A beautiful couch, a stunning rug and luxurious pillows to match your fabulous new color scheme. You picked out some great elements for your newly decorated living room but something is missing. You spent months looking for the perfect couch and the right rug to go underneath but still you walk into your room that you just spent thousands of dollars on to just feel empty.

You forgot about the walls!! Walls can sometimes be harder to decorate then a complicated floor plan. A large open wall can seem overwhelming and the temptation to hang a lot of frames everywhere is strong.

Sure that’s a fun look and it can be done in a more polished way. Check out this picture of a family room with a bit too many pieces hung above the couch.living-room-gallery-wall-80853755786302305 While I love this look and have even done it in my own house, if you don’t take the time to lay out your pieces and balance it with an equal amount of shapes, sizes and weight, the wall is going to look cluttered.

Instead try to put a little distance between the pictures or art. Find balance between larger items and smaller items. In this case uneven numbers look great. Mixing squares, circles thick and thin can add character and interest.

Now see this picture of a beautifully decorated wall with stunning pieces of art, a mix of shapes and textures.Gallery-wall-with-console-decorated-for-fall-part-of-a-full-fall-house-tour This feels more inviting and appealing to me. Kris Jarrett from Drivenbydecor.com talks about how she chooses art for her walls. She clearly has the knack for it as you can see every room in her house looks fantastic! Check out this blog post in which she describes creative ways to make your own artwork for your home. I love the idea of gluing feathers in a frame.

Like Kris, I believe not everything on a wall has to be framed artwork or photographs of your wedding day 25 years ago. If you remember back to the salon I re-designed, we had a large wall that needed something light so not to compete with the beautiful blue grass woven wall paper but something spacial so it didn’t feel empty.

I chose these fun baskets to hang on the wall. I arranged them in a way that would feel like a pattern with large and small baskets layered together.

IMG_0677Baskets aren’t the only thing… decorate with old windows, distressed doors, plates and mirrors. Be creative and think outside the box.
You may think I am steering you away from a traditional piece of artwork for the home. No way, I live in a town filled with amazing artists that allow our town to celebrate creativity and offer beautiful pieces of artwork to take home.  In my home I have pieces by local artists Pam Ruschman and Susan Hale.  It shows my passion for the city I live in but accents my love for color.
If you are considering purchasing a piece of artwork for your home consider the following things.

1. Select the most important and visible walls in your home. The art that you decide to bring into your house is important to you so give it room to shine by leaving some walls blank. It is not necessary to hang something on every wall. The mantle is a great place for a piece that you love as your eye is drawn to it and it is often one of the first areas noticed in a living roomgray-pink-abstract-art-horchow-twombly-giclee

2.  Mirror the size of the wall: If you have a long horizontal wall hang a long horizontal piece (or collection of pieces) on that wall. If you have a narrow vertical spot, place a piece that is narrow and vertical and that fills the space. By accentuating the height or length of the wall, you make the room feel larger.

3. Don’t be afraid to use the entire wall—many people think they can’t handle a big piece of art when they can.

4. Color is important! Orange artThink about the feel of a color before placing it in your room. Deep bold colors are stronger and have a way of drawing a visitor in. These pieces are great in a living room, dining room or kitchen where we invite conversation and entertainment. Do you have an accent color you use in the room. Try to dominate that color in your room as it will help pull everything together.

5. Don’t let the architectural style of your home dictate the art that you have on your walls. Contemporary art can be wonderful in a traditional setting and often has an impact on a room that a more traditional landscape wouldn’t have. If anyone saw the Journal Sentinel article on my home Oct. 2, they saw an modern piece of artwork displayed on an antique in my Colonial home. I love it!! It’s not what you think should be on the walls in my home, but it represents my style and personality!

636096441029680476-MJS-ATHOME-MULLARKEY-ENT-PORTER-11-ATHOME-MULLA-49080546

6. Vary the texture of the pieces in your room. If you have a photograph behind glass above your favorite chair, you may want to choose a piece of art on canvas for above your sofa. Variety is good when you hang art in a room!

Orange clockAnother Shot from the article… and one of my favorite! I love the color orange. You can find it in almost every room of my house. I made these pillows with a Robert Allen embroidered fabric. I chose it because of the orange. So when I put them in a room with a huge wall and a soft plush couch, I knew I needed a contrasting piece on the wall. I chose this extra large orange metal clock and it certainly makes a statement when looking into the room!

When it comes to decorating your walls make sure you give it some thought. Don’t be afraid to try new things, its only a nail in the wall and they sell wall putty at almost every hardware store!