How do you choose art for your home?
Choosing art for a space is a lot like choosing a piece of jewelry for a dress or a tie for your suit. It completes the outfit. Art does the same thing for your room. Blank walls long for a special something to help them say “welcome home”. What is the perfect piece of art? What is the best size for a wall? How do you choose the right art for your home? To help sort out these questions I turned to 2 of my favorite creative collaborators Cathy Corcione – Painter, Swimmer, USA Olympian, artist, lover of good design, coach, and multi-tasker whose medium is paint and Alyssa Peek – owner of Peek Photography, located in New York City. Alyssa’s medium is photo art which orbits around ideas of transformation. I have used their pieces in several projects and love working with each one. So I asked them both “How do you select art for your home?”
Both agree that choosing art has no rules except that it must speak to you on some level.
Alyssa: Choosing the right piece of art to complement your space can be one of the most challenging things in decorating. With an endless variety of choices, selecting just a few pieces can be daunting. For me, it isn’t so much about the type of art but rather how the pieces make me feel.
Cathy: Since my priority is art, whether it be paintings or other objects, I tend to buy the things I love, the things that “speak” to me, and then re-arrange my whole world around them! I want each and every “thing” to have a place where it can be noticed, and where it “plays well with others”.
Can you mix subject matter and style or must it all be similar?
Cathy: Since I really love all types of art, I am quick to mix it up. In my studio, there is a little gallery type wall with small pieces I’ve collected mixed in with some of my own. I’ve also hung a skateboard on that wall, with a pop art design of a Yellow Submarine, created and painted by a childhood friend of mine. I had to twist his arm to let me pay him, but there was no way I was going home without that skateboard! I believe mixing up photos, paintings, and carefully chosen objects really makes a space personal and authentic.
Alyssa: Yes! I particularly have a passion for abstract landscapes but all the art in one room does not have to match but should work together well in tone. Art is a way to tell a story, as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Are you trying to create a theme or encapsulate an emotion?
What about the size and scale. I usually like to place a larger sized piece to make a statement but have used several smaller pieces in a group. Do you have a preference?
Alyssa: To make a statement in a room I believe the larger the better but always in relationship to the furniture. I would rather error on the side of too big than too small. As a general rule, the art above it should be approximately two thirds the width of the furniture it is above. But there is always a place for smaller work that complements each other to create a cozy vignette and make a smaller space special. The beautiful thing about smaller work is that you must get closer to it and therefore, it is a more intimate experience.
Cathy: I agree. Some pieces are meant to make a statement and can stand on their own merit and some work better in a group. Harmony is the key word here. And sometimes there is no rhyme or reason for why things work in a space. I’ve placed the over-sized piece in small spaces and little things in larger spaces. Big or small, if the painting packs a punch where it’s hung and works beautifully with its surroundings, and you love it, then that’s all that matters as far as I’m concerned.
How do you choose art for your home?
Alyssa: I like to buy art when I travel. I don’t care for the snow globes or t-shirt’s, instead I purchase art from local artists of the area. For me, it isn’t so much about the type of art but rather how the piece makes me feel. It can be an abstract painting or a photograph, it doesn’t matter, as long as it makes me feel something. When a piece of art can takes my breath away and makes my heart skip a beat, then I know it’s the right piece for me. The thing about art is that there are no rules. Big or small, painting or photograph, picturesque or abstract, it is all good as long as it makes you happy.
Cathy: So I like to collect art, on my limited budget, as much as I like to make art. People always ask, “But where will I put it?” I say, what?? Where will you put it?? I say if you love it buy it!! Re-arrange a room, change things up, a picture is worth a thousand holes!!!