If you’ve recently moved in your new home, you may still be staring at blank white walls. No paint, no art, no character. Yet.
New homeowners often struggle with finishing their new space. The decision can seem massive and permanent, when in reality it’s not. If it’s not right, it’s simply another (probably pricey) shopping trip for a new coat of paint and wall art. Yet, most often the decision will shape the entire space and spill over into other rooms for a few years, so it’s helpful to have some tips from the experts before you begin.
By the time a new homeowner begins thinking about the icing on the cake, so to speak, or the finishing touches to the walls of their new homes, chances are they’ve already moved in the big furniture items. This can help shape your design scheme. And actually, that’s how designer and artist David Bromstad (who stepped into the spotlight when he won HGTV’s Design Star), suggests someone should finish off a room.
In an interview with sheknows.com blogger Melissa Dunlap, David said he doesn’t choose his artwork first, which is contrary to the notion that you design your entire room around your central piece of art. Instead, he waits until those big pieces are in the room and then designs around them. He moves on to the accent pieces, like rugs and end tables, drapes and lighting. Surprisingly, the paint color and artwork come last, and in that order. To keep our dessert metaphor going, David says artwork is the “cherry on top of the sundae.”
He goes on to say that if you do find that sweet-as-pie piece of art first, then you should definitely use it to inspire your colors and patterns in a room.
Sounds like those homeowners who are completely unpacked and sitting in a room with bare walls are doing it right, according to the design superstar. But still, how do we choose art for that otherwise finished space?
Houzz has some really great tips on its site, too. In terms of size, mirror the size of the wall. If it’s a horizontal wall, hang a horizontal piece, and vice versa. By accentuating the dimensions of the wall, you’ll make the room feel larger. Go big! Fill the entire wall if you can. Also David’s tip is that larger art pieces work over larger furniture pieces. An important rule to remember is to keep the artwork narrower than the furniture piece.
Houzz also suggests that homeowners can use their artwork as another way to add texture and variety. So mix and match that framed photograph behind glass with a canvas piece across the room, for example. And remember that your chosen piece does have a frame, it should complement the rest of the room’s décor. While that should coordinate, you don’t have to coordinate your home’s architectural style with the style of the artwork, meaning contemporary art can go in a traditional style home. If you have a special piece that you’d like to showcase, consider leaving other walls empty as a way of highlighting that favored artwork.
Now let’s talk color. This is the biggest part of picking art work. Houzz also suggests that deeper, bolder colors help draw guests in to your home and work well in living spaces like the family room and kitchen. More relaxing “cool” colors, like light blues and greens are great for a bedroom. Those warmer colors are associated with a more welcoming feeling and work well in a foyer or entryway. And of course, it helps to choose colors that you love.
If you’re on a budget, as many new homeowners are, David suggests considering stretch canvases which start around $100. They combine quality and affordability, he says. Another option would be to consider local artists. Not only will they be great conversation starters, you’ll support your local economy. You can find these hidden gems at monthly art walks and galleries or art parties.
We hope with these tips, you’ll be able to create the pie-in-the-sky vision for your perfectly finished living space! Please feel free to share your tips for choosing the perfect art pieces for your home, below!