How to Pick Art & When You Should
Art is personal. It tells a story, evokes emotions, and sparks memories. You can even look at the same piece on a different day or a different year and perceive a whole new meaning or emotion from it. Art makes your home layered, personal, and beautiful.
From a practical perspective, if it’s on your wall, it should create a view you enjoy, right? And it needs to coordinate with the rest of your interior design. Tall order.
That’s why you won’t want to frantically select last-minute art for your home. Rushed = regret. Today, I’m giving you 3 steps for thoughtfully choosing art, along with some of our go-to sources for finding those special pieces. Come take a look…
Step 1: Know Your Order of Operations
Are you guilty of choosing a piece of art simply because it adds the right color or fills that space on the wall? Understandable. Hunting for that perfect piece can feel like a daunting task. Going down to the nearest shop to buy the first print you see? Easier. But… we don’t suggest this.
The best order of operations is to design your room around the art. Without an initial art selection, it’s a struggle later on to find a piece that can fit into the room AND tickle your senses.
If you don’t have that wow-worthy piece just yet, don’t worry. Making a plan for your future art will give you the time and freedom to find art that inspires all the feels. Which brings us to Step 2.
Step 2: Map Out Where Your (Future) Art Will Go
If you are building a home from scratch and know you want to feature art, you should identify where you want the art to go. Yes, at the very beginning of the design process. You don’t have to find the right piece (that could take years), but you do need to make sure there is a space for it.
Why? If you don’t plan for art in the initial design plan, you may have issues with a wall sconce or other things blocking the best walls. You could also create a solid lighting plan at this step, which could include feature lighting that will highlight your future piece once you (or we) find it.
Once you have the designated art locations mapped out your design, you’ll also be able to judge the general size and shape of the piece you’re looking for. This ensures you don’t fall in love with a piece… and then have to reach for the Ben & Jerry’s when it ends up being too small or too big.
You may also want to plan some general color ideas at this step, too. If you’re working with us, we’ll either create the design around your desired art, OR we’ll help you identify the color palette you’d like for the room so you can browse with a plan. That’s setting you up for success.
Step 3: Find or Commission Pieces You Love
Now that you have a solid plan, you can consider the exact art you want to feature and how it works with the colors and aesthetic of your home… or future colors and aesthetics of your home. Also, just because you live in a modern home doesn’t mean you can’t have traditional art, or vice versa.
It’s all about your taste.
Choosing the right art should be a thoughtful process. Love photography and travel? Hang gorgeous photos from around the world. If Monet makes you happy, then fill your home with impressionist art. Find modern art thought-provoking? Collect pieces that excite and intrigue you. (No, your neighbor doesn’t need to like your choice.)
Where should you look? I have some suggested resources for you below, but a great place to start is by Googling art galleries in your area to find artists whose work matches your personal taste. Once you narrow it down by artist, you’re more likely to find that perfect piece. If you’re working with us, we’ll follow a similar process.
Coddington Tip: Once you find an artist you love, don’t be afraid to ask for a commissioned piece either. This is a great way to get art in the exact size, shape, and color palette you want. Plus, it will feel meaningful to you and start conversations for years to come. Win-win.
Our Favorite Sources For Finding Art
One of our favorite ways to find art is by supporting local artists. If you are in the Bay Area, we recommend Simon Breitbard Gallery. Another place you can find original art is at local art colleges. There are plenty of talented artists who will sell their works at affordable prices. (And who knows what rising stars you might discover!)
For affordable, original pieces, we suggest Tappan, or for reproductions or prints, we like to use Minted. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Get out there and explore, and I guarantee an entire world of art will open up to you.
As always, if you need some help designing your home around a piece, we’d love to hear about your project. Book a chat with us here, and let’s see what we can create for you.