Artwork | Selection & Styling

Artwork can be one of the hardest things to select because everyone has different things they want from their artwork.  Some people just want their artwork to match and flow with the rest of the space--they want something that looks pretty.  Others want a focal point or wow factor piece.  While there are some that don't like art unless it speaks to them.  It's all very subjective and, as a designer, it can be a sticking point.

Once you've moved past selecting the actual piece, there is another step to consider, how to display it.  There are a number of different approaches you can take to this to make sure your artwork is seen and worth all of the headache you had selecting it!

We love over sized artwork but it needs a special place in a room.  Over-sized artwork can't be crammed inbetween other large items like pieces of furniture, it needs to be the center of attention.  The best way to display an over-sized piece of art is on a wall all by itself.  Not only will it make the artwork pop but it will instantly elevate the room and make everything look much more expensive!  Always a plus!  Just be sure the piece is on a wall in a room with enough space to stand back and admire the entire piece, otherwise, the effort is wasted.

A huge part of making a design come together is having a common thread that runs through the space.  This gives a feeling of cohesiveness.  The thread can be a color or style but it doesn't have to be super obvious, it should really just create the feeling that makes the space flow.  This is relevant when displaying artwork as well.  Pick pieces for a grouping that have a common thread--whether they have the same color running throughout or are both geometric.  Even the amount of white space that each has can be a common factor or maybe it's something as simple as using all of the same frames.  Gallery wall especially can be major impact walls so you don't want them to feel disjointed.  Make it look like a well-coordinate family picture--each piece is unique but the whole of it's parts go together.

Finally, consider the background color that your art is going on.  We love the clean look of great art on a white wall but the truth is, dark colors actually make artwork stand out even more.  We know that a lot of people are afraid of dark walls and we are definitely anti accent walls, but the truth is, one little black accent wall with a piece of art on it makes the whole wall look like art.  So think about that when you've got a little wall that you're thinking of decorating.  Those niche walls in the family room or in the bedroom vestibule are always a great place to start!

Art is important and we know it!  It can be impactful in many different ways and for many different reasons so even if you're not a big art collector, don't ignore it.  Even inexspensive art, when displayed properly, can contribute to great looking room!

On Display | Kids Artwork

I've always been a lover of art but I've also been very selective about what gets put on display.  Too much art can feel very cluttery and busy if it's not displayed well and then it looses all impact it might have had.  However, when my son started his toddler class, and I was getting multiple art projects sent home each week, I realized that I might not be able to be as selective about what was displayed.  However, still not willing to sacrifice my walls to a cluttery mess, I've held on to his art waiting until I could figure out the best way to display it.  This post is a re-cap of a great article on Houzz that discusses some great ways to display your children's art in your home.  There are options for single, big-impact pieces as well as gallery-type displays for multiple pieces!  So pick which works best for the type and amount of art you have and run with it!

In the beginning it's hard because you want to keep every little piece of art they make since it's all so new.  It's still a novelty and you appreciate how each piece shows them learning and developing more in their skills.  However, as they get older, it can become burdensome because you're past the novelty phase but your child has some lofty expectations of what should be done with each piece they bring home (no matter how many).  So how do you meet their expectations for praise and save your walls?!  Try a rotating display where multiple pieces are "featured" until the new ones replace them---almost like a gallery.  This will allow your kids to feel like you're proud of their artwork and then about when they've forgotten about it, you can swap out the old for the new!

Go for the old staple--the wire and clip display.  This easy, inexpensive method using Ikea's Dignitet Wire Curtain Rod has been a go-to for moms for years.  Why?  Because it works!  It's clean and nondescript and does the job.  The wires come in multiple lengths so you can customize your display based on where it's going in your home.

Tie up the pieces by getting them bound...literally.  Instead of trying to find wall space for each piece (especially if you have multiple kids), consider having the artwork bound into a book.  Both a little flip book or a coffee table book could make fun additions to your home and are great conversation starters for guests.  It doesn't hurt that this method is also WAY more condensed.

If you don't have a lot of artwork from your kids but would like more to display, put your kids to work!  It's so fun to see how each child has a different process for creating artwork and of course the outcome is always very different too.  So commission them to create something you can display.  Whether you get a big blank canvas they can splatter paint all over or some white art paper that can be used as wrapping paper or a book cover, make the art functional so it works for you!

Interior Updates | Make Your Money Go Farther

If you spend your money right, you can accomplish an expensive look by changing just one key thing.  Instead of a full-blown remodel, get smarter with your spending and pick something to change that will make a big impact and look like it carries a big price without breaking the bank!

This can work even more in your favor, if you have a small space.  Many people feel like small spaces translate into a less-expensive look....they are under the impression that bigger equals better, but it's not always the case!  Quality over quantity is what we say!  If you have a small room that you're wanting to update to make look like it's expensive, you'll be paying less for the material that goes into it so you can afford to select a more expensive finish!

Here are a few areas where  you can create a big bang for less bucks!

Tile.  There are all sorts of tile out there--wall & floor tile, mosaic, subway, floor tile, ceramic, glass, metal, natural stone.  The list could go on and on!  Since tile can be applied in a variety of areas, you can use it to your advantage and make it work with your budget.  Got a small bathroom that you're trying to update?!  Pick a wall that's visible and apply a great tile to it!  This could be the shower wall, if your shower walls are visible from outside of the shower or it could be a backsplash.  It could even be the floor!  Flooring says a lot about a space so a beautiful floor tile could easily transform the room into a high-end expensive-feeling oasis.  You won't need a ton of it if you've got a small bathroom, so it shouldn't break the bank, and it'll definitely change the feel!

Streamlining your backsplash.  The backsplash in a bathroom or kitchen is often the "extra" that people cut corners on.  Look at the backsplash as a way to make a statement.  Maybe scale back a little on the other stuff so you've got a little left to do the backsplash.  The backsplash is the place to go larger, even though it's not a large area.  A lot of people want to get really detailed in the backsplash with swirly designs and colors but this really isn't necessary.  Instead, keep the grout to a minimum.  If you can do one solid piece of material as the backsplash, even better!  It will create a sleek, classy look!  You may pay a little more for the material but less in labor!

Art.  So many people try to fill their walls like lots and lots of little things--shelves and hooks and picture frames.  Go with one big piece of art.  In the end, you'll probably spend the same amount of money as you would on a bunch of smaller pieces but the art will make a much bigger impact than any grouping of smaller pieces ever could!

Mirrors & Light Done Right.  Bring a little glisten and sparkle to your home with some larger mirrors.  Not only do they reflect natural light coming in through windows but they create the illusion of a larger space--now that's money well-spent!  Beyond that, they add a little sparkle to a room and can immediately brighten it up.

Lighting.  One, big, awesome chandelier does a home good.  Seriously, friends.  Get a cool light.  Lighting is like art--it's a statement piece that can be a little different and makes a HUGE impact on a room!  You may have to look carefully for a piece that fits your budget and meets the size requirements for the space it's going in, but it's worth the search!  Great lighting is the quickest way to make a room look expensive!