Artwork … Think of It as Jewelry for Your Home

Fortunately for Main Liners, there are a lot of solutions for those bare walls.

When I’m brought in to consult for a home that’s going on the market, or for a young family doing some redecorating, it often feels like something is missing in a room. At first glance, everything seems in place. The seating arrangement works well with the size and shape of the room, and the color palate is tranquil and on trend—but something just doesn’t feel right.

Lack of artwork is typically the culprit.

For whatever reason, many people have a problem adding artwork to their walls. Is it because they’re afraid it can’t be removed once it’s up? Maybe they think it will make some sort of statement about them and their beliefs? Or is it because they just don’t know what to pick? My theory is that some are afraid their taste isn’t highbrow enough and that people will judge what they’ve selected.

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Fortunately for Main Liners, there are a lot of solutions for those bare walls. If you’re on a tight budget, I recommend you look around your home and use what you already have. One of my girlfriends recently used plates to spell out the word “DREAM” on the wall over her bed. Another pal added a mirror to an old window to create a focal point above her fireplace.

If family photos are your preference, check out, where you can download a favorite photo and instantly transform it into a colorful Warhol-like piece for a contemporary look—or create a silhouette of the image for a more traditional graphic look. Don’t limit yourself to portraits. Simple objects like a bicycle or flowers can be made into one-of-a-kind images as well.

Like jewelry, artwork is an investment, and purchasing it shouldn’t be made in haste. If you’re looking for a signature piece, try Wayne’s Connor Ryan Gallery (129 N. Wayne Ave.), where you can view work from local, national and international artists. My favorites are landscapes of some of the Main Line’s most scenic vistas, among them Valley Forge and Ardrossan. Make sure to meet with Sheila Donahue, the gallery’s consultant. She’ll help you select pieces, and even visit your home to advise on proper placement. The gallery is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

So the next time you redesign a room, take a step back and take a hard look at the space. Does it simply need a little bling?

Have any tips for stretching your design dollar or any resources you want to share? Feel free to contact me at


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