Let’s Go On An Art Hop, Shall We?

I am super excited; I got a painting for my birthday that I had seen a month or so ago and couldn’t stop thinking about. Most of the others who were with me when we first saw the painting thought the work was a bit “dark”. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. A young local artist by the name of Ben Norton created something very intriguing to me. It wasn’t unreasonably priced (one of the benis of scouting out new local artists), so when the fam asked me what I might like for my birthday, I just threw it out there. Fast forward to today, and I am taking my baby to the framers!
Blog world, this is Brigette. Brigette, these are my friends.
This led me to consider a designer’s take on art. I have many clients who ask me to select art for them. It’s one of my least favorite things to do. Art to me is personal and I feel a tremendous pressure to find something they’ll love. It’s almost like a test: how well do you know your client. With that said, here are some Vintage Scout thoughts on selecting art for your home.


Collect art that speaks to you. It can commemorate a special trip or event. It can remind you of someone or trigger a fond memory. You can even select art that evokes a mood that you want to create in a space.

Art doesn’t have to be expensive, but buy the best you can afford. You don’t have to rich to collect art. Case in point: Herb & Dorothy Vogel. He was a mailman and she was a librarian. They collected all different kinds of contemporary art and eventually amassed one of the world’s most prized collections.

Local artists are a great source for reasonably priced art. The art community here in Dayton sponsors a “First Friday” every month where galleries stay open late and create a fun social atmosphere. It was at one of these events I found my treasure. If you don’t live close to events like these, many independent artists sell their work on Etsy. I can spend hours browsing that site for art.

Art doesn’t have to be art in the traditional sense. Vintage maps, signs, and posters can be great focal points. I have a vintage German anatomy chart hanging in my living room. Most common comment: “That’s cool.” Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to mix mediums and styles of art.
Old School Map available for sale at Vintage Scout Interiors.

Framing is important when it comes to art. Sometimes the right frame is no frame; but when it’s not, once again remember the rule, “buy the best you can afford”. Archival framing from a shop that knows what they’re doing is important. Selecting the right frame and mat is tough. Do you match the art or the room? Neutral mats tend to work best in most spaces and complement the art without overpowering it. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, so don’t walk into the framing shop claiming, “But Debbie said…” And what can I say about frame selection? I have been known to spend lots of time making sure I have the perfect frame. (my friends at Centerville Framing can attest to this.) This is definitely an area that your designer can help you with, because you have already done the important work yourself- choosing the art. Now that you’ve gotten to this point, it’s time to hang your art. What? Another decision? Hanging your art improperly can negate all the work you’ve done if it goes awry. Sorry to tell you there is no magic formula for how high to hang a piece. Also make sure to consider the association with other things hanging in the room. It’s OK to admit you’ve made a mistake and move your painting. It’s just a nail hole; that’s why they make spackle and you have leftover paint. Still scared to commit? Lucky for people like you, sometimes leaning and layering pieces is just the right answer, especially on a mantle or above a sideboard; but don’t be afraid of just leaning a piece on the floor. Mirrors are great incorporated into groupings like this. Just make sure whatever you lean is secure. Finally, when in doubt, hire a professional. Remember when I confessed selecting art for clients is not my favorite thing to do? Well, there’s a disclaimer to that. I love shopping along with my clients for art. It’s the perfect combination- I can advise them on the design elements of how the piece will work in their home and they can select what they love. I can handle the framing and hanging of the piece. That kind of team work turns out an amazing room.

Now, armed with the knowledge of the Scouts- go, foray into the world of art shopping. Good luck and most importantly, have fun. Report back to us and let us know what you find. Have you ever hung anything really out of the ordinary? Intriguing minds want to know…