Wall Art 101: Where to Begin?

Wall Art 101: Where to Begin?

By Pam Myers, Windcliff Hollow

December 2020

There are a few things to consider before you get out the tools and picture hanging kits. First, you should realize that wall art sets the tone for your homescape. When you look around your wall space it should convey a comfortable, inviting tone that reflects your family’s type. Different rooms might convey the room’s purpose, but your sense of style is defined by the wall art being displayed.


Next, choosing wall art should be a fun experience that inspires you and brings you pleasure when you place it in just the right spot. You may have a special piece that inspires you or you decide to focus on a room’s theme. Other areas of focus might be color or size. Regardless, choosing wall art should be enjoyable and fun.


The third thing to consider when choosing wall art is what vibe does it give off? If you do not gain enjoyment or relaxation from the piece, then why put it on your wall? Remember it is your money, your design and your homescape. Although you may need to come to a consensus with other family members, you can select pieces that reflect your family’s style. Living with the your wall art should be comfortable, yet inspirational, to help you energize yourself the next day.

The final consideration in choosing your wall art design is balance. Filling every available amount of wall space is not always advisable. Sometimes blank or empty space can just as important in enhancing room’s your overall decor as placing a group arrangement. Obtaining balance between the wall art objects and the room’s overall colors and textures can be a challenge. Arrangements may be symmetrical or asymmetrical between two sides of the wall. However, harmonious groupings occur when the wall’s design is proportional to the furniture and other features of the room feel equally weighted.

Balance is a main principle of design and represents a sort of harmony easily achieved in wall decor arrangement. Object placement can be symmetrical -- or asymmetrical -- balance between the two sides of a wall. When a wall has a balanced design, the room’s overall proportions will feel equally weighted, too.

Think of wall art as putting icing the cake. Family photographs, artwork, tapestries, wreaths, etc., makes the room’s design cohesive and inviting because these are pieces you have taken the time to select and install. The pieces you have curated for your walls is what makes your homescape personal and inviting. Although there are not hard and fast rules for decorating your space, remember to go with what you like and what makes your space uniquely yours.

Creating wall space so you have a designated area in which to place your wall art begins with arranging the furniture. You can place furniture on opposing sides of the room to create symmetry and gives the room balance. For example, placing two of the same (or similar) tables, lamps, chairs, or even house plants on either side of the room, but in front of the wall you intend to use as your wall art canvas, will help define the space available for your wall art. Another option is to place furniture in front of the wall you intend to decorate. Using a sofa as the central piece with proportionate side tables and decor will another way of defining the wall canvas for you arrange your wall art.

Once you have defined the wall art space, choose a central focal point. If you are using a blank wall and wall art as a focal point, then hang a large painting or print, a decorative mirror or unique wall hanging in the main point of interest in the space. Wall hanging might include a sculpted wooden mask, a quilted textile or a macrame wall design. However, do not forget that a central focal point for your room could be the view from a large window. If you have centered a sofa on the wall beneath you wall art canvas, you can add decorative objects on a sofa or console table below the central artwork. Placing decorative accents on the table should be proportionate to the wall art to enhance your decorative design rather than clash with it.

If your room design has proportional furniture facing each other from opposite sides of the room, be sure that the texture, colors, and shapes of your wall art flows well overall. Placing matching sets of identical wall stencils on either side of the room can draw in the symmetrical balance you need, provided they are perfectly facing each other. You can achieve the same effect with framed art. Creating a mirror image with the frames facing one another (directly, diagonally if the same size) from across the room. Consequently, using several smaller pieces placed by one large piece will create the asymmetrical balance the done properly. When the smaller pieces “add up” to the proportion of the larger piece, you can achieve an evenness that brings balance.


Once you begin you will get the feeling balance in the room. Play around with placement and filling the wall space. You might try out your design for a few days and move things around to get the desired effect of your design that sets the tone for your homescape. Even though the purpose of rooms differ, your wall art conveys your sense of style. The final presentation should impart your family’s type and presents a comfortable, inviting tone.


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