The art of hanging art

If you want to display artwork in your home like the pros, they have a suggestion for you: Do what you want aesthetically. “Let’s not be so serious about it,” says Deea Meek, who with her husband, Sean, owns Eclectic Artists Co-op & Gallery in Jacksonville, Ill. “Do what you love.”

Try these tips for how to arrange art in your home

If you want to display artwork in your home like the pros, they have a suggestion for you: Do what you want aesthetically.

“Let’s not be so serious about it,” says Deea Meek, who with her husband, Sean, owns Eclectic Artists Co-op & Gallery in Jacksonville, Ill. “Do what you love.”

And it’s probably a good idea to do something — meaning, having art in your home.

“I am more struck by walking into people’s houses who have no art on their walls at all,” says Betsy Dollar, executive director for the Springfield (Ill.) Art Association. “I’m always like, ‘How can you live like this?’ It’s amazing to me how many people have bare walls. I’m like, ‘Please. Come to the art fair. Buy some more. You need something on your wall.’”

If you can’t fight the uneasy feeling about having artistic freedom when it comes to displaying artwork, Dollar, Deea and her mother-in-law, Trina Meek (who helps out at the Eclectic), offer guidelines.

Newbies to buying artwork should begin looking in art galleries.

“A large number of people are scared to death to walk into a gallery because it’s just something that’s so unfamiliar to them. Just walk in. Look around. See what catches your eye,” Dollar says.

When on vacation, visit galleries. Over time, you’ll get a sense of what you like, Dollar says.

“People are so afraid, ‘Oh. If I walk in, they’re going to expect me to buy something, and I can’t afford it.’ No. Just think of it like a museum. If you fall in love with a particular artist’s work, check back with the gallery to see when the artist will have more work to sell,Trina Meek says.

Some people are terrified to buy art because they think they don’t know what to buy, Dollar says.

“So they just kind of ignore it. My answer to that is you can’t really make a mistake if you like the piece,” Dollar says.

Deea suggests that people don’t shop for art based on what will “match their curtains.”

“Pick art that you love and that speaks to you, because you can find something to match your curtains at Wal-Mart,” Deea says.

“If you love it and if it means something to you and it’s special to you, then it goes. It matches because it’s all part of your collage, your life art on the wall or on the table.”

“Sometimes, people get really carried away with decoratively cut mats and many different colors of mats and then a really ornate frame, and it’s like, ‘Is there a work of art in there?’ “ Dollar says.

Find molding that complements the piece. Don’t get carried away with a variety of colors. You can “go crazy” with color matting and interesting cuts in mats for works of art in kids’ rooms, “where we’re not talking important work of art. We’re talking something fun that complements the decor,” Dollar says.

“If you’re framing a cartoon, let’s do bright colors and make it fun.”

“Most really good framers are going to ask, ‘Where are you putting this piece? Is it a feature piece in your living room? Is it going in the bathroom?’ ” Dollar says.

She also says framers consider lighting conditions, the feel of the room, the image and the medium the image is created in.

“There’s pretty much a hierarchy of where people are hanging artwork — living room, dining room being important,” Dollar says. An “entryway, kitchen, family room (is) maybe a little more rugged or less formal.”

For example, a hunting image going in a library may call for a distressed wood frame and darker colors.

Winter is almost here. That means lots of leaves may be lingering in your yard. Instead of bagging your yard leaves this year, why not go green and turn them into mulch?

Mulching is a simple and effective way to recycle leaves and improve your landscape. Mulches reduce evaporation from the soil surface, inhibit weed growth, moderate soil temperatures, keep soils from eroding and prevent soil compaction.

Leaves can be used as a mulch in vegetable gardens, flower beds and around shrubs and trees. Apply a 3- to 6-inch layer of shredded leaves around the base of trees and shrubs. In flower beds, a 2- to 3-inch mulch of shredded leaves is ideal. For vegetable gardens, a thick layer of leaves placed between the rows also functions as an all-weather walkway during wet periods. -TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

When remodeling your home in preparation for selling, the trick is to keep up with the Joneses but never surpass them. So you need to know what is standard in your neighborhood and what similar homes near yours are offering. On a tight budget? These quick fixes add the most value for the least money: interior paint, flooring, front appearance and light fixtures.

While you’re storing your summer clothes for the winter, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator Greg Stack recommends doing the same thing with your tender summer bulbs.

“If you’ve invested in cannas, tuberose begonias, dahlias, gladiolas, caladium or elephant ears, you may want to take a little time this fall to gather them up and save these bulbs for next season.

“It’s easier than you think and doesn’t really require a special place or container. If you have a cool, dry, dark location, you have a suitable bulb-storage area.”

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass