Design Elements : Art

Art of any form is a designer's favorite element - says so the internet. Though we shouldn't trust everything this great net says- this one is true. Adding an art in and around a space is definitely the finishing touch- if done right.

Photography by Sudheesh S

My love affair with different forms of art began, when I first came to the USA a few years ago. Staring at some pretty stuff on my laptop was way more gratifying than my beige wall and beiger (is that a word?) carpet. Imagine my thrill when I found out that interior walls of most houses in US are dry walls, meaning they are plasterboards - putting a nail is the easiest thing in the world.

I soon found out that as pretty as art forms are to look at, they are also expensive. It is not surprising given that, the time and creativity are some of the most expensive commodities these days.

So what are the options?

1. Create your own art - takes time, effort and patience (creativity? not so much. There are tutorials on YouTube and e-how for pretty much anything.) Or search your kid's school bag .You will come across some gems occasionally.

Painted by Akshara

2. Scour the internet for free printable and favorite quotes and frame them.There are a number of great sources for them like this.

3. Rely on beautiful calenders, newspapers, magazine spreads, kids art works, a great fabric - basically you can frame anything.

A magazine spread I clipped
3. Ebay and internet auctions.

4. Etsy - great for handmade art and prints.Also you will be awed by some of the talents out there. I have admired a few, like this  and this . But honestly never bought. I am a cheapo.

5. Exhibitions and galleries. This is costlier than others but if you value originality, then the way to go.

6. Photographs - do you have a good eye and a great camera or a friend with both? I have my eye on this one from a very dear friend. Photos, blown up and framed or taped to the wall is elegant and sweet at the same time.

 Here is an art wall I created for our little girl's room.

These are the easiest and immediate solutions for finding art that came to my mind. So are we good to go if we have a great piece of art that we love? No- there are some guidelines to use them.

1. Choose an art that is meaningful to you or something that you can identify with - so that each time you look at it, a happy though passes by.

2. Stick to a theme or restrict to a color pallet. Random stuff pasted and thrown around is more of a clutter than art and it will look forced.

3. Choose art based on the mood or aesthetic of the room. A religious mural painting in a big ornate brass frame will look awkward in an otherwise modern room.

4. Display the art at the right height and place.Most of the times we hang art work too high. 57 inches to the center of the art is the standard. Interestingly 57 inches is the average human eye level.

The last one is especially sad for me, because I love art and I am short- like 4'-9"!

So what do you love to display on your walls? An array of personal photographs? A favorite scenery? Do you have any interesting sources for art? Share you thoughts on art.

I am linking this up to the awesome blog   Home Stories A to Z


  1. Given an option I would like to add a big canvas of mural painting to my hall which for me is the most elegant one ..

  2. Sudheesh, a large scale mural painting on a wall is definitely a statement maker.If you value originality finding a local artist who will do custom ones is the way to go. But that could turn out expensive. I have found quiet a number of paintings on Ebay around $100. There are paper prints also available in Kerala if you want to check out before you make up your mind.