Designing with Your Five Senses – Sight

Okay, at first glance this one is pretty darn huge. After all, on the surface just about EVERY part of design deals with your sense of sight—color, contrast, balance, proportion, space, rhythm and repetition. (Since we’ve already talked a little about how your sense of smell, touch, and hearing can come into play, you know that there’s WAY more to design than just sight. Heck, I’m such a nerd that I could go on about the non-visual aspects of design ALL DAY. Ergonomics, proxemics, means of egress calculations, psychology of architecture, universal design, fire codes, and building codes, oh my!)

You’re in luck today, though! I’m reigning myself in and narrowing down our topic of sight to artwork that makes you happy.

I’m pretty sure that all of you have made the same mistake I have—you went to Hobby Lobby or HomeGoods and bought a picture because you kind of liked it and thought it would fill up some space on the wall. Then you got it home, hung it up, and thought, “Meh.” Ladies (and gentlemen), THAT? Is not the sound of a happy camper. I don’t want you to have meh artwork on your walls. I want you to have artwork that lifts a bad mood. Artwork that takes away the stress of a long day. Artwork that makes you smile because of the memories it brings back. How the heck do you find artwork like that? I’m glad you asked!

Broaden Your Horizons

First things first, if you want art that makes you happy, you’re probably going to need to look more places than just HomeGoods or Hobby Lobby. Yeah, they’ve got some cute stuff sometimes, but I want you to have artwork that speaks to you (and has something more to say than just, “Buy me, I’ll fill up a hole on the wall!”). The art that I have in my home now has come from a WIDE variety of sources. I’ve got an original oil painting that I found at a high-end furniture store, an acrylic painting from a pop-up painting booth, a caricature from a vendor at Six Flags, paintings and drawings and photographs done by friends and family, a couple watercolors from, a watercolor and a print from, pieces that my girls created when they were little AND things they’ve done more recently, plus a handful or two of other sources.

Make an Investment

No matter where you find the art you love, you need to treat it like the treasure it is. Taking the time to find the right frame for a poster you love or your kids’ finger paintings elevates them from just something that you’d stick on the fridge to a piece of fine art. If you take the time to find pieces that are really special, you’re going to want to look at them for 10 – 20 years (or MORE), so you might want to consider professional framing. Here again, Hobby Lobby is okay, but you can get a MUCH better job done by a local independent framer at about the same price.

Have a Little Patience

Rome wasn’t built in a day and your art collection shouldn’t be either. As a designer, I can pick pretty much any element of your home fairly quickly, but one thing I will not do is choose all of your art. I may make suggestions, but artwork should be personal to YOU. Need help figuring out framing, picture size, or how to arrange your art? I’ve got your back.

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