Me, every time we travel and pop into an art gallery: “Oh my gosh I love this! How amazing would this look at home?!” My husband, every time: “Where could we even put it?” Ahem. Buying art is an investment, and it’s something you should do with a thoughtful plan in mind. Aside from how to take good care of it and frame it properly, the biggest question I get asked by my commission clients is how to display art in your house. Now that we’re spending more time than ever in our homes, it’s a perfect opportunity to think about how you’ve decorated the “four walls.”
In this blog, I’m tackling the house room by room, so you can get my tips on this. Keep in mind that any artwork and home decor are 100% subjective. It’s your space, so as long as you love it, that’s all that counts!
I’ll be tackling the following spaces in your house, but know that you can tuck artwork just about anywhere (yes, even the kitchen and bathroom!):
- Front entryway
- Dining room
- Family/Living room
Let’s dive in, shall we?
Photo from Love Create Celebrate
Your entryway is the literal “welcome mat” of your space, so even if it’s small, it’s the perfect chance to make your home feel warm, inviting, and personal. Here, you can see a small shelf added above the bench, to display a couple of small art pieces, along with the functional hooks. This is the perfect place to have travel photos, a home illustration or even a pet portrait, just tucked in as a small detail! Something like this (even a couple of pieces layered together) can showcase a bit of who you are and what’s important to you, right from the outset.
Ink drawing and watercolor by Leah E. Moss Designs (that’s me!)
Looking for a way to warm up your entryway with something personal? The good news is that this is easy to do. I’d love to help you!
Learn more about illustrations
Everyone says the kitchen is the heart of the home, and if you’ve ever been over to ours, we’re no exception. We spend so much time cooking (and snacking, duh), so our kitchen definitely gets the most action of any space. However, I love the dining room because this is where you actually gather and can enjoy all that cooking! When you’re trying to figure out how to display art in your house, your dining room can be a great option for two different things.
A large-format, statement piece
Photo from Inspired Decor
Perched above a buffet, a large piece of art is going to be a slam dunk in the dining room. It adds some major pizzazz in a big-ticket spot. In our dining room, we have two paintings passed on to us by Adam’s late grandparents. They were theirs, which is special, and they’re bright and colorful. Aside from those cheerful pieces, we hung our Ketubah (the Jewish marriage contract), which I created for our wedding. Our house is on the smaller side, so our “entryway” is non-existent; you enter our home and you’re standing in the dining room. With that in mind, I wanted the artwork in this room to be not only big and impactful (and at 30 x 40″ before framing, this is), but also deeply personal.
Photo by Casey Brodley, Ketubah by Leah E. Moss Designs (that’s me!)
If you need a Ketubah custom-made for you (or if you need help with other large format pieces), I’d love to connect. It’s the perfect way to bring a bold and deeply personal statement into your decor.
Learn more about commissioning artwork
Sometimes the budget doesn’t allow for a big statement piece on its own, but you can still make a big impact with a series instead.
A well-framed collection of small pieces
Photo from Mountainside Home
Alternatively, a well-framed, bold collection of coordinating and smaller pieces can work really well in a dining room, too! Here, I love the idea of three family portraits, three wedding photos, or even three landscape pictures from a favorite trip. The goal here is to make things cohesive as a set. Ideally, keep the items themselves small and have the framing and large mats work to your advantage.
This room should be the comfiest of all your living spaces! You want to snuggle up on the couch and relax. Knowing how to display art in your house can make this room feel familiar and lived-in, as you want it to be. Again, you could go with a large, focal point piece of artwork – either above the sofa or fireplace – or a gallery of smaller pieces works well in this setting.
Interior design (all three photos) by Melissa Mahoney Design House
If you’re going for a statement painted piece, I love the works of Hillary Butler and Laurie Buck. Both are amazing, kind women, who have exceptional talents! Hillary’s work focuses on bright abstracts, and Laurie’s is on florals.
For a gallery wall option, I’d say anything goes here! A shadowbox framing treatment is always a fun and unexpected option for things you wouldn’t first think of as art. An old coworker of mine framed his grandfather’s letterman sweater, just because he loved it and wanted to enjoy it more than the once-every-five-years basement cleanout.
As you’re thinking through what to include in your family room decor, I’d start with what’s personal and meaningful for you – perhaps a family tree, or a vintage photo of a relative. It doesn’t have to be big, it doesn’t have to be a focal point, but blending in your own heirlooms will make any space feel lived-in.
Photo from Block Design
Your stairway doesn’t have to be forgotten (same goes for a long hallway). Instead of it being a boring pass-through, this space can be transformed into a cool, interesting area of your home – thanks to artwork. In our home, we got a set of all matching frames from Crate and Barrel as part of our wedding registry. The series all is the same, but the frames are different sizes. We hung wedding, travel, and other personal photos in this collection, unified by the frames themselves. It’s such a joyful reminder every time I go up and down the stairs, even if I’m hauling laundry down with me. Alternatively, you could have a more eclectic mix of frames and artwork styles!
His and hers set of wedding vows by Leah E. Moss Designs (that’s me!)
It may be a cliche that your bedroom is your sanctuary, but it’s true! Your space for sleeping should be calming and restorative. We live in a bungalow, so the wall above our bed is slanted. Since we can’t hang anything above our headboard, we’ve got some pieces in other places in the room, plus a massive floor leaner mirror (and some plants). If this is the case for you, too, I’d advise cheerful pieces that make you smile! A client commissioned a painting of his wife’s wedding bouquet for her to have in their room, knowing how much she’d love to see it constantly. What an honor, knowing she’s smiling often from that piece!
For most people though, the ideal place for art is above your bed. Again, a large format piece works great here, but so does a coordinated set of two items. Many of my commissioned pieces are for wedding vows, to honor the traditional first-anniversary gift of paper. Taking those two sheets and framing them to hang side by side above your bed would be perfect placement! It’s a meaningful and impactful decor element to incorporate into any bedroom.
If you want to add a bit of cheerfulness to your sanctuary, please reach out. Whether it’s watercolor of the flowers from the best day of your life or a calligraphed transcription of the words that mean the most to you, I’d be honored to assist.
Learn more about commissioning artwork
So, that’s the recap, with my room-by-room tips on how to display art in your house. I hope you found this helpful!
As a reminder, I’m donating 20% of all gifts purchased until April 30, 2020 to get much-needed PPE for a local hospital. More on that here. I’d love to help you make your space even more beautiful, while doing some good in the world during these uncertain times. Double win!
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