A well-chosen piece of art or personalised canvas prints from photos can dramatically enhance and improve your interior decorating, as well as showcasing your unique tastes. So, if you’re wondering how to choose wall art that complements; not clashes, in your home, read on!
Wall art on canvas can serve to stand as a centrepiece in your home or blend in seamlessly with the surrounding interior design. Whether you have chosen canvas prints from photos, or unique prints, you can make it work if you style your home with care.
In this article, we’ll show you just how to choose wall art in a way that looks stylish, yet allows you to express your unique personality. While there are no set styling rules when it comes to wall art, there are some tried-and-tested ways to easily ensure your interiors are on point.
Select your wall art on canvas carefully
First things first; wall art should be personal. You should never have to compromise on your personal preferences according to someone else’s opinion. After all, you’re the one who will have to look at your canvas art every day! Your wall art should evoke some kind of emotion and make you think, feel and connect with the piece.
Whether you’re looking for a contemporary piece, retro art, something more abstract, or simply your personal or landscape photos, your wall art should always reflect your distinct personality as well as anyone else you share your space with.
Work with your space
When you’re working out how to choose wall art it’s crucial that you consider how much available wall space you have! Consider which spaces feel blank and which spaces already feel cramped.
Also, think about where in your house you want to decorate. Canvas prints from photos such as photos of you and a partner or your family might work well in the bedroom or living areas, whereas retro wall art prints or colourful abstract wall art prints might work better in the living room or entranceways. A landscape piece might work nicely for the bathroom or hallway. In the kitchen, wall art prints of food can evoke passion and inspiration while cooking.
Small pieces of wall art fit well in smaller units, like spaces at the top of the stairs, in corridors, or even in the toilet! Larger pieces can work well on a large blank wall, in a lofty corridor, or bedroom, or make a strong impression in an entrance hall or large void space.
Just because your wall canvas art is small, doesn’t mean it can’t make an impression. It’s all about context. Strong colours and striking design can speak volumes on a bare wall or in a small space.
You’ll also want to consider aspects like how much light your piece will get, whether the piece is sentimental or not, and what it means to you.
A detailed piece of wall art on canvas should hang in a well-lit area, while less detailed or bolder pieces could sit in an area without a huge amount of light; as long as you can see it!
Work with colours you already have
Purchasing pieces with colours that already feature in your room will help create a harmonious and cohesive look. To do this, aim to match at least one of the colours in your wall art piece with the surrounding décor.
Alternatively, if you’re feeling brave, you could create deliberately clashing looks; a bright, busy print with modern furnishings can work well, or even bold reds to brighten up a dark or monochrome setting. Graphic or urban wall art can complement a modern minimalistic setting. A set of three or four consecutive pieces as a part of a set can also create a striking look in a minimal space.
Tip: if you’re unsure of which style of wall art on canvas you’ll love, think about a fashion designer you like, or the colours in your computer screensaver or wardrobe, and aim to replicate these styles or colours.
Select by theme
Most of us build our homes, particularly our interiors, around a theme, without even realising it. Consider what kind of photos you like, or which landscapes. Try and define your existing interior design style and the pieces you already have. Is it bohemian? Modern minimalistic style? Retro? Beachy? Hamptons or country-style? Urban and gritty?
If you don’t already feel as if your home fits into a category, think about which kind of influences you’d like to draw from. Some interior design takes cues from Japanese culture or draws inspiration from Egyptian culture.
If you feel like being a little more creative with your interiors, you could also mix contrasting prints, colours, and styles. Create a gallery wall with contrasting styles of wall art on canvas mixed with canvas prints from photos. Mix large, bold prints with photos and smaller, detailed pieces to get the look of a “collection” and provide variety for the eye. You could use a “grid” format to make a rectangle or square, or a “salon” style format; a non-traditional shape.
You might want to create a collection of canvas prints from photos which, together, tell a story. Popular choices are important days such as weddings, a new baby, your pets, family photos, or a favourite holiday.
Or, you could mix up various wall art on canvas styles. Use a colour or a theme to tie it all together. For example, you might want to decorate using the theme of the sea. You could mix photo images of the sea together with more graphic prints of the sea or seascapes at the beach. Or simply use blue to tie together entirely different styles, canvas sizes and shapes of wall art prints.
Pops of colour
If you don’t want to style by theme, try styling by colour, and simply see where it takes you. But don’t limit yourself to one colour; you could use a kaleidoscope of colours in your wall art to really liven up a neutral space.
Or, you might want to try a black and white colour scheme, shades of blue with grey and lilac, or charcoal with white and linen. If you have browns and earthy greens as part of the colour palette in your home, you could work with a “natural” theme, or try yellows and greens for a look that is warmer and more tropical.
Yellow, blue and white also work well against each other, as do other colours directly opposite each other on the colour wheel.
If you don’t have much colour in your home, you could use your wall art to bring colour into your space. A light, bright piece can add some much-needed colour to a dark and moody space, while a darker or neutral piece of wall art on canvas can tone down bright or loud furnishings.
Colour can really lift the mood in a space. There’s no need to be afraid of using powerful colour; you can still maintain a minimalistic and sophisticated look with colour, as long as the piece itself is simple, yet bold and intriguing.
Let the wall art speak for itself
Rather than the wall art complementing the room, let it speak for itself as a stand-alone piece. A brightly coloured piece of wall art, or one with plenty of depth, texture and intrigue can work wonders in any room. This kind of art can be placed in neutral surroundings, or complement areas which already have a distinctive style.
With this style of art, you can use either canvas sizes, colours or designs to create maximum impact. Split image styles can also create a fantastic impactful look. These pieces are the perfect way of evoking the memory of a precious moment with your personal photos.
Or, you might want to create a lasting impression with large wall art prints. These large wall art prints could stand by themselves as a centrepiece, or be complemented with two smaller pieces on either side.
Toning it down
When thinking about how to choose wall art for your spaces, it can be tempting to go bold with lots of colour, but sometimes it can be nice to pick a subtle piece.
If you’re not a fan of colour, you might want to use a more neutral piece to create light or even a moody aspect in a space. You don’t need to use colour to create interest. Some of the best wall art on canvas pieces are created in neutral colours. Another way to add a neutral piece to tone down bold interiors could be adding an intriguing black and white photograph; either your own, or an existing photograph.
Or, if you have busy wallpaper and bold, colourful interiors or furnishings, you might want to add some wall art in simple colours to break up the space.
Open floor plans
Selecting canvas wall art for an open floor plan can be even more difficult than closed rooms. If you have enough space, you could create an entire gallery wall full of wall art on canvas, canvas prints from photos and other art pieces in a blank, open area.
Styling a large blank wall can seem overwhelming as there are so many options, and, once you hammer in that nail, it’s hard to turn back. If you choose wall art that is too small, it will get lost, but you also need to be selective about choosing an enormous piece of wall art.
Tip: Lay out a gallery wall on the floor to see how it will look on your wall. It doesn’t have to be a completely square look, and don’t feel like you need to add all the same sized frames or styles of art together, as this can look too forced. Try to balance various canvas sizes and the shapes of pieces together and use different styles of wall art on canvas together. As a rule of thumb, select 2 or 3 larger pieces, more medium sized pieces, and several small pieces.
Choosing canvas sizes
It can be difficult choosing canvas sizes. Large wall art can really make or break your décor, as it demands attention and leaves a lasting impression. It’s perfect for areas such as behind your couch, above your bed or can look particularly impressive in a large void or hall space. In the dining room, you could include an interesting discussion piece, with lots of texture and emotion.
The same goes for sets of prints. A set of three or four canvas pieces can make a strong impression. You could create a set of canvas prints from photos of memorable, interesting trips, stunning landscapes or group or family photographs. Or you could create wall art on canvas using an interesting design or a favourite piece of art.
Smaller pieces are obviously great for smaller, more intimate areas, where you can see up close in more detail. This might be the bathroom, the bedroom, corridors, or the kitchen or dining room. Just beware when hanging wall art in bathrooms or the kitchen. Ensure that the piece is in a properly-ventilated space, otherwise the moisture could affect the wall art.
You could also create a cohesive look with a series of smaller frames which work together to tell a story, however in doing this, you would need to carefully consider how the frames would work together in the space. To make it easier, you could create a collage as one piece.
Bringing it all together
While there are no set rules to creating your space and choosing your wall art, this much is clear; it should represent you. You shouldn’t have to compromise your wall art on canvas or photos on canvas for anyone else.
And, as long as your rooms aren’t too cluttered, or your walls too bare, your pieces are bound to look good, if not to anyone else, then to you!
These guidelines however, should help to fully understand how to choose wall art on canvas and ensure it looks proportional and cohesive:
- Ensure your wall art sits at least 15cm above the edge of furniture, unless it is sitting directly on top of a mantlepiece or tabletop
- Work with buying larger single pieces first, then work your way down to smaller pieces which complement larger pieces and other interiors, sitting on either side of larger pieces
- Try creating photo prints from canvas or wall art prints in a series
- Work to a general theme but note that this doesn’t have to be set in stone and can change according to which room or space of the house you’re in
- Or, tie pieces together in a room using colours
- Small pieces of art can’t fill large spaces. Get a series of pieces, or combination or smaller and larger pieces, or create a grid with multiple small pieces
- Select a designer you like and select pieces in that style
- Use coloured wall art to brighten a room
- Use neutral pieces to create intrigue or tone down bold styling
- Consider the available light in the space
- Add pieces to blank wall spaces such as the end of corridors, or large void spaces
- Add a discussion piece to common areas like dining rooms
Ready to start choosing your wall art?
Do you know what your next piece of wall art on canvas will be? Or perhaps you want to create canvas prints from photos you already have, so you can remember that special day, or your adventure to Europe?
Wall art prints can add unique flair to a room, and make a house feel like a home. Use it to surround yourself with memories, or create a distinct theme within areas or rooms in your home.