In this guide, we’ll discuss art and paintings used in home decor and how to elevate the style of your residence with artwork.
Ornate art in a home
History of Art in Homes
Since the dawn of man, our homes have been influenced by and adorned withart. From the first cave paintings and etchings to the elegance of ancient Rome and Egypt’s display of wealth, humans have always found a way to express themselves through art. Each era has produced distinct influences on how art shaped our world and homes.
However, there are no rules when it comes to art, and although most of us cannot afford an original Rembrandt, there are many variations of prints we can acquire to show our tastes. Even on small budgets, we can obtain original works of art from local artists and those we know personally who enjoy painting, sculpting or drawing.
Home office with dark artworks by Goya and other artists
The Purpose of Art
Art is a method of self-expression and sometimes a measure of wealth and means. Royal families and heads of state feature significantly important works of art in their homes, castles, and public estates as a way of displaying their taste and position in the world.
For the average person, art is a way to showcase your interests and tastes in an enjoyable way in your home. Art fills blank spaces, adds color, acts as a conversation starter, or reminds you of someone or something. Since most artwork is purely decorative, it will make a bolder statement about your style than most things in your home and therefore should be carefully chosen.
For many, buying “art” might be dismissed as something for just the well to do, but with art schools, online portals, and collectives, it is absolutely possible to bring art into your home no matter your budget. In fact, this guide is primarily for men looking to decorate their homes themselves without 5+ figure budgets and swanky galleries.
Exquisite art at Buckingham Palace
How to Start Choosing Art
Begin by considering your budget. Money is often the primary constraint, and it’s best to set your budget before you begin looking.
Invest or enjoy? Decide how you want to spend your money. Would you like to buy just what you like, or do you want something you could sell again in the future?
Decide howyou want to decorate. Decorating can mean different things to different people. Some prefer to decorate a home all at once, a single room at once, and others enjoy collecting over time. Decide what you prefer before beginning.
Original or reproduction? Decide what kind of art suits your taste.Do you prefer one of a kind works, small batch reproductions, or basic prints?
Frames, no frames? While the art in your home can come in a variety of formats, it’s best to decide if you want to frame art, as a custom frame can add $200-1000 to a typical painting, or even more. Factor the end result into your budget so you don’t overspend on the art itself.
One theme/style or none? Decide how coordinated you’d like your art to be. Do you want a certain color palette, medium, subject or size?
Mix in current pieces or start fresh? If you have art already in your home, decide if you want to begin fresh or work around those pieces. For men who like a theme, discard art that doesn’t fit it and keep those that do before adding new pieces.
Size and quantity – do you want fewer larger pieces or more small items?
Consider how your home affects your vision. If you want a very traditional look but live in a modern loft, art purchases may not achieve the overall look you want. Consider the style, layout, and current decor of your home to see if you need to make other changes to get the look you want. Changing paint, tile, lighting and other finishes can dramatically alter the space you want to work with to suit art pieces.
Consult a trusted source. Want to decorate your home, but aren’t sure how to go about it? Begin by asking a friend whose taste you admire or go a step further and hire an interior designer.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when decorating your home. These questions may be hard to answer, and if they are, use decorating or home publications, other homes or museums to look for inspiration.
Finally, don’t think of art as being permanent! You can always buy, sell, trade and rearrange art pieces in your home as you come across new things or your tastes change.
Bold art in sitting area
Types of Art to Consider
There are many forms of art, and only you can decide what art you want in your home. The only hard and fast rule should be that you like it! At the Gentleman’s Gazette, our style is often oriented around classic or “traditional” decorating, which can cover a wide range of color palettes and tastes. Consider the following themes if
Butterfly or other shadowbox displays
Classic menswear prints
Objets d’art, or small collectible objects that aren’t hung on a wall
Art can be a wonderful conversation piece in the home
Art By Rooms
Living areas in your home are typically going to consist of your finest artwork that you take the most pride in owning.
A bold art wall in a sitting room
Sitting and Parlour Rooms
For larger sitting rooms and parlour rooms, consider large oil paintings, dramatic works and bold pieces that act as focal points in the room and can be used as topics of conversation. They should be interesting and unique.
Small sculptures, textiles, and carvings are also great ways to showcase your flair for art. Make sure the pieces in your sitting areas are personal and meaningful to you. The best art always has a story behind it.
Art in sitting area
The Library or Den
The library and den are areas where many people choose to place more tumultuous and intimidating artwork. If you enjoy darker pieces like art from Francisco Goya’s black period, the library or den is an ideal place to feature it. The art can be uncomfortable to look at and should hopefully make people think about what the artist was trying to convey when creating it. The sitting rooms are places to communicate so the focus should be on the people and not the art. However, in places like the den and library which can act as a fortress of solitude for contemplation, having controversial or unique art is acceptable so long as it’s not offensive to any guests that may see it. This is also an ideal spot for busts, stone sculptures, taxidermy and family heirlooms you wish to display.
Artwork in the private office of JA Shapira
The office is your personal domain where you conduct business in the home. Focusing on personal pieces is ideal in a place like the home office, although it should remain appropriate for anyone who attends a meeting in your home. A standard rule of thumb is to focus on pieces you’re comfortable with your boss seeing if you have one. Therefore, nude busts, boudoir photography and other sensitive art forms are probably best left for a more private domain like your bedroom.
Contemporary art in an elegant dining room
Exquisite art piece in White House dining room
From oil paintings of fruit to infographics and posters of various hot peppers, there are no limits for the kitchen. This is also an ideal place to put a focal piece of art if you have a blank wall near an eating area. Consider textural components such as accent pieces to give the kitchen a more cozy and comfortable appeal. Unique kitchen items such as colourful cutting boards can also add some artistic personality to the kitchen.
Art in a sitting area that is in contrast to the wall works wonderfully
Rec Room and Theater
The rec room and theater are perfect places for more casual art. Classic movie posters, vintage magazine covers like these ones from Fort Belvedere, and even items such as classic car grilles can act as hanging art on a wall. One idea is to pick a theme and go with it. Other ideas are a family photo wall that can be updated as your family grows.
Inspirational art in bedroom
The bedroom is your private domain, so your most passion-driven art belongs here. The key is to make sure it’s not wildly inappropriate if a guest or child comes in. Statues of busts are acceptable as are silhouettes and boudoir photography of your spouse if they aren’t pornographic and remain tasteful. You can also use oversized art to add depth to the room and ornate mirrors to give a smaller bedroom a larger feel. The bedroom is also a place where inspirational art is ideal since you’ll go to sleep looking at it and wake up inspired by it.
Art in the washroom is a tougher call. Often this is a good place to put art you’ve received as a gift that you don’t want to hang in a main living space. It also works well for showcasing your own art or local art found at various markets and stores. You can also use small accent pieces, ceramic soap dishes and candle holders or mirrors as art.
Foyer hall with resplendent artwork
Frames shouldn’t overshadow the art, but should help to showcase it. Frames are like a pedestal.
Where to Buy
There are so many places to find art. Here are some of our favourites:
Auction websites like eBay, Craigslist, and Etsy
art.com for prints
Flea markets and vintage stores
Direct from local artists
From original art websites such as artfinder.comor zatista.com
Art in Contemporary Living Room
Dos and Donts of Hanging Art
Here are a few standard rules for hanging art:
Do think carefully before hanging art to determine the best room and place for it.
Do have it framed professionally.
Do use different frames but ensure they work harmoniously.
Do measure twice before hanging the art to ensure it’s hung in the right spot.
Hanging art in a contemporary home
Don’t hang art on a whim or in a rush.
Don’t hang art that isn’t framed properly.
Don’t buy art on a whim unless you’re sure it will work in the room.
Don’t buy art just because it’s a good deal. Focus on pieces you can be proud of.
Don’t clutter your room with random art. Be strategic with how you place it.
The White House art collection
Art is the most personal part of any home, and the right piece of art can really elevate the decor. Do you have a favorite piece of art in your home or a piece you would love to have?
What kind of art is best for living room? ›
However, for living rooms, we recommend canvas art as the ideal kind of art.How do you arrange pictures in a living room wall? ›
Use a ruler to guide your placement. Aim for 3–6 inches between each piece of wall art and around all sides of the frames. Arrange larger art with more space between frames, and group smaller artwork closer together. Also, leave plenty of space between the frames, trim, and molding, so the gallery has room to breathe.What is the best online art selling site? ›
The best websites to sell art online are Fine Art America, Art(dot)com, Artsy, Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. You only need to choose the one that suits the style of your work and offers the beneficial terms for you. Read about the features of each platform in our article.Can I take a picture of art and search it on Google? ›
Search with an image saved on your phone
At the bottom, tap Discover. Take or upload a photo to use for your search: To take a photo: Point to an object with your camera and tap Search.
Coinoscope mobile app makes coin identification and valuation easy – just snap a picture of a coin with your phone camera and the app will show you a list of similar coins. Fast and accurate. A must-have tool for every coin collector and numismatist!What art makes rooms look bigger? ›
Light colours and contrasts
Light colours make a room look bigger and brighter, so selecting wall art with lighter touches will continue add depth to the room. Look for art pieces with a lot of white space or with bright shades that contrast other colours in the room.
We would always recommend hanging your Artwork centrally above your furniture, it will be one of the main focal points of your room and as you can see from the two images below taken in our Cheshire furniture store, that this will give you a much more balanced effect.Should picture frames match in a room? ›
If the artwork is not right, it will throw off the entire look of the space. Whenever you are placing multiple pieces on a wall, there is one important rule; one item needs to stay consistent to pull the look together. The frames should all be the same color, same size or the same frame.Can you hang two identical pictures on the same wall? ›
The answer is yes! You can absolutely hang two identical pictures side by side. In fact, this can create a really stunning visual effect. If you are craving this look, make sure the frames are identical and hung at the same height.What kind of art sells best? ›
The most popular art subjects have generic themes and include traditional landscape painting, local scenery, and local landmarks. Seascapes do well, as do animals and figurative work. Art buyers like paintings with a background and composed with a distinct focal point.
Which company is best for art? ›
- Getty Images. 3.0 stars. ...
- 9. California Closets. 3.0 stars. ...
- Bella Baby Photography. 2.9 stars. ...
- Stantec. 2.8 stars. ...
- Picture People. 2.8 stars. ...
- Mom365. 2.7 stars. ...
- Music & Arts. 2.7 stars. ...
- School of Rock. 2.6 stars.
- Sell it through an online marketplace or to a local collectibles store.
- Hang it in your home or office.
- Keep it in your storage.
- Donate it to a charity store, friend or family member.
While Etsy is undoubtedly a more niche marketplace well suited to smaller businesses that sell handmade, creative, artistic, unique and vintage products, eBay can potentially work for any seller because of its massive reach and vast diversity of inventory.Is it safe to buy art online? ›
Before you buy an artwork online make sure it is signed and dated. If it has an edition — it has to be numbered. Artists and galleries usually provide Certificates of Authenticity, so don't be shy to ask if there is one accompanying the work you have chosen.Is Etsy a good place to sell art prints? ›
Selling on Etsy is worth it because it's the easiest way to set up an eCommerce store dedicated to handmade arts and crafts and vintage goods. Etsy is quick to set up and learn. It's a low-cost, low-risk sales platform that rewards volume sellers with low prices, and 5-star reviews.How to get free wall art? ›
- Pixabay. Pixabay offers millions of images you can download and use for free. ...
- Library of Congress. The Library of Congress has a digital collection of images that are free to use. ...
- NASA. ...
- National Gallery of Art. ...
- Biodiversity Heritage Library. ...
- Old Book Illustrations. ...
- Unsplash. ...
Smartifiy is an app that allows users to instantly identify artworks and access information about them, by simply scanning them with a smartphone. Smartify is available for free to download on iOS and Android devices.How do I use Google to identify a painting? ›
- just put your picture in the search box on images.google.com.
- click the camera icon in the search box and upload a photo from your computer or paste the URL of an image from the web.
- drag and drop pictures from webpages or your computer into the search box.
17. Can I take an image from Google search? You cannot download or use images from Google without seeking permission from the copyright holder, unless your use falls within one of the exceptions or the work is distributed under an open licence such as Creative Commons.How do you find out what a picture is worth? ›
Sites such as:
What is the best app to identify items? ›
Google Lens: identify objects and learn about them
The app proves helpful as an educational tool and an immense help for visually impaired users.
With Visual Look Up, you can identify and learn about popular landmarks, statues, art, plants, pets, and more that appear in your photos in the Photos app . Visual Look Up is available on supported models. indicates Visual Look Up information is available for that photo.Are old prints worth anything? ›
Prints can in fact be very valuable, especially those by renowned artists, rare prints or old prints in good condition. Prints are a bit of a minefield when it comes to the value, which is often based on the production process and the artist's involvement in the creation of the print.How much does it cost to get a painting appraised? ›
Myth: It's too expensive. Facts: Request a flat fee for the entire appraisal at the outset rather than an hourly rate; you may or may not achieve this, but it can't hurt to ask. A well-executed appraisal will cost approximately $125 - $350 per hour.What can I do with old family paintings? ›
If the quality of your unwanted paintings is really good, you may be able to offer them to local women's shelters, ministries or child care organizations. If those organizations don't have use for artwork, give your old paintings away to a Goodwill or Purple Heart before chucking them.Where do you put art in a living room? ›
Hanging art too high is one of the most common decorating mistakes "The center of the image should be at eye level," Crisolo says. In living rooms, people are usually sitting, so artwork should be lower. A good way to ensure you're placing artwork at the right height is to hang it one hand width above the sofa.How can I display my artwork without hanging on the wall? ›
- Layer framed art over multi-level risers. ...
- Use shelves for your art display. ...
- Make a mix of materials and objects. ...
- Elevate your art display on a pedestal. ...
- View art in display boxes from all sides. ...
- Combine display cases to create a visual experience.
We would always recommend hanging your Artwork centrally above your furniture, it will be one of the main focal points of your room and as you can see from the two images below taken in our Cheshire furniture store, that this will give you a much more balanced effect.Should TV be centered on wall or couch? ›
Off-Center TV Placement
There's no rule that says the TV needs to be in the center of the wall. If your living room is more typically used for conversation rather than screen time, it might make sense to prioritize a cozy furniture arrangement then add in a TV where it fits.
When hanging your pictures, always hang them in relation to the furniture sitting below. With your couch off-centered on the wall, focus on hanging your painting centered above the couch to create a great focal point for your living room.
How do you choose wall art that goes together? ›
Pair Complementary Styles + Colors Together
Go bold and mix styles or stick to the genre that feels right to you. To make it even simpler, consider art that's sold as a pair. There isn't a set formula for grouping art together, so enjoy the process of trying something new in your space!
- DeviantArt. Founded in August 2000, DeviantArt is the largest online social network and platform for artists and art enthusiasts to exhibit, promote, and share their works. ...
- CGSociety. ...
- Pinterest. ...
- Behance. ...
- Instagram. ...
- Tumblr. ...
- Facebook. ...
- Oversized Statement Pieces.
- Small Art for Small Spaces.
- Choose Detailed Artworks.
- Place Art in Unusual Places.
- Gallery View.
- Pair Up Small and Large Pieces.
- Consider the Color of the Wall.
- Don't Forget the Floor and the Ceiling.
Here's an example:
- Picture is 20″ tall.
- Middle is at 10″ (this mid point should rest at 57″ from the floor)
- Wire comes to 2″ below the top.
- 10″ – 2″ = 8″
- Lightly mark 8″ above your first mark or 65″ on the wall.
- Hang up your art!
- Command Strips. This is probably the most commonly used method of hanging up frames, canvases, and any other decor without leaving a trace on the wall. ...
- Command Hooks. ...
- Hang Art From Your Molding. ...
- Use Your Mantle. ...
- Take Up Space on Bookshelves. ...
- Embrace the Wall Lean. ...
- Put the Art on an Easel. ...
- Clip it Up.
The center of a framed piece of artwork should be 57 inches above the ground—the average eye level, and the height galleries and museums typically hang their pieces. Mark the height using a pencil, then measure to find the middle of the wall from end to end, and mark where the two points meet.