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"Always choose decorative wall art that appeals to you."

When it comes to decorative wall art, you have an opportunity to make a design statement. Here are some important tips to using framed photos and prints in a way that will enhance your interior design scheme.

Wall Art Display
1. Choose what you love.

2. Keep it at eye level.

3. Create a grouping.

4. Accent it.

Following these guidelines will help you achieve a higher level of sophistication as you decorate.

Choose What You Love

One of the most important things to remember when choosing decorative wall art is to choose pieces that appeal to you. Of course, if you are choosing wall décor after you have established a color scheme you will also want to consider a color palette that ties into your overall scheme in some way. On the other hand, if you haven’t established your color scheme you could use your favorite wall art as the inspiration for the development of your room scheme.

Regardless of which end of the design spectrum you find yourself on, it’s important to truly enjoy the objects with which you surround yourself. Avoid choosing decorative wall art based solely on faddish trends if you don’t find it appealing.

Black and white framed photos are a great option that will work in most design scenarios and virtually any color scheme. I think they provide an updated look to any interior environment by beautifully bridging the line between the classic and the contemporary.

Wall Art Display

You can create your own black and white art display (like mine shown here) rather easily by taking some interesting digital photos, converting them to black and white, printing them on photo quality paper, and then framing them in decorator frames that you can find in specialty stores or at your local discount retailer. It’s a fun way to personalize and add sophistication to your décor.

An alternative to framed artwork is removable wall decals, also referred to as wall tattoos or wall stickers. There are some amazing designs available in a variety of styles that can provide the perfect decorative touch in particular situations.

The Binary Box is one of the original manufacturers of modern and contemporary vinyl wall stickers. They specialize in funky wall art and removable wall stickers. (Note: Link opens a new window)

Whatever style of interior design wall art you choose - whether it is black and white, brilliant color, framed or unframed - always go for decorative wall art you love.

Keep It at Eye Level

When it comes to art placement on the wall, you will generally want to mount it at eye level. One of the biggest mistakes people make in regard to wall décor is mounting it too high wall. Your guests won’t be able to truly enjoy the beauty of the item as it soars high above them near the ceiling. More than just looking silly, unusually high wall décor can throw off the balance of your room.

Of course, there are some slight exceptions. An example might be a row of small, antique dinner plates mounted above a doorway in the kitchen. Another variation might be a large collection of prints or photos which together act as one display. In this case you would likely want to keep the center of the grouping at eye level.

Not all decorative wall art need be mounted on the wall, however. You may have a couple of large, framed photos, paintings or even a tall mirror which will work well resting on the floor and leaning against the wall. This can have a nice impact in the right situations. Even in this case, though, the items will be more or less at eye level when viewed from a sitting position in the room. In general, eye level should be the rule of thumb.

Create a Grouping

When you have a collection of related wall décor items, make a grouping. Instead of spreading them in various locations throughout the room, your related wall décor will have more impact as a focal point if you keep it grouped together.

Wall Art Display

There are different ways to group decorative wall art items of a related nature. Some grouping options to consider are:

• Horizontal

• Vertical

• Quadrant

• Asymmetrical

A horizontal grouping (art work placed side by side) might work well on an expanse of wall that you want to feel longer. The linear effect will enhance the horizontal planes of the room and move the eye along the length of the wall. It will have a similar effect that horizontal stripes have on a person. It makes the object (in this case, the wall) appear wider (longer).

A vertical arrangement (art work mounted one above the other) would work well in a room with a lower than usual ceiling. This creates the effect of a vertical stripe...drawing the eye upward and subtly making the space feel taller. I’ve found this to be a successful option for my own living room (shown above).

Arranging your related wall art in a quadrant configuration looks great and can also serve as a focal point. Whether it is located on an open wall space in the living room, over a side table in the dining room, or above the headboard of a bed, a quadrant arrangement adds a beautiful level of sophistication to almost any room scheme.

If you want to break up the symmetry inherent in the previous three grouping options, an asymmetrical arrangement may be the right choice for you. While the items would still be grouped together, the effect wouldn’t be exactly square or rectangle. The collection could be staggered in step-like fashion on the wall, for example.

Regardless of arrangement option, you can make your own groupings by printing and framing digital photos. Another option would be to frame pictures from a favorite calendar since these images tend to be very themed in nature. You can buy pre-matted picture frames that work great for this and help establish a designer look.

Accent It

Once you have established your choice of decorative wall art, consider whether you want it to be a piece that includes accent lighting. There are various options available to illuminate art work. Accent lighting can make wall décor stand out while also providing the third level of lighting recommended for an all around sophisticated, lighting scheme. Check out my interior design lighting page for more on the general subject of interior illumination.

Make sure when all is said and done that your eye also has a place to rest as it scans the walls. Resist the urge to completely cover every square inch of the wall space in your room. Too much wall décor can be visually overwhelming. It’s important that a room has a rhythm of visual interest and rest. Retain an appropriate level of clear space to strike a balance with your decorative wall art.

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