Choosing art for your new home

Choosing art for your new home

10th May, 2016

So, you’ve just moved into your new property and the walls are looking rather bare. You’d like to hang some new artwork to mark your new beginning but you’re not sure where to start- don’t fear, here are our top tips for choosing art for your new home. 

Do your research

By visiting art, design and craft galleries you will naturally develop a sense of the kind of art that appeals to you. Huddersfield is ideally placed for access to some excellent galleries in the north, such as Leeds Art Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield, Salts Mill and The Whitworth. Many galleries have shops on site that stock postcards and prints featuring the art in their collections, a really affordable way to bring a little bit of art into your home.

Shop local

Supporting local artists is a positive move in a number of ways - it boosts the local economy, it’s eco friendly and typically cheaper by saving on air miles and the packaging that long distance travel necessitates,. Plus it feels great if, when you have visitors, you’re able to say the art in your house has been made by an artist who lives and works nearby. To track down designer-makers in your area, check out local cafés, bars and restaurants who will often exhibit work that’s been produced locally. Visit art and craft fairs like the popular Holmfirth Arts Market, a bi-annual event showcasing and selling beautiful examples of art and design by local makers.

Create your own art

These days, in the age of the smartphone, everyone’s a photographer. The chances are there are some photographs you have taken that you are particularly pleased with; a landscape image from a day out, or a fun shot of the family. Consider getting these pictures printed and framed, or blown up and printed on canvas. You’ll find lots of companies offering this service online. If you have kids or grandchildren, choose your favourite drawings from the masses they have no doubt created at school and get them framed. Even pages taken from books or magazines and sheets of good quality wrapping paper can look good when displayed effectively. 

Get in the frame

If your budget permits, professional framing can really elevate your 2D artworks to a thing of beauty. Again, it’s worth getting the job done locally. This way you can talk to the framer in person about your requirements and let them guide you towards the best options for achieving the look you're after. Ask friends to recommend local framers they have used. If bespoke framing is out of your price range at the moment, don’t worry, visit a homewares store and buy readymade frames to enable you to get the work up on your walls. Or buy a picture very cheaply from a charity shop and reuse the frame, perhaps spraying it a different colour to give it a new lease of life. You can always get your artworks professionally framed at a later date if money permits. 

Borrow art 

Leeds Art Gallery has a picture library, a fantastic service where you pay a small membership fee and can then borrow a picture by attending one of the gallery’s lending days and selecting an artwork you would like to take away. This is a brilliant way to enjoy an original artwork in your own home, while also supporting the arts, currently a woefully under-resourced sector.

How to hang

Once you’ve acquired and framed your artworks, you can start to hang them in your home. It’s not important that your art exactly matches its surroundings - pieces that are bang up to date can look elegant in a more traditional setting, while a modern decor can really show off an older piece. You might choose to hang a selection of pictures of different shapes and sizes tightly together in a salon style, or make one larger piece the focal point of a room. Experiment by sketching out your display ideas. You can cut pieces of paper up or stick them together to form pieces that are roughly the same size and shape as your artwork, then use low tack tape to stick them to the wall in your preferred arrangement. For inspiration, look at the ways pictures are displayed in other houses and in galleries. Look around online, where you’ll find lots of sources of interior design ideas.

Lighting is key

To really make your artwork look its best, you’ll need to light it accordingly, this might involve fitting a single picture light above or directing a light onto it. You can display smaller pictures on tables or shelves, lit by a lamp. Mix it up with light from a range of sources, otherwise rooms can be too bright. LED lighting is recognised as an excellent approach to lighting artwork, as it gives off no damaging UV rays , infrared or heat. It’s also an energy saving option. Bare in mind that an original artwork can fade in direct sunlight. Watercolour, pencil and pastel are especially prone to fading, whereas acrylics can withstand more exposure. 


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