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When we think about our living rooms, we rarely spend as much time on the wall art we’ll display as the kind of paint, furniture, or television we’ll choose instead.
You may spend weeks considering what size television to get or perusing furniture showrooms online and in-person.
What to put on your walls may seem like an afterthought.
But thoughtfully chosen wall art—especially handcrafted wall art— can truly bring your living room—or any room for that matter—together.
Some would even argue that wall art may be the most important design of your home’s design choices, and since the living room is often the focal point of your home, it should matter there the most.
Choosing your wall art first can actually benefit you as you select the rest of the items to decorate your home.
The wall art you choose can actually make the rest of the items you select, even the couch and television, much easier to select.
Here are the reasons why:
1. It can provide a color scheme.
Picking a color scheme for your entire home can seem daunting, but a few fantastic pieces of wall art can actually make the process seamless if you choose items that match the wall art you’ve chosen.
Start with finding a piece or pieces of wall art you love, and then choose two to three colors from that piece to use in the rest of the room.
For example, this Handmade Pottery 8" Wall Hanging, Dots & Flowers has lovely shades of black, red, green, blue, and yellow as well as white.
It also pairs beautifully with Blue Handmade Pottery 8" Wall Hanging.
Just one of those pieces or both (which would be ideal) can be used to help you begin to unify a room.
If you chose that wall art first and then picked the two to three colors you’d like to use, that could then inform your decision on purchasing furniture, table decor items, throws, blankets, rugs, etc.
2. It provides an attractive focal point.
An important interior design principle is always providing a focal point. A focal point will be the dominant feature in a room.
Most people often think of making a fireplace or Television as the focal point, but those aren’t…always that interesting.
Televisions, for example, are not lovely to look at when they aren’t turned on, but wall art always is.
Your living room should have a single space that immediately draws the viewer’s eyes to it.
Wall art can do that easily.
You could have a stunning piece over the fireplace, a gallery wall that mixes family photographs and unique handcrafted wall art pieces, or hang a tasteful wall tapestry, like Sea Life Batik in Green/Yellow/Red, to make things feel cozy.
Do be careful about the size of your pieces.
A tiny piece of art will look even smaller on a large empty wall while a piece of art that’s too large could overwhelm the space.
Take measurements and consider what furniture you’ll have in the room as well.
3. It adds texture.
While you can always include two-dimensional pieces, it would actually be to your benefit to include more dynamic pieces.
Metal wall art, for example, really jumps out because it’s an entirely different medium and can provide depth.
A piece like Four Geckos Painted Metal Wall Art is a perfect example of a dynamic piece. It’s a three-dimensional metal piece that is also meticulously embossed.
The negative space allows your paint choices to also factor in how this handcrafted wall art is presented plus the colors definitely draw the eye.
A piece like this will make the room feel more intimate.
Tapestries can also add a different texture to a room. Elephant and Giraffe Batik in Lime/Periwinkle is a gorgeous barkweave cotton wall hanging.
Tapestries like these can soften a space as well as be juxtaposed against other art pieces or furniture choices.
4. It finishes off the space.
There’s nothing that looks more unfinished than a room with a bare wall.
That might remind you of your college dorm room or a house someone has just moved into.
Not a home someone has lived in a while!
White walls beg to have wall art because it makes that room feel homey.
That’s why you have to include wall art, especially in an area of your home like the living room where you’re certain to spend a lot of time in.
Plus it can be a way to show off your own individuality as well as your interests.
The reason why handcrafted wall art is a fantastic idea is because of its uniqueness.
Anything that we sell at Bonsai & Bear is one-of-a-kind.
You won’t be able to walk into Target, Kohl’s, or another big box store and find a piece like it, which makes these pieces all of the more alluring to choose when decorating your space.
This Large Sun Dreamcatcher is a dreamy boho piece that can be used as an accent piece, a great addition to a gallery wall, or to finish off a smaller wall.
So how do you go about selecting something?
This can be the most overwhelming aspect of decorating, especially since there are thousands of options you could start with.
Here are tips to help you approach this aspect of it:
1. See the wall art you choose as a form of self-expression.
You’re a unique person who sees things a unique way. You also may want your home to look a certain way because you want it to represent how you view your family.
The wall art you choose can express whatever you would like.
It can make you feel cozy and comfortable or it can intrigue you with its interesting aspects.
Think of your walls like a blank canvas that you get to decorate however you like.
You can choose pieces that tell a story. Haitian Metal Steel Drum Sun Face, for example, was created by hand from upcycled 55 gallon steel drums by Haitian artisans.
Every aspect you see in the design—from the cut-outs, to the embossing and divots— was created by one person, from start to finish.
Or pieces that speak to you or remind you of your travels, like the seascape design on Octopus & Sea life Wall Art.
If you see the process of decorating your space as a process of expressing you, it should be a lot easier for you.
2. Consider your wall space.
As mentioned before, size matters.
If you have a large wall to fill, pick a large-scale piece of wall art to fill it, or choose several pieces to go together to make the biggest impact.
If you’re choosing multiple pieces to go together, make sure they have a similar color scheme (think two to three colors that can all echo off one another).
If you have a smaller wall to fill, go for smaller frames, or choose one piece of wall art that fits well right in the middle.
3. Consider what you already have.
It’s always good to assess what you already have around since, unless it’s your very first home, it’s not likely you’re going to purchase all new items and furnishings.
If you already have furniture, for example, and don’t intend to purchase new pieces, make sure the wall art you do end up choosing complements those in style, color, or pattern.
If you want to truly make it pop, go for something that contrasts what you already have.
If you already have decor items that you really like, find pieces that play off those as well.
If you already have strong patterns in the room (such as rugs or furnishings), go with items that have a neutral color or finish, like Entwined Tree of Life Metal Wall Art.
Ultimately, when you’re decorating any area in your home, but particularly the living room since it’s where you’ll likely spend a majority of your waking time, it should be about bringing you joy and happiness.
You want to create a space that not only represents you as you are, fully, but also one you want to spend time in!
Don’t go for edgy or minimalist if that isn’t you.
Don’t go for lots of patterns and bright colors if that’s going to make you want to spend less time in that room.
Create a space you truly enjoy being in by following interior design best practices: have a color scheme, choose an area for a focal point, add texture, make the room look complete, and then choose pieces you truly enjoy.
Handcrafted wall art makes an extremely attractive choice for any home, not only for their unique beauty, but also because of the story behind them.
You could wow your guests both with the beauty of the pieces, but also with the knowledge that your item won't be found anywhere else.
And finally, you'll have home decor items that are actually unique pieces of art, with their own stories of origination and cultural, generational skills that have been passed down over the years.