Please welcome our next guest blogger, Carl Turner, content writer at Maison de Kristine, a lifestyle and design store specializing in vintage-style and French country furnishings.  Read on for his top five tips to decorating with prints and artwork!

Your home should be your happy place. How you decorate it creates a mood that affects how you feel. As such, blank walls are an opportunity for you to express your unique personal style and hanging artwork adds that special touch that makes your home, well, yours. Of course, not everyone is an interior designer, and choosing the right art and using it effectively can be tricky. Here are five quick tips to help you decorate with prints and artwork:

1. Shop Local

Instead of just ordering prints of traditional artwork, why not dig a little deeper?  While there's certainly nothing wrong with hanging a Picasso or Monet, seeking out local, lesser-known artists is fun, and it really adds a one-of-a-kind element to your home.  If you're feeling especially ambitious, you could even commission an artist to create a custom piece just for you.  Visit local galleries, coffee shops, bars, and join online communities to learn about upcoming events.  

2. Create an Art Wall

If you have a large, open wall available, try turning it into your own personal art gallery. While a tasteful, minimal approach can be aesthetically pleasing, there can be power in numbers too. You can hang photos of loved ones, paintings, prints, and even magazine cutouts, old book or record covers, or anything else that floats your boat. A gallery wall lets you create a personal collage that will bring a smile to your face every time you walk by.

3. Find a Niche

As you choose your prints and artwork, it’s a good idea to have a vision. Try to avoid art that clashes with your current home furnishings. For example, if you live in a rustic cottage with French country furniture, you probably want to avoid garish artwork with fluorescent colors. If you’re going for a chic, minimalist style, seek out prints and artwork by modern and contemporary artists. Try to be consistent, but at the same time, don’t feel limited either. After all, it’s your house and if you like it, that’s all that really matters.

4. Do It Yourself

You don’t need an art degree to be able to make attractive decorations. For example, this BHG article shows you how to make striking geometric artwork using only metal repair tape and a canvas. The internet makes finding beginner DIY art projects fast and easy, so get some supplies and give it a try. Creating your own art is extremely cost-effective and personally rewarding, and nobody knows what you like better than yourself!

5. Keep It Simple

When in doubt, keep it basic. With the exception of an intentionally cluttered gallery wall, too much art can detract from your home’s natural beauty. Try to leave plenty of space between each piece so viewers aren’t easily distracted. Use a level to make sure that your artwork and prints are hung straight, and use a tape measure to keep an even distance between pieces. You can also keep your pictures straight by attaching small rubber bumpers to the bottom, rear corners of the piece, as recommended by Popular Mechanics.

Flaunt Your Personality

At the end of the day, if it looks good to you, that’s all that really matters. If you like the look of an upside-down Mona Lisa, then feel free to hang it as you please. There are no rules in the art world, and doing something outside of the box can really add a special touch to a room. If you’re still struggling, call a friend or family member and ask for advice. Decorating with someone else is fun, and it gives you a second opinion and perspective. Be bold, and don’t be afraid to change things around whenever inspiration strikes.

Author Bio:

Carl Turner is an artist, home decorator, and freelance writer who lives in Boulder, CO with his wife and son. Carl is passionate about helping his clients turn their ordinary households into enchanting homes. In his free time, Carl enjoys horseback riding, hiking, and cooking.

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