I wrote a while ago about a friend of mine and how her home decor changed over time. She put together some information for us on how you can create your own home art. Thanks, Sarah!
Many of us don’t really know how to approach the concept of artwork in our homes. Most of us can’t afford to cover our walls in original works of art from internationally acclaimed fine artists, but we can still have an element of gallery elegance if we make the right choices.
For example, when my kids were 2-5 years old, I’d give them a canvas and some paint, and…voila! Instant abstract, modern art with a personal touch. Just paint the edges black and you don’t even need a frame. (Pro-tip: use fast-drying, water-based paint, one color at a time. Let it dry between colors so it’s not a grey-brown muddy mess.)
For those of you without small children, I highly recommend trying your hand at the acrylic pour. No artistic skill required, and you will have a beautiful, colorful abstract piece of artwork in a jiff. You can even choose the colors to match your couch. Plus it’s a lot of fun. (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwbgfEitYztRWdayz2ZQksQ or https://acrylicpouring.com/beginners-acrylic-pouring-tips/)
If you aren’t into DIY, I suggest finding a local co-op of artists. Typically their prices are lower than other galleries because the commission structure is different, and you can score some gorgeous original artwork for less. Most of the time they’ve already chosen gallery-worthy framing, but if you buy an unframed piece, get a black or gold frame with a simple white matte for the gallery look in your own home.
Framing is key to the way you display any artwork in your home. However, many paintings on canvas don’t require frames, especially the “gallery-wrapped” ones, which have a deeper edge. Typically the image wraps around the sides in those cases, or, as mentioned above, will be painted black. Prints and photographs should be matted and framed behind glass. Even a greeting card with nice framing becomes fine art on your wall.
The way your art and other décor elements work with your home should be a reflection of your own personal style. Similarly, I’ve found that interior design rules often reflect the rules of fashion. Fans of the show “What Not to Wear” have heard Stacy and Clinton’s elements of an outfit: color, pattern, texture, and shine (not unlike the artistic principles of design: line, shape, color, value, form, texture, and space). While this subject alone could comprise a novel, it’s something to keep in mind while you decorate. Looking around my living room as though it were an outfit on WNTW, I see that the ornate brass mirror provides “shine”, the striped rug is “pattern”, the velvety couch gives “texture”, and our old red duck supplies “color”. Of course, there are many other things in the room that could stand in for these design elements, but the point is to have things of varied interest that work together as a whole, whether your style is eclectic (like mine) or more minimalist. Try selecting things that complement each other but still represent your family’s style and personality.
Hang your children’s paintings or your own acrylic pour art in a group like a gallery; frame your snapshots and arrange them like an art wall. Have some fine art next to them, and then a funky mirror, and then a large empty wall. Don’t feel too restricted by color scheme or subject matter. Western art in brown next to a vibrant abstract? Do it. Your home, your art gallery. Have fun with it!