If you’re looking to add finishing touches to your home decor, wall art is a great place to start. You can use it to complement a room’s style and colour scheme, make a statement, create a more welcoming atmosphere, and stamp your personality on your interior space. Wall art is also easy and quick to install or change, so it’s perfect for making a big difference without blowing the budget or embarking on a major project.
How to choose the perfect wall art for your home
When it comes to choosing the perfect wall art for your home, there are a few simple tips that will help you get it right first time. Spend some time considering the following areas, and you won’t go far wrong.
Go for wall art that you like
This sounds really obvious, but I still think it’s worth saying! You’re going to be living with this wall art every day, so make sure you choose something that you genuinely enjoy looking at. Try not to be swayed by trends, or what other people might think. Instead go for wall art that gives you a positive feeling, whether that’s a sense of calm, joy or stimulation.
If there are other family members involved in making the decision, you may need to compromise, but you should still try to avoid going along with an option that you’re not keen on. It will bug you forever!
Think about format
We tend to think of wall art as mainly framed prints, but there are other formats to consider that could be better suited to your room. Posters can be a low cost way to get a large piece of artwork, and they’re easy to frame yourself too. Tapestries are another informal option which work particularly well in teenage bedrooms. And don’t forget canvas prints; as well as being available in off-the-shelf designs, these are a great way to make a statement with your own family pictures.
Focus on a particular style
This is probably the most popular way to choose wall art. Selecting pieces that complement your room style will make the whole space feel more coherent, and enhance the room rather than clashing with it. This approach also helps you narrow down your options easily, so it’s good if you tend to get a bit overwhelmed!
Here’s a quick guide to popular styles of wall art.
Classic, traditional rooms are perfectly suited to classic, traditional artwork. Botanical prints work really well, as does photography.
Modern, contemporary rooms are a good canvas for bold, geometric prints and patterns. Monochrome is another good option here, especially if you’re going for the minimalist look.
Retro interiors are great for a more vintage style of artwork. Obviously, you should aim to match the era of the artwork with the era of the room.
Bohemian style rooms can handle the most colours and patterns, and wall art can be layered up to reflect a variety of styles. This is probably the trickiest look to get right, so it’s worth getting inspiration before you start; interiors magazines and Pinterest are both good options.
Consider sizes carefully
The size of your wall art will be very much dictated by the size of your wall and your room. It can be tempting to try and make something work because you love the print, but if it’s the wrong proportions, it won’t look great.
Measure your walls and the height of any furniture that is against them, so you know exactly what size space you’re working with. You might find it helpful to draw a to-scale sketch of the wall, you can then play around with sizes and layout to get a good visual of what’s going to work.
A quick guide to wall art sizes
Oversized wall art is generally considered to be over 100cm long. It’s great for creating a focal point and making a statement in a room, and works best in large spaces.
Large wall art is 80-100cm long and can also be used as a statement piece. Large frames also look fab combined with smaller pieces, or hung as a set of two or three identical frames.
Medium wall art is 60-70cm long and works best when hung as part of a group. It’s a good size to incorporate into a gallery wall, and it’s well-suited to smaller rooms.
Small wall art is up to 60cm long and is ideal for hanging in groups, pairs and threes. Again, this is a good size for inclusion in a gallery wall, and ideal for small spaces.
Aim to leave a minimum gap of 15cm between the top of any furniture and the bottom of the frame. If you’re hanging art above a sofa, it will look best if it’s about two thirds as wide as the sofa itself. Bear in mind also that wall art looks great when you don’t fill every inch of space – this is particularly relevant in small rooms. If you’re designing a gallery wall, remember to allow for room around each frame when working out your sizes.
The role of colour
When it comes to the colour of your wall art, there are two approaches you can take.
The first is to choose your art in a colour palette that complements the colours in your room. This is a great way to get a coherent, calming look. You can use a colour wheel to work out complementary colours, or use the same colour in a variety of shades. Try also to keep the proportions of colour in your wall art similar to the proportions of colour in the room.
The other approach is altogether more bold. Wall art allows you to play around with colour in a way that you wouldn’t get away with on the walls themselves. Use it to introduce bolder shades of the room’s colours, or to really make a statement with a different colour altogether. Again, use the colour wheel to help you get it right.
Work with a theme
If your home has evolved in line with a particular theme, you can reflect this in the wall art. Coastal, country cottage, urban jungle, rustic, minimalist loft and victorian townhouse are all examples of popular themes. Having a theme makes it much easier to narrow down your choice of art, but be careful not to overdo it, and include some pieces that aren’t themed to create balance.
I hope these tips have made choosing wall art for your home simpler and more successful. Now all you need to do is get busy with the hammer and nails!
What’s your top tip for choosing the perfect wall art for your home?