by Heather Zises
Looking for wall décor ideas to refresh your home in the New Year and to incorporate art into your space? No matter your style, we’ve got tips and tricks for your home in order to bring out your personality and taste. Whether you’re an avid collector, design enthusiast, or book lover, your walls can be customized so that you are surrounded by items you love.
To begin, conduct a brief inventory to see what pairs well together. Then you can start to curate a collection that will create a character in your home. Next up is placement and spacing, and determining what goes where, and with what. Lastly, once you’ve sorted through these concerns, you will need to figure out how to hang and install all of your artwork. Below, discover five ways that walk you through the process from idea to execution.
1. How to Choose the Right Artwork
When designing or redesigning a room, a frequently asked question is “How do I choose the right artwork?” Artwork is often what defines the personality of the space, as well as the homeowner. Depending on the room, different pieces will have different feelings, which is why we suggest starting with a piece you love and decorating around it. By making one piece of art your statement piece, it will help dictate the tone of the room. One approach is to let the colors in the piece determine the color scheme of the room.
Creating clever thematic groupings is another strategy, such as hanging a group of all black and white artworks or pieces that share the same subject like hands or botanica. Another angle is to select the art based upon the type of room; what may look fabulous in the kitchen might not resonate the same way in the living room. For example, knowing that the bedroom is a place for relaxation, the artwork should reflect that sensibility with soothing colors and tones. Abstract pieces, pleasant landscapes, or desaturated photos all are viable candidates depending on your taste. Keeping frames minimal is a good idea too, as the focus should be on the art piece itself and not so much on its framework. For those of you who have a home office or have recently developed one out of necessity due to the pandemic, this is the place to let creativity flow! Transform bookcases into cabinets of curiosity that display small objects, decorative boxes, colorful books, and small sculptures. Why not design the perfect “Zoom” wall too, with a smattering of art, a tall stack of art books, and a skinny end table topped with an indoor plant.
2. Already Have a Decorated Space?
There’s always room for improvement, even in a decorated home. The challenge here is to find the right piece, but don’t be afraid of juxtapositions: mix old with new, maximal and minimal, light and dark, and so forth. For the bold, a daring choice is to layer a painting on patterned wallpaper.
Playing with colors and textures may be just the thing an underutilized room needs to become the new focal point in a home. Another fun approach is to create a monochromatic room. Why not take cues from Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2022 Veri Peri and explore the range of blue, red, and violet undertones in your collection. For almost any room, a mirror is a panacea. It invites light, makes a space feel larger, and creates depth. As mentioned above, utilizing a bookshelf for design purposes is another creative way to level up the décor in your home. Whether the shelves are built-in or portable, filling them with books, objects, vintage glassware, and small sculptures makes a wall-to-wall statement about the personal property you choose to display in your home.
3. Tight Budget?
The best thing about art is that you can spend as little or as much as you like on it. For some, art is an investment that will grow in value over time; for others, it captures a temporary mood that works for the moment, that can be redesigned later. If you are working with a modest budget, start by building a collection around one significant piece you can’t live without, and supplement it with smaller works from thrift stores, emerging artists, and street artists. To visually tie things together, try framing all the works to match the casing of your investment piece.
If you are working with a combination of art and objects, a great way to redecorate a room is to repurpose objects as forms of alternative artwork. Instead of a traditional print or painting, opt for something with dynamic qualities like a vintage surfboard, woven textiles, or a collection of china plates to hang in coveted spaces in your home like above a mantel. A bonus is that these items will not need to be safeguarded for pesky conservation issues such as proper environment, temperature, and lighting. A clever way to keep costs down is to consider an alternative framework for your art. Framing can be very expensive, therefore why not use metal clips on unframed works that can be hung on a wall as is, giving the works an intentional “studio” look that lacks the formality of traditional artwork. Another exciting, low-budget option is to transform a blank wall into an accent wall. Whether using wallpaper or enlisting an artist to paint a colorful mural, it’s a great way to create interest without having to hang anything.
4. The Art of Hanging
If you hang artwork correctly (it just takes a little math!), it makes a huge difference. To determine an appropriate grouping, consider how the works “speak” to each other. We love a thematic hang—such as exhibiting a series—or displaying a selection based upon color, size, or mood. Large scale pieces should be hung at eye level, so they do not overwhelm the room or the viewer upon entering it. If you like the idea of hanging multiple artworks, create a gallery wall that is either hung salon-style (a crowding of artwork) or in perfect alignment. For the latter, be sure to take exact measurements before you install each work to ensure there is equal space between each frame. Whether you opt for a cluster or tidy rows, it is an effective way to utilize empty wall space with curatorial flair. A more minimal approach to a gallery wall is to hang two works side by side or in line with each other to create a diptych. Just like you would with the gallery wall, be sure to take exact measurements and be precise. Another creative way to install art in your home is activating corners. By hanging 2D works on two intersecting walls, the corners seem to fade away, allowing for a seamless, cohesive flow that connects the space. For a contemporary spin, creating a rotating gallery may be just the thing to boost your home office. By installing a long, floating ledge shelf, you can pick out an assortment of artwork that inspires you. A fun variation would be to incorporate different sizes of artwork as well, either in similar frames for a minimalist look or in all different frames for a shabby-chic kind of feel. That said, you don’t always have to hang artwork to make it impactful. Some people like to lean framed artwork against the wall for a more relaxed, boho vibe. This casual approach could also be a convenient alternative for that surfboard we mentioned above if there is not enough wall space in your home, or simply a more functional solution if you are an avid surfer.
5. Work with an Art Consultant
At Agora, we offer free art consultations and often work with individuals or decorators to find the right piece for their space. Established in 1984, we have many years of experience in the New York art market and a brand name you can trust. Please reach out to [email protected] to schedule a complimentary art consultation! Alternatively, we hope you take the time to browse through ARTmine, our extensive online gallery filled with contemporary art by artists from all around the world