Contemporary art can serve many functions in your home. It can be used to add a focal point to a room, make a space feel more intimate, or even to update a traditional design style. The key to choosing the right pieces is to think about the mood you want to create in the room and how the artwork can help you achieve it. Use these tips to help you get started:
1) Size up the space.
Size is a major consideration when choosing new artwork. You don’t want to overwhelm the wall with a piece that is too large or underutilise your space with pieces that are too small. The best rule of thumb is to mirror the size of the wall when choosing pieces: if you have a narrow vertical space, select a piece that is narrow and vertical as well. If you have a larger space, you may want to think about adding one large piece or a collection of photos to fill up the space. Remember that artwork should be displayed on the most prominent walls of the room, so take that into consideration when you’re sizing up your space. The mantle is an ideal space to hang artwork, as is the blank wall behind your living room couch.
2) Look for complementary colours.
While contemporary artwork won’t necessarily match the overall theme of your room, it should complement it. One easy way to do this is to choose a piece that utilises the same colour scheme as the rest of your interior. In particular, look for a piece that incorporates the room’s principal hue to pull the décor together. Remember that cool tones create a calming effect, while warm tones are more cosy and inviting. If you want to make your artwork the focal point of the room, consider hanging it on an accent wall to naturally guide the eye.
3) Consider the frame.
Canvas paintings can be hung without a frame, while paintings and drawings done on paper will likely require one. When choosing a frame, it’s important to take into account both the artwork itself and the overall architectural style of the room. For contemporary artwork, a simple flat frame is ideal. Gold frames complement artwork and room décor that incorporates a warm colour palette, while silver frames are well-suited for a cool colour palette. Homes with an overall traditional or country décor might utilise natural wood frames, while ones with a more modern feel should stick with traditional black or silver frames. Whichever frame you choose, remember that it should highlight—rather than detract from—the artwork itself.
4) Play with light.
Lighting is an important consideration when displaying artwork. Living room ceiling lights like low-hanging pendant lights can be used to highlight artwork, as can well-positioned track lighting or accent lighting. You may also consider adding a lighting fixture with a dimmer switch so you can control illumination as you please. Pieces that are framed behind glass (e.g. paintings and drawings on paper) should not be hung opposite large windows, as natural light will create glare.
Featured Image: Creative Commons – Attribution by Adele Berenstein
Article by Mike Wimmer
Mike Wimmer is an interior designer and home stylist with a specialist love for Living room ceiling lights.