How to select art for your home with digital creator Katie Collins

With so much art available, how do you even begin to choose art for your home? If you want to build an art collection but you're lacking in the confidence or know-how to start, this guide will give you some handy tips and inspiration to transform your living space. We teamed up with the digital creator Katie Collins to highlight some of the easiest ways to narrow down your selection. For more expert advice, get in touch

How would you describe your interior style, and what are your influences?

My style – which you can see over on Instagram at @simplyscandikatie – mainly incorporates Scandinavian influences, as well as modern country. I love neutral colours and the use of natural materials like wood, plants and fabrics. I use a lot of reclaimed antique pine furniture, which I often paint so it blends seamlessly with the colour scheme of the room, while still adding character and originality to the space. 

What are your five top tips for selecting art? 

  1.       Pick pieces that really speak to you. They should make you feel something and draw you in.

  2.       Create harmony between the art and space. This could be linking your artwork to your interior design and colour scheme, or the function of the room. For example, you could pick a water-themed piece for a bathroom, food-inspired piece for a kitchen, or an educational piece for a child’s bedroom.

  3.       Think about the frame. This is very important, as it can transform an artwork and how it works in the room. If the artwork isn't already framed, you could link the frame to a colour in the artwork, or the style of the room. A minimalist frame will let a piece speak for itself, while an ornate frame will match a grand room. 

  4.       Display pieces together. Think about collating smaller pieces together or within the same frame to fill a large bare wall and create a real focal point in the room.

  5.       Consider how much you want to invest. There are so many options and price ranges out there. Limited edition prints are usually more affordable, so they are a great place to start building your collection until you really know what your preferences are. 

Katie's Scandinavian style incorporates rustic furniture, plants and natural materials such as rattan, which lend themselves to the biophilic trend taking over Pinterest and Instagram. 

Which piece did you choose and why? 

I selected 'Thunder Passing' by Lawrence Coulson. It's not until you look very closely at the detail of this print that you realise how enormous the sky and landscape is, and the little person standing beneath the stormy sky in such an open, flat space. I love the beauty of the thunder, and how it illuminates the sky and land. See how I styled it below! 

What do you look for when buying art? 

I always tend to be drawn to certain art genres, particularly landscapes, portraits and figurative scenes. They really grab my attention and make me want to stare at them to analyse what the artist is trying to portray. 

What type of art suits the Scandinavian style? 

I try to connect my neutral interiors to nature, so I like my art to have some kind of connection too. Abstract landscapes and seascapes are a real favourite of mine, as they incorporate soft, muted colours. It really makes you feel like you are staring out at the view, enjoying the true beauty of our world. 

Which room do you think art is most important for?

That's a hard question, as I think art is important in every room. Art is a part of the interior, so it's an easy way to share the theme and colours of the space, as well as how you want people to feel while they are in the room. If I could only pick one room, it would be my lounge, as it's a more formal space so I can invest in special, meaningful pieces that my guests and I can enjoy. 

How important do you think art is to a home?

Extremely important. Art brings walls to life and allows you to express the emotions and feelings of a room, depending on the style and colour. You can really express your personality and interests through the artwork you choose to display. 

Featured art: 'Thunder Passing' by Lawrence Coulson, £350. 

Katie's expert picks

We challenged Katie to pick six more of her favourite artworks from our vast archive of original and limited edition art. The first piece to catch her eye was 'Landscape No 10', a rural scene by the French Impressionist painter Hugues Claude Pissarro. She says: "I just adore this. The traditional gold frame really sets the piece off and makes such a statement. There are such subtle, beautiful details, like the clever use of shadows to show you the unevenness of the land. I love the connection to nature, and the earthy colours." 

She was particularly moved by the original watercolour paintings of the contemporary British artist Samuel Hencher, whose seasonal landscapes and street scenes include 'Shadows', 'Nature's Canopy' and 'Autumn's Alive'. Speaking on the latter, she says: "This painting really draws me in: the colours, shadows and low sun at the end of an early autumn day are amazing. I also like the landscape orientation."

For Katie's final two pieces, she chose the work of Nigel Mason, whose art is inspired by his childhood in 1950s Yorkshire. The touching beach scene of 'Start Of Summer' brought back happy memories of holidays with her own two sons, while 'Mother And Child' created an interesting narrative. She adds: "What is she thinking, or looking at? I appreciate the simplicity and old-fashioned feel of this piece; the dark brown tones are very easy on the eye, and would blend so well within a natural colour scheme, or a home that mixes modern and traditional elements. The size and shape of the frame for Nigel's artworks makes them perfect to group together."

Featured art (L-R): 'Landscape No 10' by H C Pissarro, £7,050; 'Autumn's Alive' by Samuel Hencher, £2,750; 'Mother And Child' by Nigel Mason, £695. 

Find out more about Katie and her interior design tips on Instagram at @simplyscandikatie. This is a sponsored article. 

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