Tips for Decorating with Art

It's a multi-billion dollar industry where well-heeled buyers will squabble to outbid each other for items ranging from multi-million dollar balloon animals to self-descructing paintings; We get it, the art world can be an intimidating (and confusing) place. But when hanging art in your own home, there's no need to feel overwhelmed. As interior designer David Netto—who has outfitted homes for clients with some pretty formidable collections— says, "I use art to make rooms because I’m not a curator, I’m a decorator. I try not to be intimidated by it." And, though Netto may be dealing with a different caliber of work than most homeowners (though he's also not averse to a bargain find—more on that later!), his sentiment can be universally applied. In a panel last week hosted by Galerie magazine, Netto joined fellow designers Alexandra Loew and Steve and Brooke Giannetti to discuss decorating with art. And, whether your collection consists of Picassos or postcards, we think some of their takeaways are spot on. Anything can be art (no, really). Good news: there's no official committee sitting around a long table determining what is and what is not art—especially not when it comes to your own home. Frame a postcard, concept poster, menu from a beloved restaurant, and voilà, you have your wall decor. Netto recalls one project where he hung pressed photos in frames—a truly DIY art solution. Try it on for size. Nervous about placement? Don't be. First of all, it's important to remember that a nail hole is TINY and very easy to spackle (I recommend 3M's Patch + Primer for this) if you do change your mind. Be even more certain of your decision by trying out placements before grabbing that hammer. For a gallery wall, cut out craft paper in the size of your various frames and play with your arrangement using masking tape. For larger pieces, Steve Giannetti has a tried-and-true trick: "just cut out a photo of the piece and hold it up against the wall and snap a photo with your iPhone," he advises. "It looks just like it’s on the wall, with the exception of your hand being there!"