Art – What Should and Should Not be on Your Walls

Posted by: Roger Williams Jul 20, 2014


Before you unroll and hang that tattered White Stripes poster you used to have blue-tacked to the wall of your dorm room, ask yourself: is this something that goes on the living-room wall of a grown man with his own place? 

Obviously not.  What you need to do is step up your decorating game with real art, not a print of dogs playing poker.  You’ve grown up since high school, and it’s time for your décor to do the same.


Paintings and artistic photography are both good bets. The artwork itself can be reproductions or originals from local artists – we recommend originals.  Nobody is really going to believe that you have Dali’s Persistence of Memory on your wall, so why privilege an imposter?

For a more energetic bachelor-pad look, the same advice applies: expertly executed photographs and professional paintings, ideally done locally. Check out Dino Guarino or Charles R. Ott Jr.’s homepages to see what we mean.

Let your art be a genuine reflection of your personality.  Go to your local art gallery and see what clicks, or do an online search for your favorite hobby or past time (night life + paintings, cars + portraits, etc) to see what’s out there, and the odds are you’ll find something with personality and style.

Do not:

Hang ratty old posters from your dorm days.  Don’t put anything on your walls without a frame.  Porn on the walls makes you look juvenile and desperate, although the right erotic print can represent sumptuous hedonism if it’s done right – it’s definitely better in the bedroom than the foyer. 

Don’t get too attached to any one piece of art or décor. Your personality and interests are going to change, so your environment should change with them. 

Finally, don’t just hang every last little knick-knack, photo, or item of memorabilia on your wall.  You want to avoid clutter, so give each wall one point of focus: that could be a single painting or maybe a collection of framed photos.  Don’t plaster every square inch of wall space with junk.

On the Cheap:

You can still tastefully decorate your house or apartment on a budget by creative use of frames and interesting subject matter.  Your local thrift store will have plenty of frames for sale, usually for 50 cents to a dollar each. 

As for what to put in them:  magazine covers are an interesting choice as long as the magazine itself is significant somehow.  For a really abstract look, try wrapping paper, which often comes in interesting colors with embossed foil or unusual prints. Avoid seasonal paper unless you want your company to think that you’re really, really, really into Channukah.

Keep it tasteful, keep it subtle, and make it about you.  Your home says a lot about you, so make sure it’s speaking the truth, and saying it with class. 



Roger Williams

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