A Happy Home: Notes On Decorating With Artwork

When I first moved into this apartment, I thought to myself, "Well, I'll only be here for a year. No sense in painting or doing anything too elaborate." Hilariously enough, I find myself at the same place a little more than five years later, and I am plagued by how silly of a decision that was. Although - to be fair - I did move in here with zero furniture / décor minus my cherished tiny thinking chair. I personally come from the school of If You Love It, Put It On The Wall (hence my dedicated kitsch corner), but a most-talented hippie, Erin, is here today to share with us just how to use our space efficiently and effectively with one of her favorite things - artwork.


There comes a time in every girl’s life when she needs to stop decorating her home with stick-on wall decals, sorority memorabilia, and movie posters. But, decorating can be a daunting and overwhelming task without a little bit of guidance. Selecting the right furniture and color palette should obviously be the main focus, but it's always disappointing to walk into someone’s home only to find that they have completely bare walls. Most people totally forget to utilize their wall space when decorating, and in turn, their homes tend to have an empty, just-moved-in feeling to them. I’m sorry to break it to you, but simply slapping a coat of paint on the walls absolutely does not solve this problem. Adding artwork is an excellent way to personalize and polish any room in your home.

Note 1. Large, contemporary works look incredible in an area that is a focal point such as above a couch, in an entry way or at the end of a hallway.

My Scandinavian Home
Note 2. Small works look great as accents in kitchens, bathrooms, and in other small spaces that need some sprucing.

Better Homes & Gardens
Jacquelyn Clark
Note 3. A set of small pieces are a great way to fill up a large space above a mantel place, along a hallway or staircase, and above a headboard.

My Scandinavian Home
Before you run off to the store to purchase some overpriced stock photography in a cheap plastic frame, do yourself a favor and spend some quality time developing your own personal taste in art. This is massively important to do before you make any big purchases to avoid winding up with a piece of artwork that you've grown out of after just a few years. To help get your feet wet, I highly recommend browsing the artist profiles on Saatchi Art, an online art gallery based in Los Angeles that simplifies the sale of original artwork and reproductions directly from artists from all over the globe. Saatchi’s website is incredibly easy to navigate and allows you to narrow your search by location, price, size, style, medium, and even subject matter.

Now, if you’re a noob, purchasing a reproduction and having it framed by a local frame shop is probably the most cost-effective way to go. In short, a reproduction is an image of the original artwork that is printed on archival paper. When you purchase a reproduction, you’ll get the look that you love without the hefty price tag and shipping fees that go a long with acquiring an original piece. Many artists have prints of their original artwork available on their websites. As for me, I'm currently really into to the work of Atlanta-based painter, Michelle Armas. Her work is vivacious, effervescent and the perfect way to inject some color into a room with an otherwise neutral color palette.

Michelle Armas
Taking your print to be professionally framed under glass is a great idea because it will not only look sophisticated and luxurious, but it'll also protect the image, ensuring that you'll have it for many years to come. Your local framer can work with you to determine the best matting and framing options based on your budget and the look that you want.

If you’re wanting to buy an original work of art but you're concerned that you need to have a couple hundred thousand dollars just casually lying around, the good news is that you're mistaken! Another great website for browsing artwork is Previously Owned by a Gay Man, which is an expertly curated online home décor consignment boutique. Here, you can shop for original artwork, framed photography, and vintage prints, as well as magnificent furniture and accessories for your home with unexpectedly reasonable prices. You can rest easy when ordering from these guys because every piece was once owned by a fabulous gay man, so you know that it’s not only super stylish but was kept in fantastic condition.

Previously Owned By A Gay Man
At the end of the day, you should always trust your gut and only purchase artwork that you absolutely love. Discovering and collecting artwork is an intensely personal experience that should take time to develop over many, many years. Happy hunting!

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