When we think of art, we often think of going somewhere to view it, like an art museum or an exhibit. And when we think of home décor, we usually think of choosing an assortment of furniture and ornaments. However, art can be used in a unique way to decorate your home, particularly as large statement pieces.

If you love art and can find a fine art painting or two that match your home's tone, it makes perfect sense to use them as decorations.

A Dozen Ways to Celebrate Art in Your Home

Here are 12 ideas to think about and try out:

  1. Let your favorite piece stand out. If you have many special works of art, then you'll quickly notice that nothing is special anymore. However, if you use a few statement pieces then the other art in the room can be less dramatic. You can’t fill a room with too many statement pieces because it will feel like everything is shouting for attention.
  2. Try a mixture of ideas. Figure out what type of art you like and then combine it with its opposite. Get clear in your mind about what you love, then juxtapose it with something else. Try abstract with realism; or muted colors with gaudy colors; or flora with fauna; or geometric with organic. See what happens when you put a nostalgic scene with still life, or dark and brooding themes with light and happy themes.
  3. Try a blend of complementary colors. The colors or styles don’t have to be the same, nor the genres or themes, but there should be a sense of complementary balance.

  4. Try the rule of three. If you’re worried about a room looking too busy because of a wild clash of genres, then try to get three different themes running like city, country, and fantasy nature themes. Or you could have animal, flowers, and people.

  5. Try a unifying theme. If you have art in all your rooms, you could use a theme to unify them all. For instance, they could all be Vincent Van Gogh reprints, or different impressionism painters.

  6. Try a pattern. If you’re into abstract art, then you could focus on only abstract art that is about patterns—some bright, some subdued, some garish, some wispy and metaphysical.

  7. Try to take to step back is space or time. Stepping back in space means looking into a room from outside. You could peer into the room from a doorway. You could even peer into the room through the window. By seeing the room from outside, you'll get perspective on how everything works together. Stepping back in time means not looking at your decor until a day or two later and then taking another look at how it makes you feel.

  8. Try to be playful. Decorating a room or house with art has to be done in a playful way. Only by not taking things seriously, and not fretting about what didn’t work, will the process fall into place. Sometimes, all you need is a small creative tweak here and there to make everything work out beautifully.

  9. Try to get ideas from art galleries. Go to art galleries to see what it is that they do to unify different styles, genres, artists. Do they celebrate differences? Do they party with contrast? Do they think in terms of themes or colors or arrange a room by artists? You’ll be surprised how many ideas you will come away with it.

  10. Try to work it out with like-minded friends. If you have friends who love art as much as you do, then it will be much more fun to create a project and get different opinions on how things look in different parts of a room or and what art looks good in different rooms.

  11. Try to keep it simple. It might be fine to just work with one or two pieces for your home decor project, deciding on the focal points for your statement pieces. Where would the art look good—in what part of the living room, in what rooms of the house?

  12. Try to think in terms of scale. Keep frames sizes and styles in mind when doing your brainstorming. You want to pay attention to how you scale your art choices. You don’t want everything to be the same size. You want some large pieces to dominate the room and some moderate sized pieces to act as support. And, you may even want some small pieces to put in your smaller rooms, like the bathroom, as a subtle piece of décor.

How to Manage Your Project

Naturally, you can’t go out and buy everything you might want to experiment with, but all you need are some mockups. Print out pictures from the Internet if they are a well-known piece like “After The Bath” by Edgar Degas or cut them out of catalogs and blow them out and place them around the house. This will give you a good idea of how to be bold with colors. When you have a better idea of how you want to set things up, then you can go out and buy original art or excellent reprints.

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