7 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Artwork For Your Home

by Carlisle Homes

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Artwork is the perfect finishing touch to a room – here’s how to choose artwork that looks fantastic and complements the style of your home.

If you’re looking to add a little colour and personality to your home, there’s no better way than with a work of art. Bring in complementary rugs, cushions and furnishings and you’re well on your way to creating a scheme with depth and character that your family and friends will love spending time in.

Read on for our practical tips on how to choose artwork for your home.

1. Consider the style and mood of the room

Unsure how to choose artwork? Start by thinking about the mood you want to create in a room. This will help you choose between the various styles. For example, an abstract in soothing tones will help create a sense of calm in a bedroom, an interesting landscape or series of black and white photos will suit a living or dining room where connection and conversation are the focus, while a bright and colourful artwork will work well in a busy kitchen or family room.

Think too about the style of your home. If you have a coastal or Hamptons-style home, you may want to seek out pieces with a coastal theme in tones of blue, white and neutrals or beachy photography. If your style leans more towards the eclectic or mid-century, retro prints with bold tones and playful geometry will blend in seamlessly. If your home is more traditional, consider a traditional landscape or a series of botanical prints.

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When choosing artwork for your home, begin by thinking about the mood you want to cultivate in each space. Consider an abstract in soft, neutral tones to evoke a sense of calm and comfort in lounge areas. 

2. How to choose artwork by colour

You’ll want the colours in your artwork to speak to the tones of the surrounding room, so consider the colours of walls, floors, soft furnishings and decor items. For a seamless look, choose pieces that contain one or two of the accent colours in the room. Play with shades and tone to add depth to your decorative scheme.

Or, if you want your art to make a statement, go bold – but within reason. Choose a piece (or pieces) with colours that are different, yet complementary, to the other tones in the room. For example, if your room has a lot of soothing greens, consider an artwork that features rich terracotta and accents of black.

3. Decide if you want art to be the focal point

Every room needs a focal point – but not more than one. It can be a striking artwork, a fabulous rug, a sculptural fireplace. If your room already has a focal point, it’s wise to choose art that is less imposing so that it doesn’t compete for attention with the star of the show.

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When it comes to your art, opt for colours that are different, yet complementary to other tones around the room. If you have a central focal point like a fireplace or mirror; don’t choose artwork that will compete against these elements but blend comfortably into the space. Featured here: Astoria Grand, Cloverton, Kalkallo.

4. Trust your instincts

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to choosing art – the key is to find a piece that speaks to you and that you will be happy living with for years to come. If you fall in love with a piece, but you’re not sure if it will work in your interior, ask the gallery if there is a cooling-off period so you can try it out for a few days in different rooms of your home. You can also try before you buy using the latest 3D augmented reality. This app allows you to get a feel for how the artwork will sit inside your space before you commit.

5. How to choose artwork that is the right size and shape

A lot of people struggle with knowing how big a piece should be to suit the space. Fortunately, there are few simple rules that can help.

  • On a plain wall with no furniture, the artwork should take up around 50-70 per cent of the wall space.
  • If an artwork is going above a piece of furniture, such as a sofa or console table, it should be roughly 60-75 per cent of the length of the furniture. It should never be wider than the piece of furniture below it.
  • If you’re hanging a piece above a bedhead, it should be almost the same width as the bedhead.
  • Hang artwork so the centre is at your eye height.

You should also consider the shape of the wall. If you have a long, slender wall, then a portrait-style piece will work best. If the wall is wide, seek out a landscape-style piece or a trio of artworks arranged horizontally.

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Choosing the right size artwork for your space can be daunting, but luckily there are a few rules to assist you in the selection process. For example, In the bedroom your artwork shouldn’t exceed the width of your bedhead.

6. Frame it right

Take a cue from art galleries and opt for simple, minimal frames. Simple frames in black, white, timber and gold will never go out of style and won’t detract attention from the artwork. If you favour timber frames, remember to factor in the colour of your floors – a dark wooden frame won’t look right in a room with pale timber floorboards.

Find your perfect number

One piece, two, three or four? Knowing the right number of artworks to hang can be a confusing business. Again, it largely comes down to size of the wall and what else is going on in the room. A sparse wall in a room with minimal furnishings can take a very large artwork or a gallery wall made up of smaller, individual pieces. If you’re hanging art above a sofa or bedhead, it doesn’t matter if you choose one large piece or two (or three) smaller ones, so long as the arrangement doesn’t run beyond the width of the furniture. Bear in mind that if you’re hanging multiple pieces together, you’ll want to leave at least a few centimeters between each one.

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Understanding how much art your room can accommodate is tricky business. A large, sparse wall can take larger artworks or can be arranged like a gallery wall to include multiple smaller pieces. 

When hanging art on multiple walls, look to have one larger ‘hero’ piece and one or two smaller pieces on the other wall or walls to create a sense of visual balance.

As a general rule, having one big piece of art can make a room feel bigger whereas having lots of smaller pieces arranged around the room (as opposed to a gallery wall, which effectively acts as a single artwork) can make it feel cluttered.

And remember, hanging art is often a case of trial and error. Be prepared to move pieces around – even to different rooms – until the arrangement looks right.

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There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to choosing art. Explore varying styles and play with shades and tone to add depth to your decorative scheme.

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Access endless home design inspiration via the Home Files blog here. Or get even more creative ideas when you explore one of the many Carlisle display homes across Melbourne.


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