Home Is Where the Art Is

Do you dream of Dalí? Are you a lover of Leibovitz? In need of some inspiration?

Adding art to your home is easier than you might think. Artwork helps reflect who you are as a person and can make your house not only a home, but an inspirational oasis as well. With the help of Caroline Leemis, American Society of Interior Designers allied member and owner of Caroline Leemis Design, here are a few tips for adding art to your home.

The Approach

Take your time. Before setting out to redesign a room, figure out what kind of art you prefer and have the space to accommodate. Ask yourself: do you prefer paintings, photographs or sculptures? More simply, which subjects or colors do you wish to surround yourself with? What wall space could be made available for a work of art? Where would it be seen the most? Answer those questions, find your art and then decorate, Leemis says. Otherwise it can be difficult to work in the art to the rest of the design. If the room is already decorated, however, select art by size to fit a particular space or by color to harmonize with the palette or décor of the room.

“I read this quote recently that said ‘Art is the jewelry for the home,’ ” Leemis says. “It’s kind of the sparkle, the extra pop that adds something special to your home.”

Take care to select a piece of work that resonates with you. “Having that personal tie to it makes it a lot better,” Leemis says. “It’s your place of refuge and your place to relax, have that personal, unique aspect to it”

The Acquisition

Taking the time to find art is the hardest part of the design process. The good news is there are plenty of places to find it. From local galleries and artists, to antique shops and online, finding art becomes more of an adventure than a task. Locally, you can head downtown to the North Village Arts District to peruse the galleries and artist’s studios.

“We have so many art resources in Columbia,” Leemis says. “Don’t forget to see what’s out there and use local if it works for you.”

Local antique stores, flea markets and estate sales are great places to scoop up art on a budget. You might have to reframe the work, but if you’re careful, you’ll walk away with an interesting piece that carries the satisfaction of a successful hunt.

If you’re having trouble finding a piece that’s appropriate for your space consider commissioning a work of art from a local artist. “Pull in a designer if you need to, or work with the artist directly just to figure out what type of style would work better for a space,” Leemis says.

The Installation

“In a lot of instances, the art really needs to be the focal point of a room and in some cases it can be the thing that everything else in the room — and the design — works around,” Leemis says. The first thing you should do, she says, is figure out where you want to put your work of art. Find a wall it works well on, taking into consideration the size and scale of the work. “Then just start to pull out colors from it,” Leemis says. “If it’s a more modern piece, pull out shapes and the style.”

Hang artwork so that the center of the piece is at eye level. You can also incorporate many different works of art onto one wall to form a gallery wall. Mix family photographs with mirrors and other decorative items. “A lot of people are including the letter of their last name, those 3-D letters,” Leemis says. “It doesn’t have to be limited to photographs or paintings, necessarily.”

Still Need Help?
Consider pulling in an art consultant for that extra perspective. Art consultants can work with you, and your designer, to find the best artwork for your home and tastes. They can also work with you to commission pieces.