IMG_0101After posting the other day about how to use posters as an art alternative, it got me thinking about other ways to get art up on the walls. The travesty isn’t owning good art, the travesty is blank walls kept bare.

So, here it is: Five ways for everyone to be surrounded by beauty.

1. Buying and/or receiving art from artist friends. For me, this is the number one way to fill your home with art. Having gone to liberal arts schools, I know I am extra lucky as I have wonderfully talented friends whose stunning art covers our walls. If you don’t have artist friends and are looking for an investment, buying a piece of art that you love could be a great way to go. But again, having the personal connection to the artist makes for not only a special piece, it adds to the story and to the emotional ties.

2. Children’s art. Confession: when I see a home or fridge cluttered with a billion art projects from the family’s kindergartener, it never feels like pride, it feels like parental guilt and an inability to edit. However, when there is one strong piece signaled out and framed (and let’s be honest, much of children’s art is really wonderful, vibrant and full of joy) it can be a life-long statement that is both whimsical and, dare I say important. ABOVE: I  found this (rather well done, if I do say so myself) crayon drawing I did of my father when I was four that is now framed and hanging in our living room. I have to say it warms my heart every time I see it.

3. Photographs. These days, it is so easy to get a great photograph enlarged to a size that feels really substantial and can act not only as a great memory and story starter, but as a vibrant (or classic, if done in black and white) image on your wall. A great pastoral, or landscape taken on holiday (the pic above was taken this summer on Fire Island. I mean, come on!), or a funny yet well composed family pic can be just what a bland room needs to get lifted into a joyful space. Seriously, between iPhoto’s easy ordering to the plethora of online photo printing sites that now exist, this type of wall art is too easy not to try.

4. picture ledges. This is a different concept than a large printed photograph. Here, the idea is to hang wall ledges and then get a bunch of framed photographs that correspond in a way that gives uniformity and can really fill a large wall space. Use the same style or color frame, or use all colored pictures, or all sepia tone, or all family portraits… something that allows the images to work together to create one overall look. Ledges create great symmetry while allowing for an alternative to frame clusters, which can sometimes look messy and overwhelming.

5. Posters. As discussed the other day, finding a great image that you love or one that connects you to a time or a place is a great way to put images up on your walls. Think about size, and think about the style of the poster, so that it fits with the coordinating room. A powder room might warrant a vintage beauty product advert. A living room most likely will want something elegant or graphic. Think about your space and your style. The above is a poster done by the great Danish artist Bjorn Wiinblad that hangs in our living room. I love it, but note: this is an actual poster Wiinblad made, it’s not a print of one of his paintings, which is the one way I would NEVER go. Fine, if you want to frame a poster from an exhibit on Monet, but DON’T frame an actual print of a Monet. Got it? Other than that, the possibilities are endless.

And remember the number one rule: A painting DOESN’T have to match the color of the couch! Art is art. It stands alone. Let your color themes be echoed in the little touches around the room. Let you art just be. Xo.

1. “Peaches” by Katie Meredith.
2. “Rams” by William Webb

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