Design trends – art of this world

Grey living room with yellow accents

You just moved into your new home, you’ve worked with the builder to design a home that fits your lifestyle and personalize it to answer your and your family’s needs. Now how do you go about making it your very own?

Art is the answer!

But just how do you approach placing art in your home? It’s a very subjective matter, so it might help readers know how a professional approach the subject.

We spoke with Christina Loc, renowned interior designer who has done showhome decor for several homebuilders and is the owner of Calgary’s Metro Element boutique design store in Kensington.

“When styling a room, keep in mind too that, typically, symmetry creates flow and is calming for the soul. But every once in a while, it’s good to hang something not centred to a wall or furniture piece to disrupt that flow and is an attention grabber,” she says. “Art really is subjective, hence, why it is important to just have fun with it and make it your own.”

Her 5,000-square-foot showroom is visual delight with its amazing collection of all the things that make a house a home, including paintings and art objects that can complete and personalize it look.

She has some tips for homeowners on how to correctly place the art they choose in the home to give it the most impact.

How do you approach placing art in your home?

Art really is subjective. I think if the art in your home makes you feel happy and provokes positive energy or provides a sense of calmness and serenity, you’ve picked good pieces. There are three tips I can offer when placing art in your home:

Look at your home as a whole. The idea behind this is so you can create balance throughout. You will need to figure out where you want ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ space. Positive space is where an object is occupying the space versus negative space is the empty space surrounding the objects. You want a nice balance of both so that your home doesn’t feel too cold and empty or too cluttered and fussy.

Use different mediums and alternative wall décor. It’s best to mix different types of wall art. If you choose to only hang canvas paintings everywhere, your home will look flat and repetitive. Spice up your walls by including a nice selection of framed prints, meaningful photos, mirrors, wall art made of wood or metal, tapestry and floating shelves. For those plant lovers, add nature to your décor with wall planters.

Another way to spice up your walls is to consider the wall you are placing your artwork on. Paint it a different colour, add some wallpaper or create some texture with wall paneling.

Express your personality and make it your style. This all boils down to what feels good for you. Choose a neutral and calming palette. Select bold and bright colours. Match the art to your chosen accent colour and décor. Let it stand out and make a statement. When choosing art, the choices are endless, and you really can’t go wrong. Just have fun with it.

Where in the home do you think it’s important to place art? A painting, a sculpture or some other objet d’art.

Great places to hang art in a home is on a blank wall where nothing is happening like at a front entrance, in a hallway, up a stairway, on a stairway landing, a bare wall in a room where there is no furniture or window on that wall.

Other great places to hang art would be where a low furniture piece or object is covering part of a big wall so for example, over a sofa or bed; above a console table, sideboard, dresser or desk; beside or above a fireplace, inside a bathroom over a toilet or towel bar.

Talk about scale, what’s too big or too small for a space?

When placing artwork above furniture, generally speaking, an art piece should be somewhere between 2/3 to 3/4 the size of the furniture piece. When debating on size, stick to the bigger is better rule as long as it doesn’t overpower everything else in the room.

Smaller pieces should be dedicated to small walls. They could also be grouped together as a pair or done with multiple pieces to form a gallery wall.

For art that does not cover as much wall space as you would like, group it together with other object d’art like a vase or statue sitting on your sideboard next to the wall art.

One thing to point out, a very common mistake people make when hanging art is hanging them too high. Hanging art at eye level is best, which is about 60 inches from the centre of the art piece to the floor. Before punishing your walls with lots of accidental holes, have someone help you by holding the art up where you think you want it or map it out with some painter’s tape before putting that nail into the wall.

Where would you recommend someone on a budget to find good art for the home?

I may be bit biased, but I do know of a great place where you can get some pretty cool art that is reasonably priced! Check out Metro Element. At Metro Element, we have a lot of affordable and on-trend wall décor, accessories and art to fill your space. Our selection of product will also include art from local artists. Please visit our showroom in Kensington or online at

Supporting local artists is a nice way to give back to the community. Someone like Alex Hunt, a local artist here in Calgary, is known for her abstract, vibrant, and colourful paintings. You can reach out to her at or on Instagram @alexhuntstudio. She has an online store that will have something for everyone’s price point including fine art prints, prints on canvas and original work.

Watercolour art can provoke a lot of positive feelings and energy. Check out local artist, Rebecca Sobbi. She does a lot of water colour and oil landscapes including picturesque paintings of the beautiful Rockies. She offers prints as well. Her website is or @rebeccasobbi on Instagram.

Another hidden gem in Calgary is a store called Artsense. They have a large selection of art and will do custom framing for you as well for a very good price. The staff there are super friendly, and they even have their own in-house artist, Grisel. Her work is stunning. You can go to to view the list of services they provide or follow them on instagram @artsense_yyc.

Art reflected in bathroom mirror
Photo: Styled by Christina Loc

Spice up the bathroom

Floating shelves are a great alternative for filling up your walls. When a client has nine bathrooms in their home, having a canvas painting above the toilet in every bathroom can get repetitive and boring.

Grey living room with yellow accents
Photo: courtesy of Metro Element

Mix it up

This large scale painting, 48x72, already looks great over the sofa. But, why not add another wall piece like a mirror and hang a couple of plants to make your space even more interesting? Depending on the scale of your art, hang art about 4 to 6 inches above your furniture piece or 60 inches from centre of the painting to the floor. Trust your judgement when placing art in your home, while keeping in mind, the number one mistake people make is hanging art too high. 

Stack artwork together

For more of a modern minimalist look, hang prints of the same size with matching frames stacked one on top of each other evenly spaced out in vertical or horizontal rows.

Plant wall art
Photo: courtesy of Umbra

Plants, plants, and more plants

Are you the crazy plant lady and have run out of space for all your plants? Consider hanging plants on the wall. Not only does it save you space but makes such an incredible wall art statement. Umbra is a Canadian company and always comes up with very innovative and unique designs available for purchase at local gift and home decor boutique stores in your area.

Bold painting in a neutral room
Photo: courtesy of Alex Hunt Studio

Add bold colours to a neutral room

In a neutral space like this, a colourful, vibrant abstract painting like this by local artist, Alex Hunt, can make a statement in any room.

white 3-D wall decor is hung on top of psychedelic wallpaper
Photo: styled by Christina Loc

Layer patterns, colours and various mediums

Consider paint, wallpaper or paneling on your walls. In this modern yet retro looking office, wallpaper, vibrant colours and various patterns are all layered together to create this fun room. While there is a lot happening in this room, the space still feels very balanced with the large blue print above the desk meant to mirror all the blues happening across from it on the chaise and window wall. The room is then anchored by a blue patterned rug. Looking straight into the room, the layers of black and white patterns add an extra depth to the design. Three pieces of an all white 3-D wall decor is hung on top of a psychedelic black and white patterned wallpaper plays with your eyes and gives you a lot to look at. It’s the wallpaper and 3-D art that really brings this style together.

neutral art matching decor
Photo: from @artsense_yyc on Instagram

Work art into your space to compliment furniture and décor

When choosing art, the choices are endless. The neutral colours in this art piece painted by Grisel at Artsense creates a sense of calm in this space yet still provides a bold impact. Her use of neutral colours tie in the with the colours of the decor nicely and the size of arts balances out the bigger furniture pieces in the room perfectly. Remember, bigger is usually better.

two matching paintings flipped to form diptych
Photo: courtesy of Alex Hunt Studio

Double up the artwork

Finding artwork for a large wall can be challenging. Here, Alex Hunt hangs two of her Colour Pop pieces flipped both ways to form a diptych and fills a wall nicely.

watercolour art over credenza
Photo: courtesy of Rebecca Sobbi

Watercolour art can provoke positive feelings and energy

Local artist, Rebecca Sobbi, focuses on the relationship between light and color in nature. Her desire is to bring a feeling of beauty, peace and joy into your home. With neutral furniture and decor in this room, the soft pastel palette in her rendition of the mountains in Waterton adds subtle colours to the room evoking feelings of tranquility and peace.

Pepper Rodriguez, Editor Calgary/Edmonton
Pepper Rodriguez, Editor Calgary/Edmonton
A Reno + Decor Influencer
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