Where would we be without some art in our lives, a painting perhaps that speaks to us? Art is wonderful. Art is freeing. Art is the essence of life distilled to its purest form, a form that has many different faces and many different outlets.
Art can bring people together, or it can cause debate and discussion. What’s incredible about art is that whilst one person may see one thing, another could see (or feel – much art is about the feelings that are created in the viewer) something entirely different, and neither would be wrong.
There are many interpretations of ‘art’.
Art is a way for us all to be equal; if no interpretation can be wrong, then they must all be right.
Yet there is a big difference between interpretation and aesthetics, and choosing the right painting for your living room needs to be done on something more than a feeling – although this will, of course, come into it.
Humph Hack, Artist, Art Expert and our Art Gallery curator gives some great advice.
"The choice of a piece of art is a very personal matter. Visitors will always admire work of great skill. Others will be wowed by a striking image. However, by definition, the things you wish to “live” with might be calmer and offer a reassuring view of the world, nature and humanity."
Define your goals - why do you wish to hang art?
Understanding what you want to get out of the painting you choose for your living room is really important.
Are you planning to use art to express your personality to your friends and family? Are you installing the painting simply because you love art and want some in your home? Are you using the art to cover up some issue with the wall in your living room (it happens)?
Thinking about why you want the painting will help in working out what you want it to look like and, perhaps, say.
Getting down to the practicalities of installing a painting in your living room, size will need to be considered - the size of the room vs the size of the painting you are planning to hang there.
Too big a painting will usually dominate your room, but there are some exceptions - if the purpose of the artwork is to create a huge statement then a dominant piece will work. Typically, however, the art will want to blend in and complement the space rather than "being" the space itself.
Too small and it will barely be noticed which, when it comes to a great painting, is a travesty. There is little point in hanging art in your living room if no one is even going to spot it there.
The space in which the artwork is to hang is key. The more "white space" there is around a painting, the calmer, more relaxed the feeling in the room will be.
If it is too crowded, too big for the area of wall you have chosen, hemmed in by a TV or bookshelves or other pictures then the room will feel too busy - the art itself will be subsumed and the room will feel busy and cluttered.
A huge artwork can dominate a room - which needs careful planning.
A big painting in a small room will be difficult to appreciate as you won’t be able to see the full effect. Some paintings are made to be admired from a few feet away, and if you don’t have the square footage to do that, you will need to look elsewhere for your art.
Humph also adds some other points to consider,
"Don’t hang works over radiators or frequently used fireplaces. Canvases in particular don’t enjoy the heat. Similarly, direct sunlight is a no-no. Even the very best of materials will fade in time."
Your living room is a public space when it comes to friends and family. Bedrooms, studies, they are another matter, but your living room needs to be a place where people feel comfortable and welcome.
So picking a painting that is suitable for all should be at least something to think about. You don’t need to find something that everyone will like – art is entirely subjective, after all – but something that won’t offend, upset or frighten guests is a good idea. But don’t be afraid to pick a painting that matches your personality too.
As with all things, your available budget will also point you in the direction you need to head in to find the ideal painting for your living room. Unless your funds are unlimited, your interior design ideas may need to be watered down somewhat. But that shouldn’t mean you have to compromise on your art.
There are some truly beautiful paintings for less than £50, and their effect in your living room will be no less impactful just because they cost less than you might think.
Choosing the right painting for your living room should be fun, not stressful. Make sure you stick to your budget, that you’ve measured the space you want to hang it in, and that you’re not going to clash with your colour scheme, and your living room will soon look stunning.
So what’s stopping you? Art should be in every home, and a painting in your living room is an excellent start. Use our search facility to find the piece that is perfect for your living room and budget.