For thousands of years, people have displayed art in their homes and as time has progressed artworks have come to fill more and more human-centric spaces; whether it’s a hospital, a bank, a hotel, or a home, you’ll usually find art on the walls, as everyone has become more conscious of the effect that art can have on a space – and on the minds of those who encounter it.
Numerous studies have shown the positive effects of art on the brain. One study, for example, found that art in hospitals could help to reduce the stress, anxiety, and perceived pain of patients, while another yet concluded that having art in the workplace can reduce tension and anxiety, in addition to feelings of depression and anger, and even help to reduce fatigue.
So, now you know some of the reasons why you should display art in your home, we can move on to how we can maximize the aesthetic appeal that artworks can provide.
Here are 9 ways in which art can be used to enhance the spaces in your home.
1. Art can be used to balance a space.
Photo by @hiermitmir on Instagram.
When hanging artworks on your wall, you should be mindful of the dimensions of the space you’re working with, as art can have a huge impact on the perceived proportions of a space.
In fact, well placed art can be used to balance spaces which look a little off-balance. For example, artworks placed high on the wall can help to bring balance to a space dominated by low-set furniture. Furthermore, wide artworks can be used to make too-high walls seem shorter, while artworks hung in columns up the wall can give the illusion that a wall is taller than it actually is, if you’re working with a room with low ceilings.
2. Art can be used to strengthen the theme or style of a space.
Nothing can express more about a space than a piece of art – as such, incorporating artworks into a space is the perfect way to enhance any themed room you might have.
Whatever your theme, there is an artwork out there which can serve to enhance it, helping to bring to fruition the atmosphere you had in mind for the space.
In a plant-filled, nature-inspired space, for example, you could add some botanical artworks in order to diversify the textures present in the room, adding to the space’s aesthetic interest while staying true to the natural vibe of the space.
Even if you’re a minimalist, art can still be used sparingly to enhance a space – after all, minimalism doesn’t have to mean surrendering anything not necessary for survival, it can simply embrace the truth that less is more, and understated art such as line art can help to enhance this message and add to the minimalist vibe of the space.
Moreover, a space doesn’t necessarily have to have a theme – for example, if your home has a contemporary feel, abstract artworks can enhance and complement this style, while the atmosphere of beachy or country-style homes can be increased by incorporating art depicting natural scenes.
3. Art can be used to complement the colors in a space.
Implementing art into a space can allow you to harness the power of color and tie together the elements present in a space, from the walls to the furniture to ornaments and upholstery.
In order to achieve this, you should try to find an artwork comprised of the most dominant colors in the space and accessorize the room with smaller features pertaining to the lesser seen colors in the work.
Or, if you’re just beginning a home décor project – and you’re in possession of a beloved artwork already – you could even purchase furniture and ornaments to reflect the colors, and proportions of the colors in that artwork.
Whichever method you use to tie in the colors of a room, this home décor tactic is used by interior designers across the world to achieve aesthetic harmony in a space.
As much as color coordination can be a great aesthetic choice for a space, there are numerous other ways in which you can use color to enhance the impact of art in your home.
For example, sometimes all that is needed to ‘complete’ a space is to install a bold or brightly colored artwork in a dull corner of the room, or to make a statement and command attention in an otherwise neutral setting.
4. Art can add texture, dimension and depth to space.
Artworks can serve to change our perception of a space – and different types of art achieve this in different ways.
One thing to note is that art doesn’t have to be a painting or a picture, and can be created from any material, whether from rock, metal, plastic, wood, or something else, and can be displayed on tables, on the floor and even mounted on walls. In the latter case, these very physical, three-dimensional forms of art can offer extra dimension to walls of a space, drawing out of the walls and increasing their texture.
Along the same vein, there is a range of 3-D effect artworks to choose from, and these artworks typically do one of two things to a space; they can make the room appear larger, as the 3-D effect draws the eye deeper into the wall and into the illusion of the artwork, or they can appear to protrude into the space, maintaining the room’s actual size while changing the perception of its shape.
Moreover, an artwork doesn’t have to be 3D-effect in order to achieve the same dimensional interest: even artworks painted on a thick canvas can contribute to changing the perceived depth of a space, and draw observers deeper into the art.
More than this, different art formats – such as framed wall hangings, poster prints, and canvases – can also be compiled to diversify the texture of a wall.
5. Reflection can be used to double the impact of an artwork.
A neat trick to double the presence of your favorite artwork – quite literally – is to hang a mirror on the wall opposite the piece, to achieve aesthetic symmetry in the space and make the most out of a beloved piece of art.
This method works particularly well in halls and foyers, as these rooms are the most dynamic areas of the home and benefit most from the illusion that there are two identical artworks on either wall, as the walls are typically close together – in perfect parallel – and an artwork is more likely to expand to fill the mirror, enhancing the feeling of symmetry that the space has.
Furthermore, the people who enter your home can enjoy the whimsical illusion that they have entered the artwork when they pass the mirror.
6. Choose art consciously.
Photo by @thistle.harvest on Instagram.
More than any other item in your home, art tells a story and expresses the most about you and the things that you value.
With this in mind, each piece of art you choose to install in your home should be chosen consciously, with a clear reason as to why you want the piece in your home.
Of course, falling in love with an artwork is reason enough – or, if not love, having an artwork evoke a strong (if inexplicable) emotional or mental response – but any weaker feeling than that (a.k.a. simply thinking an artwork is pretty) shouldn’t be enough to win you over, unless there’s a specific reason for your purchase.
For example, if you find an artwork that will perfectly enhance the theme of a room, or will complete a space to provide the exact atmosphere you want, or will seamlessly fit with a cluster of artworks you already have on your wall – even if the artwork alone doesn’t bring a tear to your eye – then these are all adequate reasons to make a purchase.
The point is: choosing art consciously – taking into account the space you have, and the elements it contains – will give your home a strong identity, as art humanizes a space, enhances the atmosphere of your home, and tells the story of who you are.
7. Use lighting to bring out the best in your artworks.
For years, museums and art collectors have spotlighted their artwork, using light to bring out the best in the colors and textures of their art and ensuring that their artworks receive the VIP treatment they deserve. Many home décor enthusiasts, on the other hand, stop the work once the art is on the wall (or wherever else they’re placing it).
Some popular art-enhancing lighting includes ceiling-mounted accent lights, which are a great way to spotlight art, as they are subtle and small enough so that they don’t take attention away from the artworks themselves. More than this, they can usually be adjusted to change the direction of light if necessary to bring out the best in the art.
Another popular art-showcasing light is the wall washer light, and these are especially effective if you place the light underneath a group of artworks creating a little extra drama, especially if the works are lit differently depending on how highly they are placed on the wall.
8. Placement is important.
As we briefly touched on before, the placement of art can have an impact on the dimensions of the room – making tall rooms seem more in proportion, and making shorter rooms seem taller – but how you place your artwork in a space can do more than just this.
An artwork displayed above your sofa, for example, always creates a statement, though you should keep around eight inches of free wall between the top of the sofa and the bottom of the frame.
Moreover, by placing art in photo frames and putting them on your mantelpiece or table, it makes the artwork seem more personal and – although the artwork needs to be small in order to do this – this intimate placement catches the eye, despite the artwork’s size.
9. Grouping artworks together can enhance a space’s aesthetic.
When you display multiple artworks in the same space, the combination of artworks can complement each other to enhance a room – or, done badly, grouped art can cause aesthetic chaos.
When grouping artworks, there are a few rules of thumb you can follow to ensure the collection you curate enhances – rather than detracts from – the vibe of the space.
For starters, you should always use consistent spacing between different artworks – even if you choose to display a huge number of artworks, this tactic can help you to maintain order and stop the cluster from looking like a mess.
Moreover, when hanging multiple pieces of art on the same wall, their placement should be deliberate, and while hanging them evenly – a.k.a. the same distance from the wall/ceiling as each other – is an easy way to do this, you can still arrange them more haphazardly, if that’s more your style, as long as the spacing between each artwork stays consistent.
For example, a climbing collection of artworks across a wall can create movement across a space, and even make a wall appear longer – but the spacing between the artworks should be even, and they should climb in a formulaic way across the wall to ensure they look deliberate and organized, rather than messy and overcrowded.
More than this, grouped artworks should complement each other in some way – whether that’s in style, color or simply that they are framed similarly. It’s okay to step out of the box and choose to display different types of art media, though, as long as they are tied together by at least one aesthetic element.
If you want to be sure that your grouped wall art has the power to enhance a space, a top tip used by home décor experts is to lay the collection on the ground first, so you can switch the artworks around until you’re perfectly happy with the sight in front of you.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that you don’t need to cover every inch of wall with art. Leaving significant space between a few choice artworks can be just as – and sometimes even more – effective than having many displayed in the space. In this case, choose the artworks which mean the most to you, and that you most want to showcase.
So, if you want to make the most out of the art you have to enhance the spaces in your home, use these nine tips to unlock your artworks’ potential, allowing them to work with the space to create the art-filled haven you desire.
When it comes to simple interior design and adding art to your home décor, Doodl offers everyone the opportunity to buy affordable art online that suits their individual taste. Visit our online catalog to find abstract art, minimalist art, geometric art, line art, modern art, and so much more! To learn more about printing options and recommendations from Doodl, visit our FAQs page.