Selecting the Right Art for Your Home

Edina experts offer tips on selecting and displaying in home artwork.
Artist Bill Mack and wife Debbie pose in front of the Griffin Gallery for a 2012 Hollywood art installation.

Art holds a special place in the home, but it can be hard to choose exactly what you want on the wall. The fact is, there are no rules to art. Your walls should be a reflection of your tastes and the things you love.

“I like to think of it like this,” says Sharon Fuhs, art director at Griffin Gallery in Edina. “If your home is your physical appearance, then art is your wardrobe. There is a lot we can wear to express who we are as a person. One day it might be tennis shoes, the next it may be my Pradas—art should do the same for your home.”

Often people worry too much about whether art works with their décor or whether certain pieces flow together, but they should set those concerns aside. Like Fuhs, Beverly Madden-Bishop from Art Resources Gallery wants people to realize that they should embrace their own style.

“We recommend an eclectic mix,” Bishop says. “You really don’t have to pigeonhole how décor is anymore. The rules are busting.”

Both Griffin Gallery and Art Resources Gallery feature work from locally, nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. Once you’ve selected a piece of art for your home, it can be difficult to decide where to put it. Again, it is all about figuring out how you want the art to work in your space. “One can use art as a segue between the formality of a room and the desired setting,” Fuhs says. “Maybe you want your dining room to be a little less formal, so going with something other than a portrait or still life that has a little more action might help accomplish this.”

Also consider how to keep your artwork safe from the elements. Both Fuhs and Bishop recommend using museum-quality glass. This is an anti-reflective material that will reduce glare and also has ultraviolet protection to keep art safe from sun exposure. Other factors such as heat and humidity typically aren’t as much of a problem, especially if you have a good frame.

People have the hardest time sticking to Bishop’s final piece of advice, which is twofold: First, don’t be afraid to be asymmetrical. Hanging a vertical piece of art above a horizontal sofa can be a great way to pull a room together. Second, don’t be afraid of negative space. Don’t worry about whether a painting fills a room. Just choose pieces you love and go ahead and leave the rest of the wall open.

Even with all of the expert advice, selecting and displaying artwork really goes back to the main point: Your art is a reflection of you. The advice you take and art you choose is only good if you truly love it. Your home is your own art world; everyone else is just living in it.