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The art of selecting wall art

Have you ever stood in front of a piece of art and wondered, ‘Why is this art? What does it mean?’ Picking out pieces for your home can be a decorating puzzle. Melissa Davis, a celebrity interior design and decor specialist enlightens us on how to pick out wall art for your home. Armed with advice, visit a furniture and home accessories store near you!

Selecting art can be one of the most fun parts of the design process. It’s a chance for homeowners to express their personality and truly pick something that speaks to them. As much as it can be a romantic meandering shopping experience at a home accessories store, my clients also tell me it feels like the most difficult. Taking the plunge from ALL those giant blank walls is scary.

When in the design process do you buy artwork?

Some might say to jump in and buy a piece you love and then design the room around it. It happens and I’ve seen some beautiful spaces with art collections that truly do play the staring role.

For me, I prefer to select my client’s art last. That is after the furniture, the drapery and the hard surfaces and around the same time as the paint. Art can be the finishing detail that softens and connects the overall design, or it can be a bold, demanding statement. It’s tricky to pinpoint the perfect visual weight, scale and colours without the majority of the room already complete.

Fear not: there are a few simple things to keep in mind that will help you take the plunge with confidence.

Here are my top 4 considerations before taking hammer to nail.


If the piece or pieces are going over furniture, use the outside limits of the bed, credenza or couch as your guide. Don’t extend the art beyond those outside edges. So if the sofa is 6 feet, your art should be under 6 feet in width. Anything bigger will look and feel too top-heavy. Again, the same rule applies for multiples. Plan groupings of art to fit within the overall boundaries a single larger piece might.


Feature or Filler?

Art can be a bold statement, striking up conversation and demanding attention.  Large-scale canvases, graphic imagery and dark or bold colours will ensure the piece commands the attention you intended. On the other hand, a photograph framed to blend with the adjacent wall or a soft watery landscape will provide some relief from the vast blank walls, but for the most part, blend quietly with the overall palette. Spend a bit of time in the room beforehand and decide what your message and overall intent is for the piece.



This is where there really are no rules. Art when done well expresses the journey and personality of the homeowners. A traditional piece can as easily live in a contemporary home as an abstract might in the den of a traditional  home. A great tip to bridge the styles is the choice of frame. Selecting a frame that is in keeping with the overall design style and materials.


As a general rule of thumb, take your cues from what is happening around the piece. If it’s a tall, narrow wall without any furniture to worry about, then look to mimic the wall area by choosing a tall, skinny piece that fills the area with a nice bit of relief around it of 6 inches or so. You can also opt for two smaller pieces that when stacked visually to fill the same tall thin area.


Melissa has some other design tips for you to keep in mind. Check out this video!

Designing your home is equally important as renovating it. You must make strategic choices that improve your home’s property value, express your style, all while being a comfortable and cozy space you want to live in (and never leave!).

Don’t forget to check out our directory to find the tools and tricks you need to furnishing your home. We have a list of  interior design and decor specialists that can help you choose wall art that works for your home, while also helping you furnish those tricky spaces you can’t seem to find furniture for.

When you’re ready to shop for your decor needs, use the directory to find a furniture and home accessories store near you. These stores will have a wide variety of pieces; we know you’ll find exactly what you desire!

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