When I joined Artfinder back in 2013, I thought of myself as a tech guy with an eye for nice things, but certainly not as an expert on interior design. I’m still not an expert, but I’ve learned a great deal about what I like myself, and I’ve also started to notice the crimes some of us commit in our homes. I plead guilty of having committed some of those in the past myself. But I feel it’s my time to rehabilitate and to help undo some of it through this post!
Chances are that if you rent or own your apartment or room , you are interested in making your personal space look in some way special. You probably want to make it feel yours, feel homely or even beautiful. Even better — you want to make it so that your family and friends all go WOW when they pay you a visit on that lazy Sunday afternoon. You want your (prospective or current) girl- or boyfriend to go “wow, this is cool!”, rather than the not-so-cool “oh my, who the hell am I dating?”
Whatever your personal style (minimalist, vintage, urban, scandi or 'insert style name here') there are a few things you should avoid having on your apartment walls at all costs. Why? Because they make your home look silly, dated and simply uncool. Of course you’re welcome to ignore below advice if “uncool” is indeed your very style!
1. Pictures of your pets
Love them, feed them, play with them, but for god’s sake — do not put them on your walls! It’s enough that your cat makes your niece sneeze every time she visits you! Why not just throw a ball for your dog or watch it sleep? The Internet was created for pictures of cats and dogs — not your walls! Set it as your screen saver, post it to your Instagram or better still — upload your beloved cat’s video to Youtube and get that million views (it’s probably going to be a hit — take my word!)
Our PR Manager, Jane's cat, Mog taking the rightful spot - on the bed, not on the wall!
2. Family photos
Really? Do you really want to look at old pics of your siblings, mom, dad or aunties every day? Isn’t it enough you see them constantly on your Facebook feed or from time to time in ‘real’ at a festive dinner? Not every one of your guests needs to know your entire family tree. They probably don’t fancy seeing your drunk uncle at the wedding from years ago either. ‘But hey!’, you might say, ‘our wedding photos were taken by a pro’. So what! I’ll say — they still belong to a ‘wedding photo album’ — not your wall!
And by the way — if you haven’t figured it out yet — no one can ‘like’ or leave a ‘comment’ on those pics when they’re hanging up there anyway.
3. Movie posters
I know right? I also thought nobody’s doing that anymore. Unfortunately this is not the case (you, I know where you live). There are people out there that still think a movie poster (even a fairly old one) is cool. Well — let me tell you — it isn’t. You are not ‘a legend’ just because you have Will bless him Smith’s face above your bed. Not even a superhero here will save you from embarrassment. The noise of titles, actor names, tag lines and credits usually turns it into an aesthetic nightmare. You probably know the full cast by heart now, so take it off and put where it belongs. It is usually a recycling bin unless it is a true archival collectible — in which case — buy yourself a museum cabinet and display it there.
Not really a movie poster this one, but my colleague Cesca went “what the hell” when she’d seen that in her boyfriend’s bedroom. She’s still with the guy, but is already plotting to upgrade this “piece”. Image courtesy of Cesca’s boyfriend.
4. Photo wallpapers
It’s nice to go on holiday and sit on a sunny beach under a palm tree. It’s indeed lovely to breathe in a fresh cool air in a forrest of trees. But having those on a photo wallpaper is the furthest you could go from ‘cool’. Picture of a city? Perhaps a recognisable landmark? Well — no! Leave those to the dated hotels or wannabe-cool offices, where budgets didn’t extend enough to accommodate a proper artwork, so they had to settle for that wallpaper.
5. Canvas prints
Just to be clear, I have nothing against canvas as a substrate. I have nothing against true “print” as a technique (quite the opposite). But the so called “canvas wall art” shops that keep popping up all over the Internet are lying to you. They promise they will make your interior look great, but in fact they just make it look cheap and nasty. They’re still your wedding photos or perhaps your pet’s, however cute. Worse still, it could be the photo of a red flower taken with a macro-zoom on a black and white background. Plus, that grainy awful pixelation of an oversized photo they promised you would look great… Hmmm, really?
6. An oversized 3D HD 4K LED Smart Whatever
I know these are cool right? Every gadget fan loves those and wants one in their room. But have you really thought what it says about you if the biggest thing in your room is a TV set? It doesn’t change anything that it’s got the latest D or K — it’s still a window mostly to see some loud oversaturated commercials. The super-slick bezel and a curved edge display make it no less of a statement that your life has been overtaken by the endless and pointless series, realities or docudramas. ‘And the news?’ — you might say, well who wants to see this mess in full 4K anyway? It’s even more depressing!
My beloved brother (bless him) about to commit the crime on his wall… Family photo wall visible in the background
7. Ikea prints
How many times have you seen the same poster of the Eiffel Tower or the Brooklyn bridge? It is a nice photo — I know, but I hate to think how abused it now is. Thousands and thousands of copies of the same — make it cheap indeed. But it hurts to think how little did the artist really earn from it. It is heart breaking to consider how many more artists could make a buck if they stopped copying same old stuff in hundreds of thousands. I do respect those Swedes, I must say, for what they’d done to interiors around the world. But finishing off your pre-fabricated space with a mass produced print just ruins your very last chance to make the space your own and let it reflect your personality. It just becomes a wannabe ‘page 73’ in their last year’s catalogue.
Déjà vu? Seen this somewhere before? I have! Many, many times — Ikea’s poster of Paris, amongst their other city prints is one of the best selling “wall decor” pieces out there. Thousands of copies sold and counting. Image courtesy of Ikea.com
Artists to the rescue!
So what are my options? Thought you’d never ask! Luckily, there are so many amazing choices that will make your home look beautiful and unique. There is an endless choice of hand-made, unique objects you could experiment with. But the best answer to this (I feel) is a one-of-a-kind artwork reflecting your personality and making your home look truly unique.
Simply stunning — the right piece of art compliments the room and makes it look beautiful. This is Sky Scratches, an acrylic painting by a Dutch artist Dee Brown (only $360)
And it doesn’t have to be expensive if you buy it direct from the creator! There are many sites selling original art out there, but Artfinder.com is one where you can buy original art without breaking the bank. You can chat with the creators from all over the world and you can even negotiate the price yourself, so you always get the best deal. And we’re proud to offer a 14 day money back guarantee, which makes it easy for you to try an artwork at home — so you don’t have to worry!
It’s an icing on the cake that you get a truly unique artwork, sure to make your every guest go “Wow!”. It’s made by a real person and it holds something that money can’t buy — a story and a soul.
There’s nothing quite like an original art, whether a painting or a professional photo, signed by the artist — it makes the interior look amazing and it guarantees your guests will go WOW!
Image: Vapour Trails, an oil painting by Alex Ebdon
So go ahead and make sure you buy your first piece of art before your neighbour does. It really is a special feeling and I guarantee you won’t look back.
Header image on Creative commons licence, courtesy of Allison
Note from the author: Just to be clear. Please take this post with a grain of salt. All of my family have photo-walls in their homes and I still love them to bits. Honest.