Not all art must be matted, framed and hung on the wall in a neat little square box. Experiment with materials like iron, wood and ceramics. Try organic, natural shapes, which can lend a space a sense of serenity that photos and other types of artwork sometimes can't. In my own home I played with both shape and scale by hanging a series of round decorative wall art pieces in various sizes above the sofa in my family room. The result is an interesting visual that moves the eye through the space and into the kitchen.
Be incongruous and mix modern art with more traditional furnishings and décor -- or vice versa. Some of the most visually appealing and interesting spaces I've seen lately feature a mix of high and low items: Modern pieces next to flea market finds, sofas covered in designer fabrics with etsy.com throw pillows, etc.
One large piece of art that fills much of the space on a large wall can look dramatic. So can a series of smaller pieces. For one client's traditional living space, we hung a series of botanical prints in a row on either side of a mounted flat screen. Had the TV been left alone on the wall it simply would have called too much attention to the technology and overpowered the space. Countering it with a repeating row of artwork provides balance.
I say this time and again to my clients: Surround yourself with things that you love! Don't overthink what you think you want. Have an open mind and let yourself be inspired. Tear out pages from magazines with ideas or visuals you like, read and bookmark blogs. Visit galleries and museums, research local artists, visit art websites. Explore the themes in what you find yourself attracted to. Take the leap and go for it -- create your happy home that you love!
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