How to Choose Wall Art for Your Home

Two years after moving into our new house, I looked around and realized the state of our walls lay somewhere between completely bare to semi-adorned with mismatched pieces that came with us – an embarrassing “collection” of stuff acquired over the years meant for different spaces. It was well past time to do something about it.

Success hinged upon having a plan. I can wing it when cooking, but for me, decorating takes foresight. Luckily, I’ve got a number of friends who are experts in interior design, and whom I’ve tapped for tips and tricks along the way. Here’s how to create spaces we long for, in each room of the home. 

Living Room

For interest, think about combining different sized pieces with varying textures. You don’t want the art to be matchy-matchy, but it should be apparent there was thought in selection. Begin by choosing a color palette, which helps keep complimentary colors aligned. Consider a larger statement piece for over the mantel or above the sofa, with medium and smaller framed art for adjacent walls. 

Dining Room

This is the room, my expert design friends tell me, where you can really make a statement. Our dining room was, in fact, one of the only rooms in our house that we decorated from the git-go. Behind our dining table we have a large wall flanked by two floor-to-ceiling windows. It screamed for an oversized, bold work of art. We landed on an abstract diptych, full of differing textures, colors and shapes that feels so lively and energetic. Have fun with your dining room space.

Bedrooms

If you already have your bedding in place, keep in mind that you’ll want to choose wall art that compliments the existing color scheme. For most people, there is a desire to have the bedroom be a sanctuary, a calming and relaxing space. Opt for cooler colors instead of energetic reds, oranges or yellows, to keep a serene vibe. As far as subject matter, this is your space and should be reflective of who you are (same holds true for a kids’ room, the decor should reflect their spirit). Since the bedroom is a private space, go with something that is meaningful to you and evokes the feeling you want every time you walk in.

Kitchen

Food themes make sense here, of course, but don’t feel confined to that subject matter. The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home – it’s where people gather morning, noon and night. Choose a theme and style of art that make you happy. Since the kitchen is already a busy room, steer clear of anything that is overwhelming or fussy, and opt for colors that compliment your cabinets and countertop. Matte finishes blend in better, as glossy or glass-covered art will compete with other shiny surfaces in the room. Canvas prints do a great job of softening up hard elements inherent in kitchen spaces.

Bathrooms

Don’t let your bathroom be an afterthought; I was guilty of this when we moved in. It became a holding place for knickknacks and hanging things that didn’t fit elsewhere. And then it had to all be undone. Bathrooms can be fun, quirky, elegant or soothing… your goals may depend on where it is in your home, but keep these guidelines in mind: 

Your guest bathroom should speak to the other public spaces in your home. Try to match the vibe, but set it apart with different colors or textures.

For your master bath, compliment the decor in your bedroom, which likely means using cool colors to create a relaxing atmosphere. 

Kids bathrooms are a great place to be playful and whimsical… pastel themes and colorful art pieces make bathtime fun for the littles.

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