*This post is sponsored by Minted.
People tend to have pretty strong reactions to abstract art. They either hate it or appreciate it.
It’s like the licorice of the art scene.
Usually it’s hard to ignore and lets your mind wander without telling it where to go.
Color. Line. Space. The elements of art all stripped down, like they’re playing an acoustic set without the full band and big production.
At times abstract art may look to be completely random. (At a local exhibit, my husband once loudly exclaimed, “I could do this. A three year old could do this…with their eyes closed!!” Meanwhile I’m shushing him, trying desperately to be cool and cultured and saying that if he brought up Thomas Kincaid one more time I was going to shoot him right then and there.)
For the longest time even though I loved it, I wouldn’t let myself use abstract art because I thought it didn’t work with “my style” or my home.
A few years later, and now my philosophy on design centers around the concept that your home should be a layered collection of all the things you love…Not like a picture out of a magazine.
If you LOVE something, find a way to use it!
I started with the Opus print from Minted. Added a few things…took away a few things. Slept. And then went to Target.
I was trying to come up a mix of items that I felt could be easily replicated and work within lots of decorating styles. Today I’ll be showing you the “decor equation” I came up with to style abstract art in your home..
6 Steps to Styling Abstract Art in Your Home
1. START WITH AN OVERSIZED PIECE OF ART
I’m revamping our master bedroom, and had no plan other than I wanted to use indigo. After seeing Opus, IMMEDIATELY I saw a whole room coming together in my head.
(Ya’ll, it’s a little scary when that happens…Imagine Haley Joel Osmond whispering, “I see rooms, people.”)
This one piece of art became the jumping off point for the whole room design. More on that soon, I hope.
2. PAIR WITH A QUOTE
I decided to use the quote, “Love you, even when I don’t”. My husband and I are both pretty dramatic people, and frankly we can brawl like the best of em’. But then we always end up laughing at ourselves and saying something like, “I love you, but I really just don’t right now.”
If you think its terrible that we would ever say something like that to each other…you might be a newlywed.
Why it works: Your brain processes text in a completely different way than it does abstract art. Instead of pausing and allowing your eyes to wander, with text you automatically read and comprehend. It also provides a nice contrast of abstract shapes versus very symmetrical font. Make sense?
3. MIX IN A GEOMETRIC PATTERN
Since this is our only dresser in the room, we need a box to store wallets, rings, watches and such. I prefer a box over a tray because the top of the dresser is almost eye level.
Why it works: The geometric pattern is predictable and, like the quote, offers a nice contrast to the abstract art. Using a long box helps ground the surface in front of the large piece of art.
4. ADD A LEAFY GREEN
If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know that I am a serial plant killer. I love them so much, but they don’t love me back. THIS guy, however, has hung on for 4 months!! Bless his little green leaves.
Why it works: Whether faux succulents or real plants, I think every room should have some kind of plant life in it. A low, leafy “crawler” like this one works because it doesn’t block the art work.
5. GET A “BUSTY” LADY
Please do not Google “busty lady”. (Unless you are a 13-year boy.) Nothing good will come from it, I promise.
Why it works: While some people may hate the idea of mixing a neoclassical style bust with modern art, I think it works. It’s a playful clashing of eras that feels fresh.
6. FINISH WITH A GLASS KNOT
I’ve used glass knots in a couple clients’ homes, both times on bookshelves. They’re a unique accessory that are great for layering on shelves and mantels because they’re not visually “heavy”.
Why it works: Having both large and small-scale abstract objects together brings a little intentionality to the spot.
The glass knot and abstract art feel like they come from the same tribe…They look at each other and are like, “Hey man, I get you. Let’s keep things weird.”
(I. just. can’t. help. myself. #decorpersonification)
Q: What do you think? Was this helpful? Do you have any abstract art in your home? Ever tried to paint your own?
1. Large abstract art print- “Opus” from Minted
2. Wooden frame from Target (only the 5×7 available online.)
3. “Love you…” print. (Email me if you’d like the PDF.)
4. Geometric box from Home Goods.
5. White bust from Home Goods but you can find one similar here and a more rustic one here.
6. Small pink dish- vintage find.
7. Glass knot from Hobby Lobby, but you can find them here and here.
*See more of my favorite abstract art prints from Minted like this one, this one, and this one.
great post! loved the layout, and the “why it works” statements…so good! It’s the balance of the bold artwork with the bold sculptures that I love!
Thanks, Emily! It was a fun topic for me to tackle. Bold on bold=love.
Beth of designPOST interiors says
Love the new site and this post! And I am a huge fan of big colorful abstract art!
Jennifer Lippi (Decorating Delirium) says
Congrats on the new site! So excited for you. You have styled the art impeccably! I love your helpful comments about “why it works” and your comment about the busty lady had me cracking up!
Thank you, Jennifer! I’m so glad you came to “hang out” at my new place:)) hope you’re doing well.
“It’s like the licorice of the art scene.” yes! How true is this!
Also, “If you LOVE something, find a way to use it!” It took me forever to finally adapt to this principle! I always purchased decor for my home that I thought “would fit” into a space, even if I wasn’t really in love. It wasn’t until only a few months ago I realized I shouldn’t be trying to conform to my house, I should be trying to personalize it and make it my own! Love your tips, I came over from ThistlewoodFarms, and as a new blogger myself I am so excited to find yet another blogger to look up to and admire on my own journey!
Hi Rachel! DOn’t you wish we could have figured that out before we passed on a bunch of “LOVE stuff” and wasted money on the “blah decor” we thought would work?? Thank you so much for stopping by and saying “hello”. Head over to your place now:)
I found you through Thistlewood. Congrats on your new direction and the bravery to make a switch. I find myself frequently having to reassess what direction I’m going in with my blog. As I evolve my interests and tastes change. I love your decorating style and can’t wait to read more.
It was a tough move, but I’m glad I finally bit the bullet. It can be hard when you’ve put so much out there and then find yourself gravitating away from it. It feels great to finally own the direction I’ve been feeling for so long. Thank you so much for popping by today, Dawn! I really appreciate it.
Hi, Heather! I found your blog through Thistlewood Farm. I love it and can’t wait to follow along on your decorating adventures!
Hi Jane, thanks so much for stopping by to say “Hi”. Look forward to having you read along;))
Thanks, Jane! Glad you stopped by. (Isn’t Karianne the best?)
Kathy Vesely says
A few comments–I love your new blog (loved your old one, too!)…you are a class act…I have learned so much. I’m afraid to try any kind of decorating, so don’t do anything. You are giving me the courage to try SOMEthing…I love that you are so open to telling us what you have used and where WE can find the items. I appreciate your generosity. You are wonderful (and hilarious, too!).
Thank you SO MUCH, Kathy! This means the world to hear. Glad to have you reading along.