4 tips for displaying paintings and artwork in your home

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One of the most popular ways to personalize a space and make it feel like home is to add art to it. But often it can be difficult to find the “right” art that fits, the best place to hang it, and even where exactly on the wall it should be hung.

“I believe that while every space is unique, there are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to exhibiting art and curating a space,” says Kerry-Anne Blanket , art expert and founder of KAB Gallery on NSW’s Central. Coast. Ahead, Blanket shares four such tips.

Consider the size of the room

When it comes to original paintings, according to Blanket, size matters. “You want the artwork to bring the space together. Too small, and the room may look incomplete; too big and the room can feel crowded,” she says.

When thinking about the size of your art, think about the space of your room and the size of the furniture in it, adds Blanket.

“If you’re hanging artwork above a large piece of furniture like a couch or bed, a good rule of thumb is that the artwork should be about two-thirds the width of the piece of furniture. If your artwork doesn’t fit this scale, you can cheat by having it framed with a more generously sized frame to increase the overall size of the artwork and give it more presence on the wall.

art at home
Image: Getty Images

If budget prevents you from purchasing a larger piece for your largest space, Blanket suggests opting for a selection of smaller pieces placed next to each other or in an eclectic way like an offbeat gallery. In this way, several smaller and less expensive works can be admired from near and far, while having a collective impact in the larger room.

On the other hand, Blanket cautions against buying large pieces of art for small spaces. “A painting needs a bit of a break so you can really appreciate it from every angle,” she says. “As a rule of thumb, a painting should take up 60-75% of the available wall space, which is not covered by furniture or moldings.

Don’t be too matchy-matchy

“Gone are the days of having to adhere to a particular genre, subject or artistic medium,” says Blanket. “Too much of one style, even when scattered throughout a home, can be overwhelming or even boring. Instead, look for pieces that blend in with your color palette and go from there.

“Change it and avoid the ‘gallery effect’ cliché where you limit curation to the same type of art in every room of the house. Instead, switch between canvases and framed works, explore the richness of tapestries, or showcase a bold sculpture on a pedestal in a space instead of the more predictable framed painting. Using various mediums and styles of art in your space is a fun way to showcase the dimensions of your personality.

And while you don’t necessarily need to stick to artwork with the same colors as your decor, Blanket suggests instead being careful about how you position contrasting colors.

“The art you buy should reflect your tastes, so be creative in how you position different contrasting styles for a polished result,” she says.

Think about how you frame art

“Believe it or not, framing your artwork can make or break the artwork once it’s hung,” says Blanket. “If you’re considering investing in original artwork, it’s important to also budget for professional framing.”

When it comes to choosing a frame, avoid making the mistake of being too decorative or too boring. “The framing options are vast and can really impact the finish of a room. While simple box frames have been in vogue for some time, a decorative frame can really enhance the character of the artwork. if chosen wisely.

Image: Getty Images

Blanket also suggests considering ways other than framed and hung to display artwork throughout your home, from leaning paintings on furniture to even using bookshelves or bookcases to showcase a collection. “There are so many interesting ways to get creative when it comes to displaying artwork,” she says.

Invest in original art

“Many people believe that original art is so expensive that it’s only for the rich and famous, but that’s simply not true,” says Blanket. “Original art is available in a wide range of prices starting at a few hundred dollars.”

“Opting for the original art over the printed pieces not only gives you ownership of a completely original piece that no one else will have, but if you’re in the know, it could be a nice bonus that’s also beautiful to admire,” she said.

“If you’re not sure where to start, work with an expert gallery owner to select that special piece for your home. It will also help you invest well in work that can appreciate over time.

According to Blanket, while prints have their place, quality original artwork tells an inspiring and unique story. It adds a feeling of luxury and depth to a space that other furniture cannot. “Original art can start from very little, so buy what you can afford and let art enrich your life,” she says.

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