Have you ever visited someone else’s home and remarked on a picture hanging on the wall or a nice piece of sculpture they have on display? Art can make a really big difference to how a room looks by drawing the eye, making plain spaces less boring, and adding accents of color. Of course, many of us feel like art is quite a low priority when it comes to spending money on our homes – after all, it is purely for decoration and so it can feel wrong to spend a lot on it when there are more practical things you need. Equally, many of us feel like we don’t have a particularly good eye for art, or know much about it, and so don’t feel especially confident about deciding what to buy and where to put it.
Happily, you don’t need an art degree to be able to pick out nice things that will liven up your home and make it look beautiful – you simply need to choose stuff you like and which goes with the general tone of your décor. You can also get away with spending very little on art pieces for your home, or even making them yourself (even if you have no particular talent). If you are not an art aficionado, the secret is really to find things or create things that create a good effect in a space – and these don’t have to be expensive paintings, but could be inexpensive prints, photographs, or the work of local artists you picked up at a craft fair.
Here are some tips for using art in your home if you don’t have much to spend and don’t know where to start!
If you want a modern look that is bold and interesting, a good theme to use can be words and letters. There are lots of ways you can do this, from stenciling your favorite quotes either directly onto your wall or onto canvas, making or buying big, bold letter shape pieces to use in wood or metal, or choosing framed letter images. You can make some really unique effects by using words, even if you are buying pictures lots of other people have, because you are choosing what your art actually says.
Name art can be a cute way to decorate a kids’ bedroom, or you can make up words that relate to your life, hobbies or personal philosophies using letter art pieces. There are dozens of ways to go with this, and you will find you can actually make your own letter art quite easily and still get a professional look – even if you do it as a family craft project with the kids. Another nice thing about letter and word art is you can change it around, for instance replacing the letters on your living room wall from time to time to reflect the time of year (for instance having summer and Christmas words to use sometimes), or things that are going on in your life.
Words can be a good place to start because you don’t have to be especially arty and creative to think of ways to use them or create pieces of your own based on them. There also tends to be very little interpretation to do when your art literally says what it means!
Use Modern Art as a Color Accent
A lot of people feel like they don’t understand abstract modern art at all. It may feel like you are supposed to derive some deep meaning from a piece that really just looks like shapes and splashes to you. Actually, this doesn’t really matter when it comes to using art effectively in your home, and many mass produced abstract images you can buy in home décor shops aren’t really even intended to do anything more than look good in a room.
The best way to use abstract pictures is to find ones that can make a nice color accent. Normally a good way to decorate a room is with a main color – often a pale color or neutral – which is used on the walls and other large areas, and one or two accent colors, which may be used for things like rugs, cushions, and lamps. Using a piece of abstract art that brings in the accent colors you have chosen can be a great way to feature those colors on your wall space. It is generally easier to find a good balance of the color you want on a more abstract piece than on a realistic image or photograph, though you can sometimes get the same effect with modern style pictures that feature something like fruit or flowers in the color you want.
Use Black and White Photography
Another good way to use art in your home is actually not to focus on color. When it comes to photography, black and white images can create a more dramatic effect, and can also make the subjects of the pictures look better. You may find that thanks to the forgiving nature of black and white, even some of your own photos taken on your phone look like proper art pieces you could use in your home design. Having pictures you have taken yourself blown up and professionally printed can give you some unique art to display that will work color scheme wise in just about any room. You could have interesting photos of your city, places you have visited, animals, or whatever else you like the look of.
If you want to continue the color accent theme while also using black and white images, the easiest thing to do can be to add a colored frame around the piece, or mount several black and white images on a colored background. Alternatively, you can consider accenting the images using photo editing software to add color accents directly to the pictures. This can take some skill, but look really amazing.
Art on Surfaces
Your walls are not the only places where art can make your home more beautiful and interesting. Putting nice pieces of 3D art on shelves or other key places like your mantle can make rooms look more complete décor wise, and can also add some interest in places that would otherwise look a bit bare. You can, for example, put up a simple corner shelf with a stylish vase or small sculpture on it to make a bare corner into a cool feature.
Choosing 3D pieces can be no easier than choosing wall art, but the key thing to remember is that less is usually more. Having lots of colorful ornaments all over the room can make the room look quite cluttered or old fashioned, so stick to one or two pieces per surface, and one or two surfaces per room to decorate with sculptures, statues, figurines, vases and other art pieces.
Simple shapes in classic designs, such as plain black statues or bronze sculptures generally look classy, and can be easy to choose. You can go for something that you feel expresses your own personality or tastes, for instance a modern black statue of a cat if you are an animal lover, or a bronze statue of an athlete if you love sport. Alternatively, you can go for something completely abstract that simply matches well or contrasts nicely with the style of your room. Geometric shapes, modern curvy designs, and things that add a touch of block color can all make nice features.
It may sound like these ideas will all be quite expensive to implement. However, you don’t need to buy expensive bronzes or fancy art pieces from expensive department stores to get the effect. You can find some great ornamental items in budget friendly homeware shops like IKEA, which can look just as expensive – as long as you don’t mind having a similar item to lots of other homes.
If you want something a bit more unique, then another good way to get your sculptures and other ornaments for less is to try buying second hand pieces. You can try checking out garage sales and second hand shops, or simply head to eBay where you can find all kinds of home decoration items at bargain prices.
An alternative is to try making your own pieces, and a modern and fun way to do this could be by designing something on your computer and getting it 3D printed into a sculpture you can display. Lots of print shops now offer 3D printing, or you can find companies that you can order the service from online if you send them your design in a file.
Hopefully, you have found some ideas among the ones here that you can use to make your home look great with pictures and sculptures. Decorative pieces really can make your house more homely and interesting, and don’t have to take a lot of money or effort to apply.