Wall Art on the Cheap

I'm finally putting the finishing touches on our new house and recently added wall art.  I went for framed family photos, watercolor prints (see this post), as well as various framed photos and paintings that we picked up on past trips.  When it came to a couple of blank walls in the dining room, I decided to keep it simple and very inexpensive by framing prints myself.  

The secret here was that I found the prints in a 2016 wall calendar (now half off!) that was discounted at the beginning of the year.  I chose 3 prints by Rifle Paper Co. that feature cities that I love.  I cropped the images with a paper trimmer and framed them with West Elm white gallery frames.  Since each print cost only a few dollars, I can easily swap them out for others down the road without an ounce of guilt!

House Rules: If These Walls Could Talk...

The walls of your home are like a blank canvas full of possibility.  There are so many options to consider when thinking about the surfaces that contain each room.  Which paint color is best?  Would framed photos or art look better in the space?  What about wallpaper?  During our remodel, I've found that by following a few basic guidelines,  I'm able to at least cut down on a few of the decisions.  See below for a few house rules to live by when thinking about wall art, lighting, and paint.

photo: elle decor

Rule #1: Hang wall art at 57" on center.  

By hanging art so that the center is 57" off the ground, the piece will be right at average eye height, a trick used by museums and galleries.  Hint:  This is lower than you might think!  Most artwork is hung too high.

Rule #2: Hang wall sconces between 60 and 72 inches above floor level.  The best height for bathroom sconces is 66 inches.  

Remember to take into consideration what you want to highlight with your wall fixture.  For example, accent lighting in a hallway can be at a higher level than bathroom sconces that need to enhance your reflection in the vanity mirror.  If you are a little shorter or a little taller, adjust the height of your bathroom lights accordingly.

Rule #3: High gloss or semi-gloss paint is best for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and trim.  Eggshell or satin paint is best for high traffic areas, hallways, and kids' rooms.  Flat paint is best for ceilings, bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms.

When it comes to paint sheens, the higher the gloss, the more durable the paint.  Higher gloss walls are also much easier to wipe clean.  For low traffic areas, flat paint is a high coverage, money-saving option that hides imperfections.