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10 Tips to choosing art

1. Buy Art that You Love. Whether or not it has the potential to rise in value, it should be something you will enjoy having in your home every day. Remember, the art is for you.

2. Be Open to Different Mediums. Why always pick a painting? Find the type of art that will work best for your space. Paintings will add a broader swathe of color. Sculptures will add depth to the room, and mixed media pieces add texture or a mixture of visual elements. Which medium will have the greatest impact on enhancing your room’s decor?

3. See What’s Out There. Get out and see the art being exhibited in your area. Great local and original art is displayed everywhere from coffee shops and colleges to galleries and restaurants. If you can’t find a piece thats the right size or with matching colors from a local source, a quick search online should direct you to affordable art that matches what you need.

4. Pick the Right Size. Measure your wall’s dimensions and bring pictures of the room with you. That way, when you are out looking at art, you will have a better idea of what space you have to work with and can imagine how the art will look in your home.

5. What’s the Focal Point? A room can have more than one area that draws your attention. Are you looking for a single point that will define the room, or some decor pieces to complement your overall color scheme? Make sure all the room’s design elements have some breathing space to avoid a cluttered look.

6. Color is key. Pick artwork that contains some of your room design’s more attention grabbing colors. A piece with similar or complementary colors can work great as well. Take into account your wall color, furnishings, pillows, throws and curtains to create a palette of colors to look for in your artwork.

7. Content Matters. What does the artwork depict? Do the waving lines in the painting mirror your curved coffee table? Does the tropical pattern of your upholstery reflect the theme of the painting? Depending on the mood and shapes in the work, select imagery that will harmonize best with the room's contents.

8. Or Does It? A traditional interior does not always require traditional artwork. A showstopping contemporary piece can make an impressive statement above a mantle in a traditionally styled living room. Sometimes a contradiction is exciting and new. Think outside of the box.

9. Hang it right. Make sure the artwork is hung at the correct height. It should be approximately eye level. Try following the art gallery standard, which means the center of the painting should be about 60 inches from the floor.

10. Light it Up. The importance of lighting your artwork can not be overemphasized. Dimly lit artwork will lose impact and look dull and muted. Great lighting will make your artwork pop and contribute to the mood of the room.

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