3 Steps to Choosing Amazing Art

Are you one of those people who immediately fall in love with an art piece, only to find when you get it home, it doesn’t suit anywhere?

You are not alone!

Follow these 3 steps you will help take the guess work, and disappointment from bad choices out of your next investment in heirloom artwork that will bring joy for generations to come.

There’s no doubt beautiful artwork can give your room that special addition, but not all art suits all homes.

Avoid costly mistakes with these 3 steps to choosing amazing art, that will give your rooms that ‘Wow” factor.

Hi my name is Kathy, I’m an artist and want to be interior designer, these are the 3 steps I go through when choosing original art to bring my home and rooms to life.

I’m currently in the process of preparing to move into our new home which has been under construction for the past year. There has been lots of time to consider!

These are the steps I follow when choosing original art to give our new home that special touch, bringing the decor to a completed look.

Note*

  • While there are many inexpensive reproductions of varying quality available. There is nothing like the special touch original art brings to your home. Plus, artist put their heart and soul into each piece and that feeling carries through the work.

Step 1: Style.

The first step is to decide on the decorating style of your home.
A quick summery of the three most popular styles in Australia currently might help you work out which is your home:


Scandi style – minimalist, clean lines, almost all white with light to medium rich wood accents.

Classical Formal – antique furniture, formal layouts, dark wood, ornate pattern and accenting the features of the building,

And my choice,

Coastal Casual – warm textures of rattan and wood, a crisp pallet of whites, greys, soft blues, greens, pinks and a sometimes touch of gold.

Choosing your style of art becomes a little easier if you have the style of your home clear.  Some styles of art can detract from your space, and the space can detract from what is very good art.

For example, placing a large red and black abstract in a coastal casual home would be scary. But if you have an industrial, rough brick walled style then a street art style of art could make your space exciting. What you are looking for is art that will complement and enhance your room.

Is your room light and airy or deep and moody? Scandi and Coastal tend to be light and airy, featuring white and light to medium wood tones. Classical formal often has features deeper pallets with darker woods.

Which brings us to colour, mood and subject.

image: Commission by Kathy Edwards.

Step 2: Colour, Mood and Subject

Each painting has a primary and complementary colors the primary color will help you choose the right artwork for your space. Once you know the color scheme of your room you can choose art to compliment that scheme, though I would warn against this being the only consideration when selecting your artworks.

Choosing art with a strong bias toward the colour scheme and accents of your room will help bring the room into a harmonious and comforting space. Consider the room your new artwork will be displayed in. You may not want a nude in the dining room, but it could work really nicely over the bedhead in the master bedroom. The main rooms to consider might be your living room, dining room, bedrooms and halls.

What subjects do you enjoy, do you want to instill a sense of peace, create curiosity, stir emotions, or create conflict? Your art choice can be a part of the story you are creating within your home. Your home will reflection of your inner ‘story’.

We have a long hall in guest area of our home, this will feature original portraits of our grandchildren. Especially lovely when they come to visit, and highlighting our strong family connection.

There is a large wall directly opposite the entry to the dining room. This space may well feature flowers in a peaceful coastal pallet or a coastal themed painting. I will create an original art piece for this space, and perhaps the most challenging of all spaces. This art feature will have a big impact on everyone entering the home and set the mood of the space.

Which brings us to the size of your artwork.

image credit: loving local

Step 3: Does Size Really Matter?

It can be very tempting to simply choose one large statement piece, but is that always the best choice?

Each room needs one focal point, that could be a sensational dining table, an amazing pendant light fitting, or one large statement piece of art. If you have a focal point like a special furniture piece then perhaps a competing large art might not be the best choice? This is one for you to decide what your focal point will be.

Look into your room, what is your eye first drawn too? That is your focal point.

Do you like it?

Or is it something uninteresting or ugly like an old wall vent?

You now have the opportunity to change the focal point with some beautiful art.

A featured collection of curated art can be just a beautiful, add more interesting than one large piece.. A curated collection could be 3, 5 or more somewhat related artworks. They are best if the framing is the same, and the theme similar but the actual subject may be very  different. For example, if your style is coastal casual your collection may feature your them colour, with differing subjects, like shells, seascape, seaweed, or seagulls.

Always choose one ‘hero’ (larger) piece and group other smaller pieces around your hero piece.

When looking at the space consider the furniture in the room. Use these ‘rules’ to guide your choice on size;

  • Art should span almost the entire width of your bed’s headboard, this could be one, two or three artworks.
  • It should also run almost the full width of your sideboard or dining table
  • If it’s above an entry table, same rules: span almost the full length, but never over
  • If it’s in an area with no furniture below it, it should take up a large amount of that wall

Bonus tip: When placing art on two opposite walls, vary the size so they do not look like mirror images and ‘confuse’ the brain. Eg: one large piece and opposite 2 or more smaller artworks that equal overall size of the big one.  

I hope this helps, it’s now time to fill your walls with interesting and beautiful original artworks that create a statement, bring harmony and joy for years to come

Of course choosing art from an artist you admire, and an artwork you love is essential in this process, which sort of goes without saying.

Image: Trend Gallery

About The Author

Kathy Edwards

Kathy Edwards is a creative wellbeing coach, artist, and naturopath based in Australia. She helps her high-performing clients simplify holistic wellness so they can increase energy, prevent burnout, and power their creative passion and profit.

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