Video: How to Pick the Perfect Art

Just like a rug or proper lighting, artwork is an important layer in your decor. It brings color, texture and personality to a room. And because it’s a reflection of you, it adds that personal touch that makes it all the more meaningful, says Ballard Designs’ Art Buyer, Karen Fleenor in our Art 101 series.

“It allows you to tell the world who you are. Art can inspire you. It can inspire great conversation. It can inspire an entire room. Art makes it personal.”

But we know choosing art can be intimidating. While it may be a breeze to pick the right fabric for a chair or the perfect color palette of a rug, many people tend to freeze when it comes to finding a great piece of art. That’s where we come in. Buying art isn’t hard if you know where to look and buy what you love. In the video above, we ask Karen to talk about why Ballard is a great place to shop for art, also outlined below.

A Curated Collection

We’ve taken the guesswork out of shopping by curating a selection of gallery-quality art from an amazing roster of artists that we think are worthy of your walls. Karen combs through thousands of pieces of art with an expert eye toward a variety of subjects, styles and colors that will work in every home.

“I look at the quality of the artists, the texture of the paint, the color combinations,” Karen explains. “These are all important things that go into considering what art is great for your home. We also want it to coordinate beautifully with other Ballard items, so you can be sure that what you’re bringing in your home is going to work for you.”

The sheer variety of art means you can find the right look you love, from deckled edge paper to canvasses with acrylic finishes to framed art and more. Plus, we offer most of our art in multiples sizes, so you can find just the right size for your space.

Exclusive Art

We work with well-known artists to create limited reproductions you won’t see anywhere else. It’s the next best thing to buying an original, which is not always in the budget.

“I’m so excited about our exclusive art,” gushes Karen. “We are working exclusively with fine art gallery-quality artists to bring these beautiful reproductions of their originals into your home — and they won’t be available anywhere else. This allows those artists to bring what inspires them and their creations to more and more people so that their stories and their ideas can be shared.”

Art that Speaks to You

So how do you pick the perfect piece of art? That’s easy: “If you love it, it’s perfect,” says Karen. “Pick something with a fabulous color that speaks to you, a place where you wish you were or a path that draws you in. If it’s speaks to you, it’s right for you.”

And don’t worry about the number of pieces you have or filling your entire wall, Karen advises. You may fall in love with one big piece that’s an instant focal point and tells a whole story by itself. Or you may want to create a gallery wall full of multiple pieces. “It’s what works for you and your space,” says Karen.

Art for Any Occasion

There’s never a right or wrong time to buy the piece of art for your room or the space that you’re decorating.

“Art bought at the beginning of the process can be a great inspiration for the entire room,” Karen says. “Use it for the color, use it for the texture, let it set the tone. If your room is already complete, add your personal touch with that piece of art and make the whole place sing.”

Watch our Art 101 series to learn more.

 Find more helpful videos by visiting our YouTube channel, or browse inspiration and ideas on our Pinterest channel.

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


  1. Reply


    September 27, 2015

    Hi, Can you advise on if it’s okay to create a gallery of art on a wall that is larger than the credenza/furniture it is over?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      September 28, 2015

      Hi Cindy,
      Yes you can certainly do that. Although if you’re worried about the art pieces extending too far over the piece of furniture, consider flanking the credenza with a pair of dining chairs to give the space more width. That way the art will still feel balanced with the furniture pieces.
      Best of luck!

  2. Reply


    February 16, 2015

    Do you have a catalog you send out?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      February 17, 2015

      Hi Megan,
      We do have a catalog. You can request one here.
      Hope that helps!
      The How to Decorate Team