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Home Is Where the Art Is: Inspiring Ideas for Displaying Your Favorite Pieces

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Home Is Where the Art Is: Inspiring Ideas for Displaying Your Favorite Pieces

Whether you're a seasoned collector or simply appreciate the beauty and emotion that art evokes, displaying your favorite art pieces in your home can elevate your living space and create a unique, personal atmosphere.

How Art Can Elevate Your Home and Spark Joy

For me, art selection is probably my favorite part of designing my home. Art has the incredible power to transform a space, infusing it with personality, texture, and joy. I love the way art can set the tone for a room, from playful and quirky, to serene, to moody and brooding. And I absolutely go crazy for the hunt for gorgeous art (which can come in many forms, not all of them expensive!). 

In this post, we’ll explore some creative ideas for showcasing art in your home and share how it can add depth, character, and visual interest to any room.

The Benefits of Displaying Art in Your Home

Displaying art in your home brings so many benefits (too many to list!). I’ve highlighted just a few below.

Personal Expression

Art is a powerful form of self-expression. By displaying pieces that resonate with you, you create a home that reflects your unique personality, experiences, and aesthetic preferences. I read a quote recently that really resonated with me: “home is not to impress, it’s to express.” For me, art is exactly that – a way to express myself through color, shape, genre, etc.

A special sketch by a street artist in Brooklyn, NY of me, my husband, our son as a baby, and our dog. It cost $20 and is one of my most cherished pieces.

Conversation Starter

Art is actually a great conversation starter, encouraging dialogue and connection with guests in your home. Each piece tells a story and invites others to engage with and interpret its meaning. I personally love to share the stories behind various pieces of art in my home – where I found them, background on the artist, etc. I love sharing my favorite artists (most of whom are creative entrepreneurs running their own small businesses) with others to encourage more purchases of their work. (For instance, I’m currently working with a friend on selecting a print from Kara Rosenlund, an Australian photographer I adore and have purchased from in the past.)

Kara Rosenlund's "Lillian" in Ashley's Connecticut bedroom
Kara Rosenlund's "Lillian" Dahlia print in our Connecticut lake house

Emotional Impact

Art has an incredible ability to evoke emotions and create a desired mood in a space. Whether you want to create a sense of calm, inspiration, or joy, carefully selected art pieces can help achieve that emotional atmosphere. I recently hung a few new pieces (not new to me, but new to the space) in our entry hallway at the Barn and it’s amazing how much joy and energy it has brought me. I usually tend to select calming art for my bedroom because I like my bedroom to be a really serene and relaxing space.

Instillerie hallway vintage art
Vintage art in our hallway at the barn brings me so much joy!

Visual Interest

Displaying art adds visual interest and texture to a room. It can serve as a focal point, draw the eye, and create a sense of depth and dimensionality in your decor. Honestly, it’s incredible how much art changes the feel of a space to give it warmth and create a sense of home. Our Brooklyn, NY living room is a great example of how art can immediately give a room more depth.

Instillerie Park Slope Brooklyn Living Room Reveal 2
Art in our Brooklyn, NY living room

Creative Ideas For Displaying Art

Here’s where it gets fun. There are SO many ways to display art in your home! 

1. Gallery Wall

Create a gallery wall by arranging a collection of art pieces in varying sizes and frames on a single wall. This creates a visually striking display that showcases your personal style and adds depth to the room. Below you’ll see the gallery wall from our Brooklyn bedroom, which was filled with pieces that represented our family, all framed in white for cohesive yet eclectic feel.

Instillerie Park Slope Brooklyn Bedroom Reveal
Instillerie Park Slope Brooklyn Gallery Wall. Design: Me + Deluzuriaga Studios via Homepolish, Photography: Sean Litchfield

2. Leaning Art

For a more casual, relaxed look, lean larger art pieces against a wall instead of hanging them. This works particularly well with oversized canvases or framed prints and adds a bohemian, effortless vibe to your space. 

I love leaning art against a wall using a shelf or piece of furniture. I also love the look of oversized art on the floor leaning against the wall, but with a 4-year old and 7-year old at home (plus two dogs), I haven’t figured out a way to make it work safely in this phase of life (any creative ideas out there?).

Reath Design, Westwood Residence. Photographed by Laure Joliet 2019
Reath Design, Westwood Residence. Photographed by Laure Joliet 2019
Leaning Art | Nicole Franzen for Leanne Ford Interiors | via Instillerie
Casual leaning art from Leanne Ford Interiors

3. Shelf Display

Use floating shelves or a picture ledge to display a collection of smaller art pieces, such as photographs, prints, or sculptures. This allows you to easily rotate your display and create a dynamic, evolving art arrangement.

K & H Design Notting Hill Powder Room via Instillerie
Genius display by K & H Design in a Notting Hill Powder Room
Chris Loves Julia picture ledge via Instillerie
Chris Loves Julia picture ledge

4. Unexpected Placements & Scale

Don’t limit yourself to traditional wall spaces. Display art in unexpected places or in unexpected sizes, such as propped on a mantle, leaning on a bookshelf, or hung in a bathroom or kitchen. This adds an element of surprise and delight to your home.

Vaughan Design Unexpected Art Placement | Instillerie
Vaughan Design excels at playing with scale and unexpected art placements!
Vaughan Design Unexpected Art Placement | Instillerie
Vaughan Design excels at playing with scale and unexpected art placements!

5. Mix and Match

Combine different types of art, such as paintings, photographs, sculptures, and textiles, to create an eclectic, visually interesting display. Mixing mediums adds texture and depth to your art collection.

Beata Heuman West London Townhouse via Instillerie
Masterfully mixed and matched art by Beata Heuman

6. Color Coordination

Group art pieces with similar color palettes together to create a cohesive, harmonious display. This can help tie together the overall color scheme of a room and create a sense of visual unity.

Chused & Co Project Showhouse via Instillerie
Chused & Co example of perfectly color coordinated art

7. Statement Piece

Make a bold statement by featuring a single, large-scale art piece as the focal point of a room. This can be a dramatic painting, an oversized photograph, or a striking sculpture that commands attention and sets the tone for the entire space.

Sarah Van Renen Oxford Townhouse | via Instillerie
Stunning art placement from Sarah Van Renen

Tips For Curating Your Art Collection

If you’re ready to curate and display your art collection, keep this top of mind: you do NOT have to spend tons of money. There is so much beautiful art out there that will not break the bank. 

  1. Invest in pieces that speak to you: When selecting art for your home, choose pieces that evoke an emotional response and resonate with your personal style and values. Art should be a reflection of your unique personality and aesthetic preferences. A friend of mine recently framed a bunch of matchbooks from meaningful restaurants to her and her husband. That’s art and it’s a unique reflection of their life and things they enjoy doing together!
  2. Mix high and low: Don’t feel pressured to invest in expensive, high-end art pieces. Mix high-quality investment pieces with affordable prints, photographs, or sculptures to create a diverse, interesting collection. However, if you can, resist the urge to purchase mass produced art via big box stores, resist! (although no judgement if that’s your thing!) There are so many incredible artists via Etsy, local craft fairs, etc. and you can almost always buy vintage art at flea markets or estate sales cheaper than you can buy something new from Target or TJ Maxx.
  3. Support local artists: Consider supporting local artists in your community by purchasing their work or attending local art shows and festivals. Not only does this add a unique, personal touch to your art collection, but it also supports the local creative economy.
  4. Rotate your display: Keep your art display fresh and dynamic by rotating pieces periodically. This allows you to rediscover and appreciate your collection in new ways and keeps your home decor feeling updated and inspired.
K & H Design Notting Hill Family Home via Instillerie
K & H Design Notting Hill Family Home

Are You Ready To Use Art To Bring Personality Into Your Home?

Displaying art in your home is a powerful way to infuse your living space with personality, texture, and joy. By exploring creative ideas for showcasing your favorite pieces and curating a collection that reflects your unique style and values, you create a home that feels authentically yours and celebrates the transformative power of art. Remember, home is where the art is – so let your walls speak volumes about the beauty, emotion, and inspiration that fills your life.

Studio Hollond Sussex House via Instillerie
Every element in this photo is art - and it brings so much joy! Design: Studio Hollond

What’s Your Favorite Way To Display Art In Your Home?

Have you tried any of the ideas above? Anything to add? Let me know in the comments.

xoxox, A

 

Main image: Vaughan Design & Development

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Ashley Patterson