Guidelines for Buying, Framing, and Putting Up Works of Art in Your House

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A blank wall can be one of the most exhilarating or intimidating things in the world. The sheer quantity of possibilities that it presents can easily become overwhelming, taunting you from afar. If you make an improper choice and assault it with a hammer, it only becomes uglier. Who wants to be reminded of that every time they enter a room? But with some planning and finding just the right piece of artwork, you'll find yourself admiring not just the artwork, but how you displayed it.

Art completes your space. You'll find that by decorating with art, your room will be meaningful. Fortunately, it's not necessary to own expensive artwork or acquire a degree to decorate with art. Some simple and inexpensive suggestions given by art collectors, framing specialists, and interior designers, among others, can take the mystery out of displaying art.

Rule number one is to consider an empty room with the same weight as an empty wall. Think about your own experiences, it is rare that someone remembers a specific piece of furniture and talks about it later, but a painting or sculpture can capture attention and stay memorable to those who see it.

Anyone who holds a serious collection of art allows the pieces on display to set the tone of any given space. Most people look for art that fits into their existing room. The worst thing to do when seeking art for your room is to suggest that you only want a piece which would look good with your sofa or carpet. This way of thinking is, according to many experts, an ultimate sin. That doesn't mean that you aren't able to color coordinate, but it must be done in less glaring ways. Let a favorite piece of artwork set the atmosphere for a room. Take colors from the piece and repeat them in your choice of pillows, flowers, vases or other objects that will complete the look. A white mat will not interfere with the piece of art that it frames, but the designer can insert another mat under the white one in a color that contrasts or compliments the work and ties it into the rest of the room.

Choosing the right frame is also important to help your artwork fit in with the rest of the room. These days, simple thin frames are very popular. They go well with today's contemporary furnishings and room designs. A thicker frame with ornate designs, something we might see in the baroque period, is called for in a more formal setting. Contemporary design tends to be more casual so a thick, baroque frame would stand out rather than tie in. What is you're face with an enormous wall? Many home decorators recommend one large painting in the center of the wall.

You find spaces like this in more modern houses, and a large piece of modern, abstract art on a larger scale is a nice addition and doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Many designers also like the look of framed posters when presented using a white mat in conjunction with a black or wooden frame. If the item you want to hang is too small for the wall you want to put it on, many designers will use a larger mat and frame. For a truly impressive result, leave a larger amount of white space at the mat's bottom. Frame shops will have no problem meeting this request. Mats can be cut to order at art stores. Lighting is important and professional designers still choose halogen lighting because of its brilliant, true lighting that compliments the artwork.

Below are some helpful hints for the inexperienced decorator. Make a note of the dimensions of the space you are dealing with, write it on a piece of paper and keep the paper in your wallet or purse. Local galleries are great spot to begin your search for a memorable piece. You can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $3,000 for an original painting or sculpture. Still need to make sure it will look good at home? Believe it or not, some galleries will allow you to post a deposit and try the art out at home to ensure that it works with your decor. Shows put on by local art schools and outdoor art festivals are good places to find art. Lithographs, a print made with a plate, or serigraphs, a silk-screen print, are the next-best alternative to an original. For unique framing options, check flea markets, thrift stores and even garage or estate sales for great deals and some amazing finds.

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