Mission— Fix your walls with DIY art upgrades that ANYONE can do!
One thing that I notice when touring listings is how many people have either no art on their walls, the art is very bland and cookie-cutter, their art is hung in unflattering arrangements or is not to scale for the space. I wondered why—and came up with a few conclusions. First off, I think many times people feel overwhelmed trying to figure out how to decorate their walls. They will either leave them blank or perhaps invest in a very generic piece that doesn’t necessarily reflect who they are or what they like, but seems like a safe bet and perhaps has the colors that match the room. Secondly, some art is quite expensive—and forget about galleries— even in just chain decor stores like West Elm many pieces are several hundred dollars. In addition, even if people have some art, many times the way it is placed detracts from the space rather than adding to it (random placement of art that does not contrast or go together). Luckily—the fix is EASY and FUN—not just about décor but also what makes you HAPPY (very important!!) I put together a Pinterest board that has a ton of ideas and good links, but here are some tips to get you started…
1) Assess your space. How large is the space you need to cover? What colors are in the room that are either not changeable or that you want to keep? (Example, if you have a dark blue velvet sofa that you love, let’s accent it with some art that is mutually complimentary. For instance, perhaps a series of framed black and white photos that portions have been hand colored by you in the exact shade of blue? Or maybe an easy abstract painting that features a beautiful contrasting color as well as a pop of the blue of the couch? We have a bright teal area rug in our family room, so for art above the sofa, I incorporated the exact teal into the abstract pour painting I did for the wall. The orange in the painting really pops against the teal and white and although bold, go well in our mid-century modern home.
2) Really think about what makes you happy. What are your favorite colors or favorite styles? What are your hobbies or interests? What colors or images bring a smile to your face? We are so crazy about our little cat Beans (yes, she has her own Instagram, lol, I’m THAT cat mom) and have lots of photos on our phones of her. A friend of mine manipulated one of the photos and had it printed on canvas for us. It is a focal point for the shelf it is on, and every time I see it I am happy. Do you like modern art, black and white photography, quirky art? The art in your home should reflect who you are and what you enjoy. It will make living in your home that much more pleasurable, trust me!
3) Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and get creative. Do you love music and have a large collection of vinyl records? Don’t hide them away, pair them with file holders like we did in our front living space. They add interesting colors and also save me storing them elsewhere. Have lots of wine corks? Keep saving them, then glue them together and hang on the wall in your kitchen or dining room. Worried that you don’t have the artistic talent to create a painting? Baloney! Google “pour paintings” or “easy DIY abstract art”. If you choose great colors, that is half the battle. *Additional tip—twice a year Michael’s has the most amazing canvas sales. I picked up some 70% off last time. A massive canvas that would have been almost $200 I scored for about $50.
4) Rely on others—to a degree. Find inexpensive art and frame it yourself. Etsy and Amazon are great places to pick up all sorts of art prints and photos. Frame them with inexpensive frames from places like Marshall’s or Home Goods, or order them on Amazon. I have some awesome old Hollywood prints (ones that not are commonly floating around) that I ordered off Etsy from a seller in Greece of all places. In additional to a couple of great Marilyn Monroe ones, I also scored a cool Brigette Bardot photo (her playing solitaire on the floor with a cigarette) and one of Marlon Brando writing at a typewriter with a cute cat draped across his shoulders looking on. Instant love!
5) Sometimes the wall can be the art itself. Experiment with a dramatic color on a feature wall, and/ or try your hand at a washi tape design, like the one below from rockindeco.com. In addition, today’s wall stencils are a far cry from those in days past, and there are also products to adhere to your wall and paint over for texture.
6) Placement is crucial. Make sure your art “fits” the space, and if you are hanging multiple items, make sure they are balanced and appear to have rhyme and reason to their placement, rather than appearing haphazard and as if they were all hung years apart. Check this blogpost with simple tips for more on this. https://www.studio-mcgee.com/studioblog/2017/4/6/hanging-art
Photo below from apartment therapy.com
7) Most importantly—have fun with it!! In the words of my step-dad, “If it’s not fun, I’m not doing it.” Make it a blissful and not a stressful experience. We all have a creative spark in us—let yours shine! Below are some of the images from our DIY art Pinterest board. Click here to visit it and see more!