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Incorporating Wall Art Into Your Interior Design 

Published June 9, 2024
Updated: June 9, 2024
Est. Reading: 9 minutes

The bare walls of your home are full of potential for nearly any type of interior design. One of the many ways you can transform this empty canvas, without a renovation, is by incorporating different types of wall art and wall decor. It can breathe life, personality, and style into any space. Think of it as the focal point of any living room. Taking a bare white wall and turning it into a conversion starter, something to evoke emotions.

With wall art, possibilities are nearly endless depending on your goals. But how do you incorporate it into your home’s interior design? It’s a balance between displaying the right art perfectly to match your personal style. In this blog post we'll do our best to share our tips and thoughts on how best to achieve this.

Understanding Your Space and Style 

Before you even start browsing art galleries (online or in person) to find the perfect piece, take a good look at your home. Your space and your personal style are the foundation for finding a wall art idea that truly feels like yours. 

Defining Your Style 

Are you drawn to clean lines, neutral colors, and uncluttered spaces? You might be a minimalist at heart. Or perhaps you thrive in a cozy, eclectic environment filled with vibrant patterns and global treasures – sounds like a bohemian spirit. Maybe sleek furniture, bold colors, and abstract shapes speak to your modern sensibilities. Or do you find yourself drawn to classic pieces, rich textures, and a sense of history? Traditional could be your style jam. 

How do you identify your design aesthetic? Well, it's pretty much like finding your own fashion sense. This will help you curate a collection that, above all else, reflects your personality. If you don't know where to start, design magazines and online platforms like Pinterest are your best friends. You can even take a quiz to discover your style tribe. Explore different design trends online, and take note of the home decor styles and art pieces that catch your visual interest. What colour palette tends to speak to you most? Note the styles, colour scheme, and general vibe that the items in your Pinterest collection share.

Considering the Room's Function 

The purpose of a room plays a major role in determining the type of art that will thrive there.

The living room, for instance, is where you entertain guests and relax with family. So for this particular space, you might want art that sparks conversation or evokes a sense of warmth and welcome. Your bedroom, on the other hand, is your personal sanctuary; look for art that creates a calming and serene atmosphere. Living rooms tend to work well for large pieces,

For home offices or workspaces, art pieces that inspire creativity, motivate, or simply add a touch of personality to your daily grind are the most ideal choice. Think bold colors, geometric patterns, or quotes that resonate with your work ethic. Home offices work well as a place for family photos, or a photo wall to remind you what you're working for or towards.

Assessing Wall Space 

Don't let those empty walls intimidate you. Instead, think of them as opportunities waiting to be filled with your unique vision. Grab a measuring tape and get to know your walls – their height, width, and any architectural features that might influence your art choices. To get your art placed properly, the center should be about 57 inches above the floor and the frames should be about three to six inches apart. (1) 

A large, empty wall? This can be the perfect spot for a statement piece. A bold painting. A captivating photograph. Perhaps a dramatic tapestry.

How about smaller walls or nooks, or a generally small space? A curated gallery wall that showcases a collection of prints, drawings, or even mixed media pieces can do the trick. 

Types of Wall Art 

Now that you have a good handle on your space and style, it's time for the fun part: diving into the world of wall art. From timeless paintings to cutting-edge 3D pieces, the options are endless. 

Canvas Prints 

Canvas prints can transform any image, from a personal photograph to a beloved painting, into a stunning piece of art. The beauty lies in their texture and depth. Companies specializing in these stunning works of art create them using high-quality fabric material that's stretched over a wooden frame, giving the artwork a gallery-worthy feel.  

In addition to that, they're much more affordable than you'd expect, providing an excellent choice for those wanting some luxury in their homes while on a budget. They also come in various sizes, so there's always something that will fit your wall space.

The print quality is one of the of the major elements to consider while selecting a canvas print. Make sure it has vivid colors, crisp details, and that it's created with fade-resistant inks. That way, you’ll be able to fancy your design for years while not having to worry about it losing its brilliance. 

Additionally, if you are choosing to print your own art, ensure that you have permission to do so. We do not advise printing art pieces to which you do not have the image credit or copyright permissions to do so.

Paintings 

Ah, paintings – the classics of wall art. From ancient cave drawings to Renaissance masterpieces, paintings have always held a special place in our hearts and homes. They can transport us to far-off landscapes, introduce us to intriguing characters, or simply ignite our imaginations with abstract forms and colors. 

Think of the rich textures of an oil painting, the delicate strokes of a watercolor, or the bold vibrancy of acrylics. Each medium offers a unique feel and emotional impact. Abstract paintings can evoke a sense of mystery or energy, while landscapes can bring the tranquility of nature indoors. Portraits can capture the essence of a person or a moment in time.  

Drawings 

Ever held a pencil in your hand and felt the urge to sketch? Well, that same raw, personal touch translates beautifully into wall art. Drawings offer an intimate glimpse into an artist's mind, their strokes and lines revealing a unique perspective on the world. Imagine a charcoal sketch capturing the soft curves of a face, a detailed pen-and-ink drawing of a bustling city street, or a vibrant pastel illustration bursting with color. 

Whether you're drawn to the stark beauty of a black and white sketch or the whimsical charm of a colored illustration, drawings have a way of making a space feel personal and inviting. They offer a unique blend of simplicity and complexity, from the raw, expressive lines of a quick sketch to the meticulous detail of a botanical illustration. 

Textile Art 

Craving a cozier, more tactile feel on your walls? Textile art is your answer. Imagine the rich textures of woven wall hangings, the intricate patterns of a tapestry, or the free-spirited charm of a macramé piece. Textile art isn't just about visual appeal; it's about adding a layer of warmth and personality that you can almost feel. 

Think beyond traditional wall hangings. A vintage rug or kilim can transform a floor covering into a striking piece of wall art, infusing your space with global flair. A collection of embroidered textiles can add a touch of whimsy and color. Even something as simple as a framed piece of fabric with a beautiful pattern can become a focal point.

Textile art isn't just decorative – it's functional, too. A woven tapestry can serve as a unique headboard, adding a touch of luxury to your bedroom. A chunky knit blanket can double as both wall art and a cozy throw for chilly evenings. The possibilities are endless, and the results are always inviting and tactile. 

Photographs

If you prefer a more grounded, documentary feel, photographs might be your go-to. They offer a window into the world, capturing moments of beauty, wonder, or even the mundane in unexpected ways. Black and white photographs exude a timeless elegance, while vibrant travel shots can add a touch of wanderlust to your walls.  

You can choose photos that reflect your personal experiences – maybe a framed snapshot from your last vacation or a family portrait with a special story. Additionally, you can also explore landscape photography to bring nature right into your walls. In fact, landscape art is so popular, with over 49% of people preferring to stare at natural scenery throughout their homes, as revealed by a recent survey.  (2) 

Sculptural Wall Art 

If your walls are yearning for a touch of the unexpected, sculptural wall art is your answer. Imagine pieces that leap off the wall, casting captivating shadows and transforming with the changing light. These aren't your typical paintings – they're tactile, dimensional, and often made from unconventional materials. 

From sleek metal creations that exude modern elegance to intricate wood carvings that whisper of ancient craftsmanship, sculptural art knows no bounds. It can be as minimalist as a single geometric shape or as complex as a multi-layered assemblage of recycled objects. The materials and forms are as diverse as the imaginations of the artists who create them. 

Sculptural wall art effortlessly adds a new dimension to your space – literally. It's about inviting conversation, igniting your imagination, and transforming your walls into a gallery of tactile wonder.  

Placement and Arrangement 

You've found the perfect pieces of art that speak to your soul (and your style). Now, it's time to give them the spotlight they deserve. Art placement and arrangement are crucial for creating a cohesive and visually pleasing space.  

Hanging Height 

Make sure that it's hung at the correct height. Interior designers say a good rule of thumb is to hang art so the center of it (not the top) is at eye level — or about 57 inches from the floor. The organization above should also change depending on how big the artwork is, how high your ceiling line is, and where in a room's furniture you're trying to place it.

If your pieces are larger, you’ll usually want to hang them a bit higher so they don’t overtake the area. Smaller pieces can be hung lower, ideally at an average person's eye level. Rooms with tall ceilings will allow you to take a more daring approach to hanging heights, which can create quite a dramatic effect. But keep in mind that these are just mere guidelines. You really can’t break anything — try it, experiment, and see what works best for your space.

Single Statement Piece vs. Gallery Wall 

Sometimes, one piece of art is all you need to make a powerful statement. A large, eye-catching painting or photograph can become the focal point of a room, drawing the eye and setting the tone. If you have a spacious wall and a piece you absolutely adore, go for it! Let it dominate the space and become a conversation starter. According to a study, people spend an average of 28.63 seconds looking at a single piece of art in a gallery setting. Imagine the impact it can have in your own home. (3) 

On the one hand, a gallery wall shows a curated collection of smaller pieces. It's a fantastic way to tell a visual story, mix and match different styles, and create a dynamic display that evolves over time. Gallery walls are perfect for those who love to collect art or have a diverse range of interests.  

Framing Considerations

A small dog sits on a light grey sofa with cushions and a blanket. The living room features modern interior design, including abstract wall art, a hanging plant, and a black woven coffee table.

Think if frames like the outfits for your art – they should showcase its beauty, not steal all of the attention. While a great frame can enhance and reinforce the colors, textures, and style of whatever artwork resides inside it, a less-considered relationship between the two could take away from either piece’s overall effect.

For a minimalist vibe, use something simple that won't take the attention from your art. Remember, the art is the statement piece, not the frame. You can also choose to go for a traditional look, hence a wide frame with fine details will be ideal. On the other hand, if you really want a modern interior, a floating frame can enhance its appeal as the art appears to hover off the wall.

Matting is another choice that takes your art to a new level. It's a piece of cardboard or fabric that surrounds the artwork and creates a visual buffer between the piece and the frame. it can add depth, dimension, and elegance to the artwork. 

Lighting 

Proper lighting can showcase your art in its full glory. Natural light is ideal, but not always available. If you have a window in the room, position your artwork so that it benefits from the natural glow. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can fade colors over time. 

In areas with limited natural light, artificial lighting can do the trick. Use a combination of ambient lighting (general illumination for the room) and accent lighting (focused light to highlight specific pieces). Track lighting, picture lights, and adjustable spotlights are great options for accentuating your artwork. 

Remember, lighting creates an ambiance and highlights the qualities of your art. Experiment with different lighting options and find what brings out the best in your pieces. 

Conclusion 

Your walls are the perfect canvas for art to express all the stories, feelings, and beauty it holds. Want just a solo statement piece? Perhaps it's been a dream of yours to put together a gallery wall. Either way, bank on your signature style and create something that's unapologetically true who you are. This is your sandbox in which to play around. 

References:  

  1. The Three Measurements You Need to Know When Hanging Artwork: https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-three-measurements-you-need-to-know-when-hanging-artwork-224943#:~:text=57%E2%80%B3%20%E2%80%93%2060%E2%80%B3%20The,to%20each%20other  
  2. A New Study Reveals the Most Common Art Styles Found in Homes: https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/most-common-wall-art-styles-36965532#:~:text=Landscapes,throughout%20their%20homes  
  3. ‘Enjoy art in slow motion': Bozar exhibition encourages visitors to take their time: https://www.brusselstimes.com/1000224/enjoy-art-in-slow-motion-bozar-exhibition-encourages-visitors-to-take-their-time#:~:text=The%20tour%20will,experience%20with%20others  
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