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9 Benefits of art in the home and how to curate a collection

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Home should be a place that inspires and stimulates you — not a building full of bare walls and drab interiors. One great way to transform your space and express your style is to display art.

Humans have looked to art as a way to improve mental health and well-being and add character to the home for centuries. Today, we know even more about the science behind art. Studies have shown that viewing art reduces depression and anxiety while increasing feelings of love and empathy.

It can also be a great investment. Below, we discuss the benefits of art in the home, how to choose pieces that speak to you and how to add coverage to a standard home insurance policy for valuable pieces.

1. Viewing art decreases stress levels

Americans have more mental health concerns than ever before. With COVID-19 closures and a dramatic shift to remote work, many of us are also tasked with finding ways to reduce stress at home. Looking at art is a proven way to de-stress and get control of our thinking patterns, as it normalizes blood pressure levels and the stress hormone cortisol.

2. Art creates thoughtful conversation

Carefully curated collections canbring positivityand engaging conversation into the home. Art engages both the introspective part of our brain and other parts geared toward extroversion. When viewing art, we’ll both inwardly process our opinions and have the urge to share them with others, resulting in conversation starters that go beyond traditional small talk. 

3. Displays inspire imagination and wonder

Art also encourages us to be more creative, sparking new ideas and helping us process both real and imagined parts of our lives. While some spaces are set up to avoid distractions, such as a corporate or home office, your living areas should feature art that moves and inspires you.

4. Art promotes critical thinking

Taking time to explore a piece of art from multiple perspectives helps build critical thinking skills. This helps you think more rationally and clearly, and increases your ability to comprehend. All of this critical thinking comes in handy when problem-solving in everyday life, and this also helps you be more resourceful and creative at work.

5. Art can increase your empathy for others

In addition to the benefits art has on our own wellness, it can also help us be more thoughtful of others. A study found that after students viewed art, they had a greater tolerance for differing views. They were also more likely to display empathy for how people lived in the past.

6. Curating a collection can showcase your personality

Choose pieces that are meaningful to you and share parts of yourself with others. Whether it’s a favorite color or place, or a painting of a passion or memory, hanging this in your home will promote openness and interesting discussions with guests.

7. Viewing art triggers feelings of love and pleasure

Maybe the best reason to have art in your home is that it’s scientifically proven to make us feel good. Viewing art can bring a rush of pleasure to the brain due to increased levels of dopamine. This pleasure hormone is the same one that activates when we fall in love.

8. Buying local art supports community artists

If you’re not sure where to start looking for art, hit up the local galleries and art markets in town (and don’t forget your mask). This is a great way to see the art up close and meet the artist in person. Buying art from a local maker will also keep the dollars flowing in your community. 

9. Art can be a great investment opportunity

On average, art appreciated 3.97% per year in the U.S. from 1957 to 2007. While art value may not grow as fast as stock shares do, it can be an opportunity to diversify your investment portfolio. Since art has no correlation to the stock market, it can still increase in value during a recession or market crash.

How to choose art that speaks to you

Now that you’ve read about the benefits of art in the home, it’s time to pick pieces to display. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, here are some tips for purchasing art you’ll enjoy viewing.

 

1. Discover your personal style

Make your collection a reflection of you by having pieces that incorporate your personal style. This will also help your pieces flow together and create a warm, inviting space.

Now that you’ve read about the benefits of art in the home, it’s time to pick pieces to display. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, here are some tips for purchasing art you’ll enjoy viewing.

  1. Create an inspiration board: In this first step, you’ll browse through art either from books and magazines or online and save pieces that speak to you. Then, analyze the images you chose. Do they all have a particular look or feature that you can replicate?
  2. Use your favorite textures and color schemes: Once you’ve decided on a theme, think of the colors and fabrics you want to feature. If you already have furniture or rugs purchased, consider how those colors will mesh with the art. 3D textured relics are a great way to add dimension and texture.
  3. Know your budget: The cost of art can quickly add up, especially if you’re looking for investment pieces. Be realistic about your budget before you find artists or galleries to shop for. The last thing you want is to fall in love with a piece of art that is way out out of your price range.

 

2. Pick pieces that are meaningful to you

Remember that the art in your home will likely become a conversation starter with guests. Curating a collection that features personal connections or passions can help you share your interests with others.

  1. Consider your heritage: Think of ways to tie your ancestry or family tree into the art you display. Are there scenes of a certain part of the world where your family came from? Another idea is to add pieces of religious significance and/or family relics.
  2. Showcase your hobbies or interests: If you’re not sure of the type of scenery to display on your wall, why not show off your interests? Say you’re an avid sailor — paintings of sailboats or the sea can bring you joy and also serve as a talking point with visitors. If you love to travel, try curating pieces from your vacations.
  3. Commission an original piece: Want to display personalized pieces? Commission a local artist to create something original. Family portraits can be a great choice, as can scenery from your childhood or life, and pet portraits tend to be more affordable.

 

3. Know where and how to display the art

Hanging or otherwise displaying the art can be a difficult task to check off the list. If a piece isn’t the correct size or too heavy for the wall then you may find it unusable. Make sure to know the where and how before you purchase a piece.

  1. Hang single pieces at eye level: Make your home display industry-standard by featuring art at 57″ on center. This means that the center of the piece should be 57” above the floor, the average human eye-height.
  2. Embrace the rule of three: If you want to feature more than one piece of art on a certain wall or room section, use the rule of three. Odd numbers are more interesting to the eye so hanging pictures in groups of three will make it the focal point of the room.
  3. Remember your frames are a statement too: Your frame may be just as eye-catching as the art within it. Before you spend time and energy framing a piece of art, think about the color, size and texture of the frame and how it will play into the aesthetic of your room.

How to protect art in your home

Now that you’re starting a collection, it’s time to protect your pieces from harm. Botched cleaning jobs and natural disasters are just some of the ways home art may become damaged. Pieces may also become the target of thieves.

  1. Maintain humidity levels in your home: Too much humidity can cause mold to form and fabrics to fade, not to mention it can be hazardous to your health.
  2. Avoid placing pieces in direct sunlight: Over time, direct sunlight drains the color from art. Pick a shadowy spot on the wall instead to limit damage.
  3. Get your art appraised every three to five years: If you purchase a piece of art or build a collection to diversify your investment portfolio, you should get it appraised to know its true value.

 

Once you’ve purchased art for your home and had it appraised, it’s important to take the extra step to insure it. Most home insurance companies restrict the total amount of compensation on valuable personal property items such as fine art, but you can purchase an endorsement or scheduled endorsement to raise your coverage limit.

Art helps our body de-stress and inspires us to connect with both ourselves and others. To learn more about the healing power of art in the home, check out our visual below.

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