Art – The Art of Selecting Art

By Stephanie Latham, Allied ASID
Interior Designer for Robert S. Thornton, L.P.

Selecting art for your home can sometimes seem an overwhelming experience. Keeping in mind a few simple guidelines can help you achieve your design goals and have an enjoyable experience.

What is your desired medium and style?
Think about art you have seen in the past. What pieces influenced you the most? Usually, people are drawn to a specific style and medium. Couples often have differing views on art and that is ok. Pieces from different artists and in different mediums will bring depth and interest to your collection. If you are not sure of your style, take the time to visit art galleries to help determine what appeals to you. Living in the Hill Country area provides an excellent opportunity to both view and support our thriving local art scene.

The internet can also be a valuable resource. It provides the ability to view a wide range of art with just a few clicks. Check out online galleries for group shows or visit individual artists’ websites by searching for your favorite style. One advantage of using the internet is that you can search for the specific kind of art you are interested in and bypass all the art you don’t care to see. Plus, once you find an artist or type of art you like, the internet will lead you to many similar links to consider.

Think about your space
Space is an important consideration when selecting your piece. Art that is too large may overwhelm, or a piece that is too small could diminish the effect. Use painters tape to mark out the area that is proportional to your wall in order to find the optimal size. You might consider a grouping of smaller pieces rather than one large piece. Most galleries and artists will allow you to take art home on loan before the purchase. Even if you “love” the piece, it must live in your home and trying it out is a great way to ensure it is right for you. Also, if you have an artist in mind you may be able to commission a custom piece that will be both a perfect match for your space and color scheme.

Putting it all together
Framing: Art that requires framing presents a new challenge. Framing decisions are too often not given the proper consideration. The correct frame will enhance your piece and give it the finished look you desire.

Hanging: A common mistake is to hang wall pieces too high. The center or focal point of the piece should be at eye level.

Lighting: Lighting your art is also essential to ensuring your new piece is highlighted. If you are building a new home make sure to incorporate art lighting into your design. In an existing home you may consider lighting attached directly to the piece, or making the investment to add additional lighting to your home.

Venture out and allow this to be a fun learning experience! Talk to gallery owners, artists, and your interior designer. Find what speaks to you and the pieces you select will be a source of enjoyment for many years to come.

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