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Six Simple Ideas For Choosing And Hanging Wall Art

Choosing artwork for your home is probably one of the most personal decisions you’ll make in terms of your overall design. After all, the counter top, floor, cabinets, and even the paint you choose will still be there when you leave. What you choose to hang on your walls is really the mark you choose to make on your home. But if you’re like me, deciding just exactly how to dress up your walls isn’t always easy. A big blank wall (especially a white one) can feel a little looming, so if you’re feeling intimidated, here are a few simple ideas to get you started.

A Series

Paris Scenes From Uttermost
Paris Scenes From Uttermost

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Picking out and hanging a single painting isn’t particularly complicated. Sure, you want to find one you like, that’s the right size, with good colors, but if it comes that easily to you, you probably wouldn’t be reading this. Personally, I’m not a big fan of very large paintings, but often the space you need to fill with artwork is pretty big. One of my favorite solutions to this problem is, rather than using a single large painting, to use several smaller paintings or photos with a common theme. Buildings, bugs, and flowers are popular if you buy a set at once, but this is easily DIYable, too – just find a half dozen matching frames, fill them with coordinating photos, and hang them in neat rows.

A Collage

Massena Travel Photo Collage From Uttermost
Massena Travel Photo Collage From Uttermost

If a neat rectangle of photos is a little too rigid for your taste, consider hanging a collage. These can be made with frames that match or not, with pictures that match or not, in any shape or arrangement. This is an especially great layout for family photos, while a variety of decorative frames can give you an artistic look all by themselves. If you choose to do this yourself, arrange the pictures (or paper cut to the size and shape of the pictures) on the floor and on the wall before you start hanging. That way, you can get the layout you like without a whole lot of practice holes.

Frame It

Seashells In Matching Painted Frames (by Tobi Fairley Interior Design)
Seashells In Matching Painted Frames (by Tobi Fairley Interior Design)

Of course, not everything you hang on your wall has to be art. Photos and paintings are great, but don’t let a pre-concieved notion of what wall art is hold you back. Simple bargain bin photo frames can hold old book covers, couture shopping bags, handkerchiefs, pressed leaves or flowers, or just about whatever flat object you can think to put in them. Remove the glass, and you can easily frame more exotic items – teacups, costume jewelery, seashells, or any other beautiful object you’d like to display but don’t want to leave on a surface collecting dust.

Go 3D

Domenica Antiqued Wall Art From Uttermost
Domenica Antiqued Wall Art From Uttermost

In the same vein, not even all commonly accepted “art” is flat. In fact, tactile, sculpture-like wall hangings are becoming quite popular. From exotic carved wood panels to highly modern metal and wire sculpture, the variety of what you can hang on your walls isn’t nearly as limited as you might think. Found objects are especially popular – like driftwood, old road signs, decorative dishes, or even wall planters, increasingly walls are being treated as a surface rather than a flat plane.

Add A Splash Of Color

Hot In The City Art Piece From Uttermost
Hot In The City Art Piece From Uttermost

If you happen to have white walls and want to keep them (or, for renters, have to keep them), one of the best ways to warm them up is with wall art. A very large format print or painting hung in the wide open space above a sofa can compensate for the blankness of the walls and even act as a sort of accent wall. Better still, if you use the color (or colors) in the painting throughout the room, the white walls can even seem warm and canvas like, making pops of color stand out cheerily by contrast.

Double Your Space

Santerno Oversized Mirror From Uttermost
Santerno Oversized Mirror From Uttermost

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While paintings, photos, and even framed objects are great ways to express your personality, hanging up a decorative mirror adds both style and functionality to a room. Regardless of the size, mirrors play nice visual tricks that can liven up your design – making a small room seem larger, reflecting a key decor or architectural element, or, for a really large floor mirror, even creating the appearance of an added room or doorway.

What kind of wall art are you looking for? Do you just have one persistent blank wall you want to get rid of, or are you in the middle of  a major decor overhaul? Let me know in the comments!