Having purchased a Toronto condo, all of sudden I have become keenly aware of interior design, textiles, furniture and all the elements that enhance your living space. It can be an intimidating world for a simple guy whose interior design experience includes hanging posters of various sports heros, fast cars and swimsuit models during my teens.
Recently I’ve been consumed with finding the right art to fill the voids of white wall scattered around the unit. Lets face it, in a condo just big enough to stay sane, hanging a piece of art on the wall is a daunting task. It won’t just blend in easily. Somehow I don’t think my Sports Illustrated posters will do the trick… luckily I found these tips to be helpful. Lets call them the 10 Commandments of Selecting Art For Your Condo:
#1- Pick art that you actually like! -Sounds like a no brainer but important none the less… just because it sold at Ikea and everybody likes it doesn’t mean you have to.
#2- Grace & Style- I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a condo decorated with antique furniture [send me pictures if you have one] so your grandpa’s “Hunting Scene” hand me down may not be the wisest choice, intrinsic value aside. Go with something that fits into your urban surrounding or theme of your decor and furniture.
#3- Location, Location, Location For your bedroom you would want to select a piece that is more calming or “seductive” in nature, where as your living or dinning area is a great place to get wild and explore with stronger colour’s and themes.
#4- Pick Art That Suits The Room- If you simply buy a piece of art that you love and bring it to your condo and then discover that it doesn’t work, you may be very disappointed. Where as in a home you have options of moving your furniture around or putting it in different rooms to “make” the art work, in a condo you don’t have those options.
#5- The Right Light- Light is key to displaying art. If your art doesn’t have that exhibit brilliance you were looking for consider buying some direct lighting or a picture light to bring it to life. Art loves direct sunlight but take measures to protect your art from too much sunlight as posters, pencil, watercolour and pastels will fade. Arcrylic is okay.
#6- Death by Hanging- There is nothing worse than a poorly hung piece of art. As simple as it may be there is a right way to hang art. The general rule of thumb is paintings should be hung so that the center of the painting is at eye level. If you are into abstract art it may be difficult to find the intended orientation. [hint find the signature bottom right]
#7- The Right “Frame” of Mind- It isn’t essential to have a frame around your art. Framless art is very diverse in that if you move or paint or redecorate you don’t need to be too concerned about whether the frame will still fit in. If you do select a frame, tie it in to the location where the artwork is to be hung, as well as in to the artwork itself. The frame should be a continuation of the picture rather than a contrast.
#8- Colours- When selecting a painting to match color, select one or two of the boldest colors in your room and look for art that has those colours in it. You’re not looking for an exact match here. Picking up one or two of the same colors will send a message that the painting belongs in this environment.
#9- Show Off Your Art – When you walk into a gallery or museum, what do they all have in common? White walls and lots of light. If a wall is wall-papered or painted a color other than white, it limits the choices for hanging art that will look good on it. If a room is dark, the art will not show to its best advantage.
#10- Cost – Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as the old adage goes… so don’t worry about splurging on expensive art (unless you love it!). If it fits, you like it, and it is appropriate then all the power to you, even if you bought it from a dollar store in China Town.
Feel free to share your “Art Tips” below, I need them!
Christopher Molder – Son Of A Broker