can be immediately eliminated. Some artwork is lighthearted and fun, while other artwork is somber and serious. As you do more research, you will become more confident in your preferences. The way your have decorated your house can also provide valuable clues. For example, anyone with a very sleek, contemporary home or apartment would probably opt for an abstract painting with bold colors, instead of a dark oil painting with a heavy gold engraved frame. While there are some general guidelines, it all boils down to personal preference. When you truly love a framed piece of artwork, it will always end up looking great.