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#069: Collecting and Displaying Art in Your Home with Bridget Mallon

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Today we have an amazing episode all about art. I am sitting down with Bridget Mallon. Bridget is the editorial director at MyDomaine. She has tons of experience covering home decor and design. Today we dive into art when it comes to decorating your house. Bridget shares some concrete strategies for how to navigate collecting and displaying art in your home.  

You can download this episode from Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcher, and Spotify – or listen to it below!

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in this episode:

[01:34] Bridget’s background and her work as editorial director

[02:59] Why it is important to have art in your home

[05:30] How to build an art collection in your home

[10:02] Curating your collection over time 

[16:34] Tips for creating a gallery wall

[20:35] Places to source affordable art

[26:29] Purchasing art online

[31:56] Unexpected art ideas

[01:34] Bridget’s background and her work as editorial director

As editorial director at MyDomaine, I am lucky enough to spend my days looking at beautiful pictures of well-designed homes, talking to designers, and editing content about design and decorating. Which does lead to me wanting to redecorate my own home every day. I have worked in design, writing, and editing for about 10 years. I started as an assistant at Elle Decor and Veranda. I’ve worked at HGTV and Apartment Therapy. I’ve just really always loved home and the little things that can make it feel extra personal. I think art is the perfect way to do that.

[02:59] Why it is important to have art in your home

Art is one of those things that feels the most personal at home. Everyone has the same foundational elements in their home. Everyone has a sofa, a bed, etc. It’s the art and those little touches that make your home really feel like you and where you can get really creative and change things really quickly. You’re not going to be changing your sofa out every season or every year but your art you could rearrange. You can showcase your family, friends, memories, or just something that feels really inspiring to look at. Art just has such a huge impact on how a space feels, and how it makes you feel.

[05:30] How to build an art collection in your home

The word collection feels so out of the realm of possibility because you’re thinking about going into art galleries, and these high-priced, famous pieces that not every person can afford. But your art collection can start with the smallest things. Start with just putting things on your wall that spark joy that makes you feel something. Whether that be a poster from a concert you went to that you put in a really beautiful, vintage frame, or something that fits your design style. It could be a photo that you took on your travels. Those little things are a great place to start and then you can build from there. 

[10:02] Curating your collection over time 

If you decide to do a gallery wall where you want to have art in a certain spot, don’t rush into it. A gallery wall can grow over time. If you rush into it, and you just buy pieces to fill in those blank spaces, you’re gonna find yourself bored of them or not in love with them. And that’s a waste of time and money. It is a better idea to play the long game and really think of it as a collection that you’re building. Focus on finding a piece that speaks to you that fits your aesthetic and that makes you feel something. Then every time you add a piece to that wall, it will feel so much better and so much more personal and important. So take your time and find what you really love, instead of finding something just to fill the void.

[16:34] Tips for creating a gallery wall

Cutting out pieces of paper and taping them to the wall before you go in with your hammer and walls is a good hack. That’s a really good way to visualize. I also love doing that with painter’s tape and doing the exact box or rectangle or circle, so you can step back and see exactly how you want things laid out. Gallery walls, just like art, are such a personal thing. I’ve seen beautiful gallery walls where every single piece is the same size, the same dimensions and it is a perfect grid. I’ve seen gallery walls where you have one giant piece and then you build off of it with small pieces, almost like rays of sunshine coming off of the big picture. There’s so much that you can try and it is really fun to explore. If you only have one piece of art that you love, at the moment, you could start there. Then start sourcing pieces to build around it. It will feel organic and it will grow with you. 

[20:35] Places to source affordable art

I really love shopping locally, especially when it comes to art. You’re able to find a craft fair or art fair, just about any weekend. There are places where you can go and actually meet the artists, see the pieces in front of you, touch them, and see if you have an emotional reaction to them. A lot of times the prices at a craft fair or art fair are just unbeatable. I also just love that you’ll then have a memory. 

[26:29] Purchasing art online

Start by buying a tape measure so you know exactly how tall and wide that empty spot on your wall really is. As I mentioned earlier, painter’s tape is such a genius hack when it comes to designing.  Whether you’re seeing what a table will look like laid out in your living room or dining room, or see what something will look like up on your wall. If you find a piece of art that you think is really beautiful, you can map that out exactly on your wall and live with it for a minute before pressing purchase.

[31:56] Unexpected art ideas

My favorite art hack in my own apartment is I have the thermostat right by my desk and so every time I was on a Zoom call, I would just see it in the background. It just caught my eye every time and it was such an eyesore to me. So I bought a clear acrylic shelf to go right under it and I display different records. Whatever I’m playing or had just played on my record player, I can put that up on the shelf and it feels like wall art. Then I can swap it out every hour or every week. It’s something I obviously need to access to be able to turn my heat on but it’s so nice to just not have it in my face.

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