Today the goal is to help give you all some tips on making your new houses feel like home by selecting artwork. I definitely went through an intense process of figuring out what artwork I wanted where, what I wanted it to look like and the size and how the layout would be. As I was creating my own process, I stopped and thought “I wonder if people would want to see this? If they would want some help on how to navigate this process?”
So I thought I’d write an article about it. All of the artwork that I have been looking at for our house has been through Etsy. You guys know I love Etsy. I’ve literally been using Etsy artwork since my very first apartment.
We also used them for our wedding. So it’s like they’ve kind of gone with us throughout our family growth which is cute. They’ve done our Christmas cards, and they have a bunch of really great products that I love.
So the best thing about art is it helps bring your whole house together, and it sets the tone for your colour palette. As you guys know, if you’ve read any of other my articles, I always encourage you to start with your artwork when you go to decorating a space, not your paint colour. Because once you find a piece of art that you love, there’s like a billion shades of every single colour out there that you can colour match to your art if you do want to paint your space.
It also makes your home feel cosy, and like it’s your personal space, it reflects your unique style, and it makes the four blank walls of a new house feel like your home when you have your own self reflected up there through art. Oh, and I’d love to know your favourite art piece and where it’s from. Let me know in the comments below.
Okay, so the first phase of selecting art is the assessment phase. To assess your walls, you want to go around your house and identify what areas you’re going to put art on and then figure out what kind of layout would look best there.
Some of the walls you might land on, you may think, “Hey, I could do a gallery wall, I could do a big horizontal piece, I could do a couple of vertical pieces.” So, for example, above our bed, we have a really low headboard, so we wanted to make sure that we put in an ample horizontal piece because we also are putting lights next to it and we didn’t want it to be too busy, so we wanted the art piece to be large.
Across from the bed, we have another big open wall, and there isn’t a lot going on over there. We have one piece of furniture, and that’s it, so over there, we thought it’d be kind of fun to mix it up and put a gallery wall in that space.
Once you decide on that, you kind of want to be mentally thinking sizes. Hence, if I’m going to have a big piece of art above the bed, I want to keep that in mind that I’m going to need probably about a 120cm x 100cm piece of art, not necessarily exact sizes, just like a generic “I want a huge piece there and some smaller pieces there.” That’ll help you look, so keep that in mind, figure out, assess your walls, what you want where and move on to step number two.
Step two is all about selections. You want to go in, and you want to save your favourites. As I said, I went to Etsy to look for our artwork, and my husband and I both picked out things we liked. We hearted some of the things that were his favourites. We hearted some of the things that were my favourites. We hearted things that we both really liked. Plus you can refine your search by size; you can refine your search by style or even colour palette. One of our absolute favourite Etsy stores for printable wall art, digital prints and wall art decor is Cactus & Lime.
For me, I knew there were a couple of walls that I needed a big piece of art for, so I selected the size component, that way; I didn’t fall in love with something unique that only came in a 60cm x 45cm.
So start there; that way, you don’t have to go through the heartbreak of not getting the thing you want in a giant print, then you move on to step 3.
Sort by Room
Step 3 is to sort your art by room. So once you have selected all of your hearted saved favourites, you want to send those top selections to your phone and then go into each room. You’re then going to swipe through every photo in that room.
A couple of things to note: Make sure you are standing in the room when it has pretty decent light that way, you get an accurate picture of what the art would look like in the room. Swipe through the art and allow yourself to go, “Okay, I like this”. You could have all of the ten pieces you like, and you could like five of them out of the ten for your bedroom. You could then select nine of them out of the ten for your living room, and there’s an overlap of what could go in the bedroom or what could go in the living room.
Don’t worry about that. At this point, you just want to go through each room and save it to a folder that’s named after that room. That way, you can categorise all the different options of the photo prints or the Digital Downloads that you liked in each room.
One thing to note: I would never recommend you put the same piece of art in two separate rooms; however, in this phase, when you’re still in the brainstorming part, it’s totally okay to identify the same piece of art in several different rooms because eventually you will narrow it down and pick one piece of art per room.
Next, you’re going to print out one copy of each of the prints that you love. So let’s say you like print A for three different rooms, don’t print it out three different times; print it out one time. Then when it comes out of the printer, you’re going to flip it over, and you’re going to write on the back of it all the different sizes that that piece of art comes in. You’re also going to write down all the rooms that you thought it would look good in. So you’ll write down bedroom, write down living room, and you’ll write down hallway, for example, and you do that for each of the photos in your favourites file.
Next, you’re going to grab your significant other or your roommate or just yourself, and you are going to take each of those pieces of paper and organise them by room. So let’s say you start with your bedroom, and one by one, you’re going to tape that piece of paper up on the wall where you want the art piece to go. Then stand back with your significant other, roommate, or whoever, dog, baby, it doesn’t matter. Think to yourself, “Do I like it? Does it go well? Is it a total absolute no now that you see it up on the wall? Or is it actually a maybe, and you kind of really like it?”
Take off the ones that are very obviously a no and cross those out on the back where you had all the rooms listed out. That way, you remember what’s what because it can get confusing if you don’t do that.
Now put it in a pile, go to the next room and then go back to what your absolute favourites are. You may even land on your actual favourite in the moment, or you may have two or three that you still have to decide upon.
Take a photo with your phone and save it; that way, you can go back and look at it, then take all of those art prints off the wall, put them in the next pile of where they should go and then go to that room and do the same exact thing. So we’re going to repeat that process in every room that you’re selecting art for.
Spend Time With It
Next, you just basically leave it on the wall for about five days to get a good feel for it. Wake up to it every morning for a few days, see if you actually like it, set a time limit on it, so if you are doing this with someone else, kind of tell each other, “Okay, we’ve got four or five days to make a decision after that time period we’re gonna pick one, and we’re gonna order it”.
If you don’t, you’ll never decide. You’ll kind of go back and forth, and you’ll never get art on your walls, and then a year will go by, and you’re like, “Oh yeah, we never did that, and our room doesn’t look complete, and we hate it”.
Placement & Sizing
This leads us to step 7, which is placement and sizing. Okay, so the most important thing when you’re trying to determine placement and sizing and figuring out how to hang this stuff is that you want to find a household item similar in size to the artwork you are purchasing.
You could use a bath towel; you could use a piece of cardboard, or you could use a book sleeve. For me, we had a bunch of packing supplies around, so we had this kind of furniture wrap that was translucent, and we decided to use that and cut out the exact measurements.
Also, when you guys are looking to get bigger pieces of art, you want to know, “Is this piece of art gonna fill that space? Or is it gonna feel too big and crowded”. And you want to see it in real life. This will help you visualise if that print is actually going to look good or if it’s going to be too overwhelming. All of those clarifying decisions and confidence that you’ll gain from having it life-size on your wall will really allow you to be super excited about purchasing those pieces and not be fearful that it’s going to arrive wrong or not look right.
Now when it comes to gallery walls, you guys want to cut out pieces of whatever you have. For us, like I said, we used that clear furniture wrap because we wanted it to stand out off the wall, and since it is kind of like a white clear translucent colour, we put a border of blue tape around it. It also allows you to get custom with moving them around, so once you have your cutouts, you can tape them up on the wall, and you can actually tape the actual photo to your cutout and kind of play with them as far as angles, sizes or placement. It definitely really helped us, so hopefully, that’ll help you guys.
Order Your Art
Last but not least, number eight is to order your art. At this point, you guys will be super confident. You’ll love the different pieces you have in your space, and you’ll know the suitable sizes, and you’ll feel no question.
For us, this whole little process we went through made it so easy; this process will give you confidence. So let me know if you do it and if it helps and send me pictures because I’d love to see it!
Thank you so much for reading. I hope you guys learned lots and enjoyed reading some tips on decorating those walls and getting them beautiful with lots of pretty wall art.