How to Choose the Perfect Wall Art for Your Space
Wall hangings, art and photos serve as the stylistic icing on the cake that is your home. Wall art draws the eye, pulls together your space, and makes your home more inviting.
Although it might seem like a tough task, sourcing, purchasing and installing art pieces you love is entirely worth it. Not only does wall art add personality to your space, but it gives any room an instant upgrade and ties everything together.
While there are no set rules for adorning a home, following these basic instructions will help you select the perfect wall art pieces for your home, in all of its uniqueness. Go by size, style, colour, theme, inspiration, or floor plan – the options are limitless.
The #1 tip for choosing the perfect wall art
Before we get down to the nitty-gritty, here's one piece of advice that should carry you throughout your search – find something you love. It's that simple! Art should evoke a reaction (hopefully a positive one!) so ensure whatever you choose brings about feelings of happiness, excitement, calm or joy. If it doesn't, don't put it on your wall.
While it's common to compromise when selecting art – perhaps finding the perfect piece has proven difficult, or it's easier just to grab the first painting that reflects the colours of the room in question – you shouldn't have to settle. Think of your walls as an extension of your taste, and treat the selection process the same way you would choosing a sofa, new dining table or bed. Wall art has the power to transform a space, so find the piece that does just that in your home.
Selecting wall art by size
Now for the practical stuff. One thing to really keep in mind when selecting wall art is the size of both the piece itself and the empty wall or space you've got available. It's just waiting for a beautiful photo, print or painting, but not if the sizes are wrong and totally throw off the balance of the room.
Go into your search with a size in mind – this will let you filter through options easily. It’s also important that you consider placement before you buy, as that will have a bearing on the size you’re looking for. Will your piece be hung directly on the wall, or do you envision it resting on top of a surface like a buffet or desk?
If you’re looking to decorate an entire room with multiple pieces of art, size is still a crucial consideration. Start with the larger pieces and work your way down to smaller works, filling any gaps that appear as the room develops. For instance, if you want a large statement artwork above your sofa, start with this first, as it will be the first thing that people see. As you begin pulling together your space, the smaller supporting pieces you select will quickly add up, and soon enough, your home will be decorated with designs you love.
To help you better understand scale, here are a few common artwork sizes to consider:
- Oversized: 1 metre or larger in length, oversized art pieces act as the focal point of a room. They look stunning placed above an equally-as-big piece of furniture, such as a couch, bed or dining table.
- Large: With a frame that’s between 80 and 100 centimetres in length, large wall art pieces make fantastic centrepieces to rest on a surface, or can act as the key piece in a busy gallery wall.
- Medium: Medium-sized wall art is approximately 60 to 80 centimetres in length, and is perhaps the most versatile size. Add two into a gallery wall, or let a singular piece speak for itself as a standalone in an understated room.
- Small: Small frames are typically 45 to 60 centimetres long, and are perfect for grouping together, gallery wall style! Combine two to six small pieces of wall art for a dynamic effect.
- Mini: Finally, the baby of the group – mini frames! Sized between 25 and 45 centimetres in length, mini prints as such look best when grouped together.
Finally, for those shopping by size, we’ll leave you with a few salient pieces of wisdom to remember throughout your search.
- Keep it in proportion – pictures shouldn’t be more than two-thirds longer than your sofa.
- Height matters – keep wall art 15 centimetres, at minimum, above the edge of your furniture. Also consider the height of your ceiling and the proportions of the room when placing your art.
- Make it a team effort – group small pieces of art together rather than trying to fill a big space with a mini print. Works by the same artist or in the same colour scheme will complement each other well.
- When it doubt, buy in threes – triptychs and wall art sets are a thing for a reason, so if you’re feeling the pressure, why not grab multiple pieces at once? These are not only designed for certain placements that will make good use of space, but they look super effective and stylish.
Selecting wall art by style
If size isn’t your thing, what about the main focus behind most interior design decisions – style? Your home likely has an established style and point of view already, so when selecting wall art, you’ll want to weigh this up and determine how your new purchase will fit into your space.
Whether it’s modern, traditional, coastal chic or simplistic Scandi, the wall art you select can cement and refine your home’s style, so choose wisely! From abstract prints to calming nature photography or minimalist, neutral paintings, there’s something for everyone if you know where (and how) to look.
Here are a few of our top tips for matching your style and your wall art choices.
- Consider the feeling your home evokes (or perhaps, the feeling you want it to evoke) and find art that reflects that. Do you want to feel like you’re by the beach when you’re really in the middle of a bustling, stressful city? Chances are your design choices help you feel relaxed, rather than energetic. Reflect this in your art to tie everything together.
- Let style play into the type of art you choose. Modern homes may benefit from black and white photography pieces, whereas a coastal cottage might suit a textured painting in beachy tones more.
- When in doubt, framing is your best friend. If you’ve chosen a piece and it feels slightly off, maybe reframing it could change your perspective. After all, a sleek, silver frame won’t suit a Scandi home – swap it out for a softer, light wood option to create harmony in the space.
- Don’t put size on the back burner. It’s just as important a consideration, so be sure to consider the scale of the piece you’re selecting as well as its overall style.
Selecting wall art by colour
Another commonly-used tactic for selecting wall art is to find pieces that tie in with your home’s existing colour schemes. Although we’re not saying that minimalist, neutral design lovers have to reflect those exact vibes back in each art piece they purchase, it’s a good jumping-off point for finding something you love and that will fit perfectly into a space.
There are two major approaches to selecting wall art by colour, with the first being the use of accent hues. Select a colour or two that are already present in the room and let this guide the art you go with. This creates consistency and, in turn, a cohesive, sophisticated and contemporary result. Play with shades and tones of these colours to add depth without straying too far away from your existing colour palette.
For instance, if your home is mainly neutrals with some darker terracotta colours, hone in on this and play with it in its varying forms – bright, dark, light, and so on. If you’ve already got a statement piece in the room, you might consider bringing this out in your wall art, such as hints of olive green in a painting placed in a living room with an olive green sofa.
The other concept for selecting art by colour is to go bold, but within reason. Select the most present and prominent colour in the room and translate this to your wall art in varying shades and tones, or with similar colours that are complementary on the colour wheel. Wall art is perhaps one of the only places you can truly opt for bold, bright colours, so make the most of it, as long as it all ties back to your current aesthetic. If you keep undertones in mind, it’s difficult to fail here.
Don’t forget to introduce a new colour into the room through multiple items. If you’re excited to add a bold new shade to your room, it’s important that the colour feels ‘grounded’ in the space with an additional two or three items in that hue. Repeating colours creates an impact and a theme that’s impossible to fault.
Selecting wall art by theme
We’ve all heard of interior styles and probably have selected one that best fits our home. But, these also play a role in practically every interior decision you make, including selecting your wall art, as they set a distinct theme. The theme of your home determines which pieces fit and which ones stand out like a sore thumb, so it’s possibly the most important consideration to make when shopping for a new piece.
Source and select your new art pieces based on the theme of your house or room, and you simply cannot fail. Each style has its influences and manifests in different furniture and homewares pieces, so chances are that when you think of your home’s style, you can probably call to mind a few art choices that are indicative of this.
For instance, a coastal, beachy home won’t suit bright, contemporary artwork, but instead, prefers light, neutral or whitewashed elements with touches of cool hues like blue and green. Although you don’t have to go as on the nose as driftwood and photos of seashells, your wall art should reflect the look and feel you’ve established as part of the coastal theme. You might opt for whites, creams and beiges with lots of texture, beachy photography and sanded-back white frames.
On the other hand, none of this would fly in a mid century modern home, would it? With bolder colours, dark wood and distinctive shapes, mid century modern homes evoke a completely different feel, and as a result, need to be treated differently through the artwork selection process. Opt for vintage posters, pops of red, blue and green, and playful geometry to tie the room together in the most apt of ways.
Selecting wall art for an open floor plan
With more and more homeowners purchasing or designing open floor places, picking wall art is tougher than ever. The golden rule for those working with an open floor plan is this: purchase and hang your art with the intention of clearly defining your space. After all, one of the perils of an open floor plan (despite all their open, airy, gorgeous perks!) is that there is very little distinction between rooms, which creates a challenge both functionally and stylistically.
You’ll want to keep your artwork cohesive throughout, so go into the buying process with a theme or colour scheme in mind. Too much differentiation will create a clash from various angles in the home, and won’t do anything to give your home that cohesive, clean look we all crave. Be sure to consider space and use it to your advantage – gallery walls are definitely a great option here, as they concentrate the art in one place without overcrowding precious wall space.
Wall art defines your home
All in all, the right wall art can make such a huge difference to your home. It sets the tone for your space, reinforcing whatever feeling you want to evoke within and communicating your unique style. It also adds definition, dimension and depth to a room, and allows you to play with pops of colour or varying textures.
No matter how you choose to go about the process of finding wall art, it doesn’t have to be a difficult one – and remember, if you don’t love it, it doesn’t deserve that coveted spot in your home. Keep it cohesive, have fun and let your personality shine. If you can’t do it with your art, then when can you?
Brosa offers a wide range of wall art, including standalone pieces and triptychs of varying sizes and styles. Give your home those gorgeous finishing touches today, and purchase your new art pieces with Australia-wide shipping. Not sold on a piece? Use Brosa’s virtual styling services to make sure it fits perfectly in your home before you click ‘add to cart’.