How To Choose An Abstract Painting For Your Home•
Posted on December 27 2022
There are a ton of factors that can go into determining what types of artwork to display in your home. As a homeowner, you likely want to reflect your own unique style and personality when selecting your wall art, but how do you know what those pieces should look like, and where do you find them?
In this article we'll explore:
Where In Your Home Should You Hang A New Painting?
There are many factors to consider when determining where to hang a new painting in your home. First and foremost, you need to have a look around your home to figure out which areas have enough free wall space to accommodate a new painting.
The best approach here is to walk around your house with a notepad and pen (or your trusty smart phone), go into each area and take notes on how much free wall space is available in each room. Be sure to write down which specific walls are open, as well as the dimensions of each open space. This way you'll know what sizing options are available to you later on, for each room.
Once you have this information noted, the next step is to mentally run through each room and determine which one you think could benefit most from this type of décor upgrade. Here are some points to keep in mind:
- Which room do you spend the most time in?
- Which room do you have guests visit most frequently?
- Which room has the biggest blank wall space that needs to be filled
- Which room is the safest from potentially damaging elements (ie, drafts, cold, humidity, etc.).
All of these points can be factors in determining the best place to hang a new masterpiece.
Once you've narrowed down your list, have a look at the room options below to get an better idea of the pros and cons that can come with hanging your new painting in each location:
The bedroom is one of the most common places in the home to hang paintings. Bedrooms often feature large windows with lots of natural light, making them great spaces to display art pieces (large and small).
For this space, over-the-bed is a great option, just be sure that any headboards or bedposts don't extend up too high, as they can hit and bump up against the painting. Measure first to ensure the painting you end up choosing will fit properly in the space, as you don't want to fall in love with a particular abstract piece, then find out it won't fit the room you'd planned to buy it for. Measure first, find your favourite pieces of art second!
Given the high-traffic nature of this space, the living room is probably the best place in the home to showcase any original artwork. Living rooms usually have an abundance of open wall space and are generally brighter than other rooms. They also usually have a "feature wall", which gives a central focal point for featuring whatever abstract artworks you want to have stand out.
Living rooms also typically have more open space than other rooms, giving you the most options on where you can hang your favourite piece, along with preventing any potential harm from coming to your painting, such as through people and things accidentally bumping up against it.
If you have a fireplace or a couch, consider hanging your painting over it (just be mindful of the heat the fireplace could emit).
Kitchens can be another great place to hang abstract wall art (as long as you hang your pieces away from areas prone to messes or splashes of any kind). Kitchens are typically bright and airy, making them ideal locations to show off your latest abstract inspiration. They're also typically highly traffic'd areas, so they have the ability to give your new painting the attention it deserves.
When purchasing kitchen artwork, some choose to opt for abstract pieces that showcase a "kitchen theme", which can be a fun room-specific activity when you're looking for your new piece.
Just remember that, for all kitchen artwork, be sure to keep it out of direct sunlight!
The family room is another great spot to hang artwork. Family rooms are usually spacious and comfortable, making them an ideal location to display any new type of art. Just be sure the check the structural integrity of the walls, as well as materials the walls are made of, sometimes previous homeowners will have created family rooms by adding new sections to a home, which may not have been build to code, or built through conventional means. Check to make sure the wall you're looking to hang your artwork on is structurally sound enough to hold a painting, and that it isn't made of concrete, which can be a challenge to hang art on!
Hanging artwork in bathrooms can be a great way to elevate an otherwise hard to decorate space. It can add a touch of elegance a warmth, which will make the space more inviting. There are a few things you'll need to remember though, when choosing to do so, these are:
• Don't hang your painting in a spot that might get splashed by water.
• Avoid putting your artwork on a bathroom wall that is near any heating vents or air conditioning units.
• Be careful not to allow too much humidity to enter the space, it can be damaging to the painting.
• Be mindful of the additional heat put off by hot showers or heat lamps, they can have a negative effect on the painting.
• Opt for a print over a hand-painted canvas painting. A print will be less likely to get damaged, should any of the above points not be actioned.
Your home office can be a great location for displaying the artwork you want to show off (assuming you'll be having frequent visitors pop in!).
This location gives you a unique ability to match your personal visual style with the high-level look you want to portray to the business world, or even to give you a nudge of inspiration that can help you feel inspired.
Even if you don't have frequent visitors pop by, you can always level-up your work-from-home game, by hanging your new painting up as the background to your business video calls. Showcasing your personal style through art can be an easy conversation starter that helps build rapport and discussions around common interests.
The dining room is also a great place to display abstract art pieces. These spaces usually have multiple blank walls available, lending a lot of options for hanging a painting anywhere in the room.
Choose to hang your canvas art in a spot that is easily visible to guests - don't let an amazing piece hide in the corner!
In this space, just be mindful of light, as there is typically only one main ceiling light built into the center of most dining rooms. Level up the presence of your new wall art by adding decorative lamps beside it, this will allow it to become a 'lit-up', visual focal point, giving depth and elegance to it, which will truly let your painting shine!
When decorating a home, hallways often tend to get overlooked. But displaying a painting in a hallway can add a whole other realm of class and sophistication to your space. It can be a great way to extend the look and feel from other parts of your home into connecting areas, helping each room form a cohesive flow/connection to the other spaces.
Within this space, choose horizontal paintings to elongate a hallway, and choose vertical artwork as the featured pieces at the end of a hall.
Remember, when choosing your hallway artwork, be mindful of what type of artistic home décor/art style you've set up in the adjacent rooms, and use your hallway to extend that "look and feel" into the other rooms of your home.
Basements can be fun places to decorate. They're cool and dark (which means they're great for keeping artwork safe from heat and humidity), and they also tend to be vast and open, with plenty of wall space, which is great for accommodating larger pieces.
Since basements often go unused and undecorated, when it comes time to decorate them, they can be perfect spots to insert cool artwork and unique decorative features into your home, such as adding a 'gallery wall' that's devoted to showcasing multiple pieces from your favourite art collection.
What's The Best Size Of Painting To Buy?
The answer to that question depends on several factors. Have a look through the list of questions below and answer them, to determine what size of artwork will work best for you:
1) What room will you hang your painting in?
If you aren't sure, scroll up to the section above called "Where In Your Home Should You Hang A New Painting?" to find tips on determining which space will work best for you.
2) What are the dimensions of your empty wall space?
If you've narrowed down a list of all the locations in your home where you can fit a painting, next, walk through your home and measure each space (ensuring you leave enough room around the edges so the painting won't look crammed in there).
Sometimes it can tough to determine what the 'ideal size' will be for a particular wall, so just measure out your best guess, giving yourself a bit of wiggle room on either side, in case you end up finding a perfect painting that is slightly bigger/smaller than what you'd initially written down. Write a minimum size, a maximum size, and an ideal size.
After this, write down whether the space will be best suited for a horizontal, vertical, or square painting. Doing this will help you know, in advance, which orientation to look for when you start your painting search.
3) Will you be moving the painting often?
If you're planning to move a lot, buying a large painting may come with some risk, due to the inherent difficulty that comes with moving large items. Multiple smaller pieces (like a multi-panel piece) or a single smaller painting may be a better option for you if you move often.
4) Do you want the painting to be a feature or an accent?
Depending on what else is in the room, along with the location of the piece, you may or may not want your painting to 'outshine' other room elements. Go big or go small, depending on how much of a feature you want to make it. You can also use colour to either make it stand out, or recede into the background as a complimentary piece.
5) How is the lighting in your space?
You don't want to get a new painting and have it end up looking strange in the space provided. Reduce this risk by checking your lighting ahead of time to ensuring it will work well with the size and shape of the canvas you're looking to purchase.
If you have a look and determine that your space could use a bit of a lighting update, do a search for alternative lighting solutions, such as decorative lamps that will help your new masterpiece stand out the way you want it to!
6) Do you have kids who may damage the painting?
If so, aim to hang your painting in a higher location, away from kids' wandering hands (the same thing goes for pets).
7. How Much Money Do You Want To Spend?
This is often one of the most important factors for people looking to buy artwork. Abstract paintings can vary widely in price, based on their popularity, who created it, the size of the piece, whether shipping costs are needed, etc.
Decide on your budget ahead of time and it'll help you stay on track with what you had initially set out to buy, instead of accidentally looking at paintings that may be out of your price range.
What Colour(s) Should Your New Painting Be?
Now that you know how big you want your painting to be, it's time to start choosing your colours. In order to quickly narrow down potential colour options, here are some general guidelines you can follow:
1. Think About The Mood You Want To Create
Every painting (especially abstract) will evoke a certain 'mood' or emotion in the person viewing it. Knowing this, ensure that whatever colours you choose are in line with the overall mood of the ambiance you're trying to set.
Although everyone sees art from a different 'internal lens', it is still natural for certain colours to bring up similar emotions within us. To find out more, do some online searching on the topic of colour psychology. It'll give you a better understanding of how you can use colours to create certain moods (this field of study has even become a form of therapy).
2. Determine Whether You Want It To Stand Out
Another factor to keep in mind when choosing the colour(s) of your abstract painting is what the rest of the room's colours and features are. Do you want your new painting to stand out as a prominent feature piece, or do you want it to fade into the background as an accent? Choose bold colours to ensure it stands out and neutral colours to make it more subdued.
3. Match Your Room's Color Scheme
It's not always obvious but most rooms already have a colour scheme, even if we don't realize it or plan it that way. This makes choosing the right colours for a painting very simple - just match the colours of the room you're adding it to.
4. Test Your Colors
If you want to see what certain colours will look like on your wall, try taking a picture of the wall/room you're in, then use your phone's drawing tool to add in the colours you think might look good in that space. This is a quick and easy way to get a good sense of how the colours you're considering will look in your current surroundings.
5. Consider The Lighting
A painting's colour will change slightly, depending on the light source and the time of day (if it's near a window or natural light). Be sure to note this when selecting your painting's colours.
What Style Of Abstract Art Should You Buy?
Many people don't realize it but there are a ton of different styles of abstract art out there. Choosing the one that's right for you may take a bit of research but it should also be fun! Below are some examples of popular styles that exist. If you'd like more information on the different styles out there, check out our article, "What Is Abstract Art?".
Research Different Styles
From minimalistic and simple, to complex patterns and shapes, here are some of the most popular styles out there:
a. Minimalist - These types of paintings are great for adding a modern, contemporary look to your home. Minimalist abstract paintings tend to be simpler than other painting styles but they also make very good use of empty space (typically in a bold way). Each brush stroke has impact and is added deliberately, making these types of paintings great options for statement pieces.
b. Expressionistic - These paintings tend to be more emotive and can evoke a range of emotions in the viewer, from joy to sadness. Artists often make use of techniques such as paint splatters and various gestural brush strokes to create texture and a look of spontaneity in their pieces.
c. Geometric - With geometric abstract paintings, artists use basic shapes such as circles, squares, triangles, etc. Geometric Abstraction is a popular style that has been used by many famous artists throughout history.
d. Op Art - Often referred to as "Optical Art", this type of abstract art is meant to represent patterns created through optical illusion rather than anything realistic.
e. Non-Figural - Non-figural abstract paintings don't depict any recognizable objects within the artwork. Instead, they focus on the overall shape, pattern, or composition of the image.
Ultimately, no matter what style you choose, it's important to ensure that the overall look of the painting truly speaks to you. This is especially important with abstract works, given their expressive nature.
Do a search online to determine your favourite style(s), then narrow down your search by finding local artists who sell that type of art.
How Much Should You Spend?
The price of abstract paintings vary greatly, depending on the artist, size, medium used, complexity, etc. Prices can range anywhere from $0 - $5000+ per piece. For this reason, research is key in finding something that will fit within your budget.
In addition, two other important factors that influence the cost of paintings are whether a piece is an original hand-made painting, or a print of an original painting.
Here's some information on both:
What Are 'Original' Paintings?
When people refer to paintings as 'Originals', it means that the painting was painted directly onto canvas (or another material), so it's the original version of that painting.
For this type of art, you can expect to pay quite a large sum of money, depending on the size, the artist's popularity, and the quality of the artwork.
What Are Prints?
Prints are reproductions of the original painting. They are typically created using computer scans of the original piece, then are printed onto paper or canvas (or some other material) using high-end digital printers.
If made well, printed abstract paintings look the same as their original counterparts, you can't typically tell that it's a print until you get very close up and try to touch the 'paint', then you'll notice that the 3D pieces of the painting aren't physically there, the ink just makes the painting look 3D. I've had several prints that I could have sworn were real until I went to physically touch the paint. You can get very high quality prints these days and most people simply can't tell the difference.
Abstract art prints are very popular because they offer great value compared to originals. The average price for a high-quality abstract art print is between $150 - $300, which is significantly less than an original piece would cost. They also last a very long time and are more durable than originals, given the materials used in the printing process
Where To Buy Your New Abstract Painting
So you've determined what you want, where it will go and all the nitty gritty details you need to know, now where do you find this new abstract masterpiece you're looking for? Below are some suggestions to get you started on the right foot!
There are a ton of options for buying paintings online - for both original paintings and abstract prints. From online Galleries, to individual artists' websites, to third party sellers (like Etsy, Fine Art America, etc.), all it takes is an understanding of what you're looking for and a quick Google search. Just remember that not all sellers are necessarily trustworthy, so make sure you do your homework before buying anything.
When possible, if you do find something you like online, I always recommend buying directly from the artist vs a big-box store, as you'll be helping the artist out substantially more by working with them directly.
If you are looking for something local, check out the abstract art galleries, art fairs, and community events where you live. Many of them offer discounts, free shipping, and other perks that make buying art more affordable.
I hope you enjoyed this article! Please feel free to reach out with any questions or check out my online store if you'd like to see the abstract paintings I sell.
All the best!
My Online Abstract Painting Gallery: NicoleNicholasArt.com
Learn More About Abstract Art: Wikipedia.com