Let’s talk statement pieces. A statement piece is the attention-grabber of a space.
It’s the item in a room your eyes gravitate towards and can’t seem to pull away from.
It’s the conversation starter.
It’s the tone setter.
It’s the anchor of a room's design.
And the wrong statement piece can really throw off the overall feel of the space. Here are a few things to consider when shopping for a statement piece for any room in your house.
But first, let me specify; a statement piece can be ANY item you chose to be the focal point of the room. It can be a unique textile from your travels or gear from your favorite sport. A statement piece isn’t restricted to artwork. And when it comes to art, a statement piece doesn’t necessarily have to be large.
A statement piece, simply put, is anything that makes an impression.
However, this post will focus on artwork as statement pieces since, well, I’m an artist ;)
Before we dive into each room, I want to share some guiding principles. One of the hardest things about shopping for art is the amount of art that’s out there so think of these guiding principles as helpful filters to pare down the sheer number of options.
Guiding Principle # 1 - Scale
When considering a statement piece of artwork for a room or space try to think about the scale of the piece in relation to the other objects in the room and the size of the space itself.
For example, if you have a large living room with high ceilings and lots of space between furniture for people to walk and roam, you’ll want to consider a pretty large scale statement piece to match. A large piece will have a grounding effect on the space, fill out the room, and make it feel as grand as the other elements.
Guiding Principle #2 - Placement
Next, you’ll want to keep in mind the placement of the piece. Which wall to hang a statement piece on can affect the feel of the space. There are some clever tricks you can use in your favor to achieve the look you want.
Say you have a really large piece of art but for whatever reason it doesn’t quite go with the decor or layout of an obvious location like a living or dining room. You could consider hanging it in a hallway or a wall that leads from one room to the next. In other words, the art may not be in your direct line of sight, but it still works in making the space stately.
Guiding Principle #3 - Tone
Another thing you want to ask yourself is what you want the tone for that particular space to be. Calming? Inspiring? Bold? Neutral? This will help determine the style and colors you’ll want to further filter your search by.
For instance, most people tend to want their bedrooms to be a place of retreat; tranquil, relaxing, and calm. Therefore, you might want to shop a piece that gives off those feelings. Maybe no neon yellows and pinks in this case; )
Guiding Principle #4 - Color
In a similar vein, you’ll want to have a color palette in mind before you start searching for your statement piece. I wouldn’t say it’s necessary to have an exact color in mind - you should definitely remain open and flexible - but at least have it narrowed down to a color profile or family.
To help with this decision, take a look at the existing colors in the space. Are they rich and bold? Pastel and soft? Mostly whites and neutrals? If there’s already a lot of color in the space, I would try to bring one of the colors forward in the statement piece, kind of as an emphasis. If the space is lacking color, use the statement piece as an opportunity to introduce color in a tasteful way.
Alright, with those guiding principles in mind, let’s dive into each room! Here are a few suggestions for statement pieces by room.
In the Entryway
Most entryways are narrow and small so small or “skinny” dimensioned art could be the answer here. If there’s a wall immediately opposite to the front door i.e., you open the front door and there’s a wall in your line of sight, that’s where you’ll want to place the artwork. In terms of tone, this is really up to you! You could go with the generic but wholesome ‘Welcome’ feel. You could also use this opportunity to showcase your personality; set the stage for the rest of your home.
In the Living and Dining Room
These rooms are usually the largest in most homes with the most amount of wall space. For these spaces, large art is the obvious choice. You can also consider diptychs and triptychs or a gallery wall for added interest and something different from the norm. The tone for these rooms should be something that sparks conversation and gathering. Maybe it’s something whimsical or undeniably striking. Whichever route you take, the statement piece for these rooms should tie in seamlessly with the rest of the room’s decor.
In the Bedroom
No two bedrooms are the same so a hard and fast rule won’t work here because it really just depends! If you have an obvious, large blank wall then a large piece could work, but bedrooms are a good opportunity to do something a little different from the main rooms. Perhaps it’s smaller scale art or art on paper framed and propped up on the surface of a dresser. My recommendation is to stay flexible on pieces in the bedroom as long as it plays into the tone you’re going for for the space.
Don’t Forget about the Kitchen and Bathroom
The next two spaces probably don’t come to mind as good places for artwork, but they’ve been gaining popularity over the past few years! You’ll likely want to go smaller for these spaces since wall space is likely limited. I’ve seen really creative placements for artwork in these spaces and it’s been fun to see art enter these areas in people’s homes. No strong recommendation here, I say just play around with it! See what works! I think artwork here will really come down to functionality as these rooms are used for distinct purposes as opposed to leisure like in the living room or bedroom; can the artwork be in the space without being in the way will be the question.
When to Skip the Statement Piece
Yes, there are instances when you shouldn’t force a statement piece into a room. Only two instances come to mind immediately: (1) there’s just not enough wall space in the room and (2) there’s already a “built-in” focal point in the space e.g., floor to ceiling fireplace. If you’re faced with this scenario, I would focus on adding smaller pieces of art to tabletops and surfaces of other furniture like a console or credenza.
And there you have it! A short guide to shopping statement artwork for any room in your home.