How to choose art for your home

Cassie Pryce

The best way to complete your interior is with personal touches in the form of paintings, prints and photographs

Be inspired

Choosing artwork can feel like a daunting task if you don’t know where to start and you can end up staring at a blank wall waiting for that eureka moment. From traditional landscapes and abstract designs, to family photos and typographic prints, the options are endless when it comes to dressing your home. 

Look for inspiration in interiors magazines, as well as online, and visit independent retailers to broaden your scope and figure out what styles you are most drawn to. There are no set rules when it comes to artwork preferences—trust your instincts and if something makes you stop, smile or think, then make space for it on your walls.

 

Hit the shops

Depending on your budget, there are different places you can begin your search for artwork. Art fairs are a great place to start, even if just for some inspiration, as they will allow you to view multiple styles all in one place. The Affordable Art Fair, for example, features work by a wide range of artists, with pieces that won’t cost the earth. 

Abstract 406 wall art print, from £8.95, Abstract House

If you prefer prints (which are often more affordable in comparison), take a look at high street retailers such as John Lewis and Habitat, or head online to shops like Desenio, Juniqe or King & McGaw. Alternatively, many online retailers are now offering printable designs that you download and print yourself at home, either for free or for a small fee.

 

Style savvy

The type of artwork you choose can set the tone of a room and greatly impact the mood. Whimsical, typographic prints, for example, will inject the space with a sense of fun and a cool, contemporary feel. Black and white photography, on the other hand, can evoke a more subdued atmosphere.

 The colours used in the piece will also be something to consider—greens and blues have soothing properties so are perfect for a bedroom scheme, as are muted shades, whereas bolder and brighter tones, like red and yellow, are better suited to livelier areas within the house.

Oak storage console table, £600; abstract framed print in mustard and blue, £75 each, all Cox & Cox

 

Mix and match

Don’t be afraid of mixing together different styles of artwork if you can’t decide on just one—introduce an assortment of designs to make your collection truly unique and part of your home. 

A good way to blend and unify different styles is to choose coordinating frames, particularly if the pieces are being displayed in close proximity to one another.

Mosslanda picture ledge, from £5, IKEA

 

Size matters

As well as the style of your chosen artwork, the size and proportions of the piece need to be taken into account, too. Depending on the size of the room and the wall area available, don’t choose a piece that will look oversized and cramped in the space and, equally, avoid anything that will look tiny and lost. 

Set of three vintage Dutch fine art floral canvas prints, £38.95, Melody Maison

A good way to experiment with scale is to stick different sized sheets of paper to the wall to help visualise the end result before making your artwork purchase.

 

On display

Once you’ve chosen your artwork, it’s time to think about how best to showcase it around your home. Plan ahead before hanging prints or paintings on the wall to make sure they sit comfortably in-situ with your furniture and décor. 

Ferm Living plant box, £179, Nest.co.uk

Gallery walls are a popular way to display multiple pieces of artwork if you want to create a focal point—just be sure to decide on the layout and composition before fixing to the wall, as it can take time to configure the best arrangement. 

Picture ledges are another way to display artwork and these small shelves are ideal for anyone who likes to change up their look on a regular basis. They also accommodate small accessories, like vases, potted plants and ornaments, if you want to add another dimension to your styling.