I'm starting a multi-post series on choosing art to compliment you home. One the most important question to answer before you start is: Why?
Why would I want art in my home?
People buy art for different reasons. Sometimes it's as simple as an empty space on the wall that needs filled. Other times it might be because you fell in love with a painting. While the answers to the question might seem obvious, sometimes it a good practice to spend a little thought on the process. How will this improve my life? What needs will it fill? Is it a need or just a want? Etc.
I can think of a few good reasons for investing in art you love. First it is a great way to incorporate your personality in a room. Are you quirky and have a great sense of humor? Your art could reflect that. Do you love traveling to exotic places? Your art can reflect that. Do you think of yourself as sophisticated and elegant? Your art should reflect that. I think it's great when you can walk into a room and immediately know something about the person who lives there just by looking at the art they've chosen.
Second, a great piece of art can give that finished feeling to a decor. Most of the time a couch and coffee table just isn't enough. You walk into a room and it just feels like something is missing. It just looks empty. A great piece of art can complete a room. It may be the pop of color that you're missing. It may be the relaxing landscape that lends a sense of serenity. You don't really just want to buy a piece that fits the space, you want to find a piece that makes the space.
Thirdly, art is a great way to show off your great taste. If you have great taste, choosing the perfect piece of art can really showcase your taste. People walking into the room should instantly be wowed by your art and the great way the room fits together. Sometimes black and white art can be great for this as it will often lend a sense of sophistication to a room.
Fourth, art can change or enhance the feeling of a room. A beautiful landscape with water can give you that sense of relaxation you might be seeking in your bedroom or spa-like bathroom. A bright colorful flower portrait could add that sense of energy to your office. Whatever mood you'd like to convey and emphasize in any given room, you can find a piece of art that embody that mood.
Fifth, your choice in art is what helps separate your house from everyone else's house. If you have no art, even if everything else in your decor is perfect, your house looks generic - perhaps even like a house that has been staged to sell. You want your art to give your house personality, to make it look lived in, and loved. You want your house to be unique and to be a great reflection of you. This is perhaps the best argument agianst buying generic big-box store, mass-produced art. You want your home to uniquely reflect you - and a mass-produced print sold at store X is perhaps not the best reflection of you.
I'm sure there are many other reasons to choose to put art in your house, but these should get your started thinking. If you are in a place in your life where you're making decisions about purchasing art, start by thinking about how you want to feel when you're in the room. Or how do you want the room to reflect your personality and taste. Then you can think about things like style and color. All, of those things should give you a good start in the process of choosing art.
P.S. A good place to start is to check out www.houzz.com. Houzz has thousands of photographs of home decor. You can choose a category based on style(such as modern or traditional, etc) and view photographs based on what room you're interested in(such as bedroom or living room, etc). Keep an eye out for what art catches your eye. You'll have a head start if you know what you like before we get to the "What?" question.
Choosing Art for your Home Part II
Choosing Art for your Home Part III