Insider Secrets To Picking Art

Are you scared to choose art for your room? Many people feel like choosing art is the most difficult part of decorating a room. This is definitely true for me. 

Let me explain why choosing art is sometimes overwhelming. We feel like the stuff hanging on our walls is a personal reflection of us, more so than a lot of the other things in the room. 

I agonized over what to hang above my bed for literally years. I put something up there as a placeholder, thinking I would replace it as soon as I found the perfect art piece. I’m here to tell you from experience, it is just not that complicated. I’m going to teach you the three-part formula that I use to find art.

dog on bed with art over bedframe

3 Part Formula to Choose Art

1. Size

Let’s start with just one wall that you want to display art. The first step is going to be choosing the size of art. This isn’t about gallery walls. I’m talking about either just one piece of art, two pieces, or three pieces. I want you to take a look at your wall and visually see what is approximately going to fill up about 2/3 visually of the space. What size is that? 

If you’re choosing two pieces, it’s the sort of visual weight of the pieces together. First, figure out the size you want to display. If you want some specific recommendations about size art for over a bed or a couch, I’ve written specifically about those two places. You can find those tips here: size art for above sofa and size guide for art above bed.

2. Style

Part two of finding the right art for your space is looking at a bunch of pictures of art and thinking about what you’re drawn to. If you like it, or you may think, “I don’t see that in my space.” 

Get an idea of what you like, and look at these styles:

  1. Photographs
  2. Abstract Art
  3. Landscapes
  4. Portraits
  5. Botanicals or Florals
  6. Graphic Art
  7. Travel
  8. Black and white drawings 

Think about which one of these you like and could work in your space. I’m sure I am missing some details for those of you who are art history majors out there; this is not for you. This tip is for people who are maybe not as educated about art. I include myself in that category.

3. Color

Part three, here’s where you’re going to use the color palette. Let’s say your color palette has blue and terracotta in it.

I’m not saying your art has to be blue and terracotta. If you try searching for a “24 x 36, abstract, blue and terracotta” art, you’re going to find that the selection out there is drastically reduced. It’s not the world of art that you’re trying to choose from; it’s a much smaller sample. 

Go to some of the bigger sites that sell art. I’m going to use Minted as an example.  I do not have any relationship with Minted. But, I just bought some art from Minted and had a great experience. I found it easy to pick out things because they have a little search bar that lets you select art by these categories: size, orientation, color, and style. 

They also have this great option if you decide, let’s say, you want a diptych or a triptych and you want all the pieces to kind of go together. They have sets. You can filter by artwork that is part of a set. 

cell phone in hand to measure size of art to view in room

The best tool on Minted is AI. I’m sure every site is going to have it soon. You can click on a picture of art that you like, say blue floral, and choose the size you want. Then there’s an option that says “view this in my room.” Stand 8 feet away from your space with your camera and it will show you the proportion of this art in your room.

This a great tool. Even if you don’t buy the art from Minted, you can see, “Oh, an 18 by 24 is way too small for that space. Look how dinky this looks.” 

Another way I like test art in my space is Canva. I take a screenshot of anything that I’m thinking about buying and load it into Canva with a picture of my bedroom. You can try the art on your wall.

Where to Find Art

Let’s talk about where to shop for art. I’ve already mentioned Minted. But, I love finding art on Etsy. You can find art on Facebook, too, if you’re on a budget.

Just remember, it’s not that deep. You’re not a museum. It just has to be something you like. It doesn’t have to be the last piece of art that you ever buy for your space. 

The last thing I’m going to go over is about framing your art. Sometimes framing the art is as expensive as the art itself. You can get a lot of expired copyright art that you can download and print. I did a separate article about how to download and print art so that it looks like a real piece of art. 

I like to use a shop called Frame It Easy. You get your piece of art from Etsy in a tube. You can buy your frame separately as long as you know the size of the artwork. There are some easy frames to assemble and very reasonably priced. If you’ve got a better source of art, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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