Displaying art is a quick way to add personality to your home, but sometimes it's hard to know exactly what message you want to put out there. It can be tempting to throw up every memento, photograph, and poster you come across, but, depending on your personality, crowded walls may stress you out in the long run. A thoughtful, personalized art space has been shown to make us happier and more productive, so check out these thought starters for a mindful, minimalist art display at home.
Do some quick math before you hang up art.
There's an old art adage that pieces with centers that sit 57 inches off the floor are the most aesthetically pleasing. This magic number is around eye level for most people and therefore where a lot of museums and galleries display their masterpieces. Try it out at home by measuring the height of the frame you want to put up, dividing by two, and subtracting that from 57 to see where the bottom of it should fall. You can stagger art on top and below this, of course, but try to keep the focal point at 57 inches and see how it looks to you.
Other numbers to keep in mind are 3-6 (the number of inches you should keep between pieces so they don't feel too cluttered) and 8 (inches that should be left between your art and furniture).
When it comes to your frame, be picky.
Mismatched frames are fun for a manifestation altar, gallery wall, or another space that's meant to inspire, but when it comes to more soothing spots in the home like the bedroom or living room, you might want to keep things more consistent. We love the look of thin, earthy wood frames sitting on a wall next to a window to capture some natural light.
Another frame trend that speaks to a more minimalist mentality is the delicate, canvas-like display. Peep through the spaces featured on mindbodygreen's Holistic Home Tour series and you'll notice that a fair number of them, from this family home in England to this cozy studio in Germany, all feature hanging picture frames. They're effortless, breezy, and easy to find for cheap.
Choose a star of the show.
Choosing one piece to be the focal piece in every room is the quickest way to keep your space from feeling too cramped. This larger item can have its own wall, and it can set the theme for smaller decorative pieces sprinkled throughout the rest of the room. Don't be afraid to play around and have fun with less conventional art like a soft macramé or abstract tapestry. Here are a few ideas to get the creativity flowing:
This ancient craft is experiencing a modern revival, with artists like Emily Katz and Fanny Zedenius weaving the way with soft, intricate millennial-pink numbers that would make any home infinitely more 'grammable. Place yours low on a wall with some plants brushing up underneath for a craftsy, earthy feel.
A large, looming nature shot.
If you want to go the photo route but don't know where to start, natural landscapes are almost never a bad move. You probably won't get sick looking at them day after day, and green scenes have even been shown to activate our parasympathetic nervous system, thus reducing stress levels and calming us way down. Check out Gray Malin's sweeping aerial shots and Tessa Neustadt's beachfront landscapes, or blow up a photograph you took in a place you love. National Geographic's gallery is another must-browse. You can click through vintage photos and recent award-winning shots, choose your favorite, and buy a high-res print.
Hanging tapestries add a little element of surprise, and they're great for starker rooms you're looking to warm up. Cloth ones tend to be more affordable (we love these moon print and cactuses ones), and there are plenty of beautiful, more artisanal paper and woven cotton ones available at a slightly higher price point. We love how the Joshua Tree House, an eternally in-demand Airbnb in the California desert, displays theirs on wooden curtain rods.
Turns out that making your own art is awfully therapeutic too. Check out why art can be as therapeutic as meditation here.
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