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Category:  Decorating

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Accessorizing your Home with Art

By Nikki Willhite
How to Choose Art that Lasts

I have to admit that I love art. I walk by pictures and always have the desire to buy them. I would be happy to fill my walls from ceiling to floor with framed pictures (which I've actually seen done in some homes)!

I also know, however, that I cannot afford it. I am very limited in the amount of art I can display. I know from experience that in time I WILL TIRE of some of the pictures that I look at all the time. Also, in my price range the artwork that I buy may become dated, either because of the colors or the frame.

So, how do we buy artwork for our homes? How do we know what we will be able to enjoy looking at for a long time? How do we make sure that we make the most of our money?

If our taste is developed, it will be a lot easier. Sometimes people start out thinking they love the modern style, and then take a serious disliking to it. They start buying traditional furniture and accessories, and begin disposing of the modern pieces at a financial loss. Or it may be the other way around.

Thankfully, we can now blend styles in our homes, so we have more options. One of the safest ways to accessorize our homes is to stick to the middle of the road. Buy items that blend with all furniture styles. In other words, don't limit yourself to exotic or ethnic looking pieces- such as Oriental and African designs (unless that is what you really like).

When I was first married, I had to deal with a bunch of Mexican accessories my husband had brought home from the 2 years he lived there. I was forced to put serapes and BIG hats all over our apartment. Thankfully these items slowly disappeared :-)

Another rule to good accessorizing is to buy things that have meaning to you. If you have a favorite artist, buy their prints and frame them. The classical works of art will always be in fashion.

If you take a vacation, bring accessories home that will remind you of the good time that you had (hopefully), and will have meaning to you.

Cherish any pieces of art that you inherit from family. They will grow more meaningful to you as time goes by. These will not be items that you dispose of. My mother was an artist, and very creative in all areas. As money allows, I display her art and handicraft. She died several years ago, and I was given many items that I am still slowly preparing for display.

Just recently I was able to get a few doilies framed. Some people might have discarded them. Doilies are old-fashioned, and you wouldn't think they would be much of a decorative asset. However, as I've said in the past, anything looks good in a mat and frame.

I purchased the frames from Walmart, lined the insides with some satin lining I had in my fabric collection, which matched my decor, and then placed the doilies in the frames. I ended up with two wonderful pieces of art with great sentimental value to me. I put up a picture up on the Internet of one of them so you could see how easy it is to take the simplest of items and make them art for your walls. If you'd like to see it, here is the link: Doily

Don't overlook your children's artwork.  I'm not just talking about putting it on the refrigerator. Many things they do can be framed and put in their rooms.

When they get older they will start making all kinds of interesting items. Some will last, some won't, but display them as long as possible. My son was gifted in pottery, and I have his work in my living room. I also have a beautiful watercolor he did of Mt. Rainier. You can bet I'll never tire of these items.

Group your collections on your wall. Let your home reflect your personality. Some people like to display pictures of their ancestors. Spend your money on things that will last. Remember, when you put up wallpaper, you will probably have to leave it someday. However, your pictures and collectibles will go with you wherever you go.


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