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Declutter Your Home with a Personal Storage Unit

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Clutter is a problem that grows over time and often becomes an issue for homeowners due to indifference and lack of understanding. A personal storage unit could be the solution to your home’s growing clutter problem.

A Cautionary Tale of Clutter


Once upon a time, there was a family who planned a trip to Hawaii. They were so excited, and on the day of departure, each person hauled his or her suitcase and carry-on out to the front steps of the house, eager to load up the waiting taxi and get to the airport. Instead of a quick departure, however, the kids stood around outside, impatient to leave, while Mom and Dad searched and searched for the house keys. Searching for the house keys was a frequent occurrence, because neither Mom nor Dad could ever remember where in the house—that never seemed to be tidy—the keys had been dropped this time. The search lasted so long on this occasion that the family missed their flight.

Could this happen to you? If you’re always looking for the keys, stepping around piles of stuff, and never seem to have an available tabletop on which to eat dinner, clutter is a problem for you.

What is a Cluttered Home?

The Definition of Clutter


One person’s clutter might be another person’s collection of treasures. What is or is not considered clutter is a very personal opinion, and you are the only one who can identify what is clutter in your home. The result of clutter, however, is universal: a set of negative emotions tied to the amount of stuff you keep in your home, along with the physical disadvantages that piles and boxes and shelves full of too many things create.

What Does a Cluttered Home Look Like?


A cluttered home is a home in which you are not comfortable with the quantity of the contents within. Whether you feel stressed and overwhelmed with the job of getting rid of clutter (and, therefore, never start the project), or you can’t bear to part with mementoes of the past (even though you associate them with negative feelings), clutter lurks in your subconscious at all times. Cluttered homes and living spaces are strongly tied to a person’s sense of wellbeing. Unrelenting clutter has been shown to trigger depression, stress, physical and mental fatigue, an inability to focus, feelings of failure, guilt, and a sense of being stuck in life. Even if you love your home, being surrounded by clutter on a long-term basis is detrimental to your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health.

Clutter can look different for different people, too. One person’s cluttered home may look serene and tidy to visitors—but don’t open the closet or cupboard doors, or all the things stuffed inside will spill out. This homeowner often has to buy new tools and products because she can’t locate the items she already owns without emptying every drawer, closet, and cupboard, along with the garage.

Another person’s cluttered home might be a museum to a deceased loved one’s life. When loved ones pass away, it is often difficult for survivors to know how to deal with their treasured possessions. A man who has survived his wife’s death after 50 years of marriage may feel guilty getting rid of her clothing, her books, or the unfinished projects and crafts still waiting for her to finish them, even if seeing them on a daily basis brings him pain and anguish.

Or a cluttered house might have stuff lying around because it has no home. There may be piles of superfluous dishware, or stacks of books that were loved once but never re-read, or tools for potential hobbies that were never tried. Maybe there are dozens of one particular item—your collection—that is gathering dust while also getting underfoot.

Busy people often feel they don’t have the time or energy to combat the constant flow of mail and things that come into the house but don’t ever seem to leave, so mail piles up unopened on the dining table and closets are packed so tightly that even getting a shirt out is difficult.

Do you recognize your house in any of these examples?

The Reasons a House Becomes Cluttered


Clutter happens to just about everyone and is not a reflection of your intelligence, education, or personal hygiene. We live in a society of abundance, and we have the money, opportunity, and manufacturing ability to create and purchase many items beyond what is strictly necessary for life and survival, a problem that few ancient cultures ever had to deal with. If you have books spilling off the shelves and lining the walls, boxes of tools and materials to try out new hobbies, cooking implements for recipes you’ve never gotten around to making, more clothing than you could ever wear, or tools in the garage that gather dust, you can feel grateful for the ability you have to purchase all those things and have the potential leisure time to use them even while wondering at how you’ve managed to collect so much.

Constant clutter, however, is also a sign of personal distress in some way, and failing to deal with the clutter has been proven to increase that emotional, spiritual, mental, or physical distress in the long term. By identifying why clutter seems to stick with you, you can learn to let it go and free yourself from the stress, guilt, and depression that clutter can trigger.

Busy Schedule


A busy schedule keeps you hopping, and you might not have much of a chance to tend to the clutter that keeps piling up at home. Mothers with small children, working men and women with demanding jobs, busy school schedules full of activities and team practices, or even just your desire to volunteer and be of service to others can all lead to allowing yourself to neglect the one place that is supposed to be your refuge.

If you are a list-maker and calenderer, it’s time to schedule some time for yourself. Even ten minutes a day of getting rid of junk mail, tidying up kids’ toys, or sorting through your collection of magazines to decide which you will toss and which you will donate can give you a sense of control over your life. You might be so inspired that you schedule in more time!

A Growing Household: Children, Roommates, Family


Adding new family members always means there will be more stuff to store in your house. If you are a parent, you have some control over how many items you purchase or keep for each child, but the sheer amount of clothing, equipment, furniture, and toys can become overwhelming very quickly without a lot of oversight and strict clutter patrol.

Roommates are a bit different. You probably don’t have a lot of control over what a roommate brings into a living space unless you own the space and can dictate the terms, and you certainly can’t control whether or not he or she is a neat-freak or a slob. What you can do is keep your own private space free of clutter as much as possible.

Bad Habits Forming over Time


We all develop some bad habits over the years, and clutter is one often one of them. With clutter, however, the bad habits are usually associated with some sort of psychological distress, and clutter acts to enhance that distress over time.

Any person’s reasons for allowing a home to get cluttered generally fall into one or more of eight general categories that Erin Doland, Editor-in-Chief at, defines in her article, “Ask Unclutterer: Why do people struggle with clutter?” The reasons are:

  1. You are overwhelmed with the task of uncluttering and don’t know where to begin.
  2. You fear being forgotten and feel that your possessions will define you and prove you’ve lived.
  3. You fear change or fear the future.
  4. You experience a major life change that comes with lots of new stuff: marriage, the death of a family member, having a baby, etc.
  5. You have poor decision-making skills or have never learned how to successfully manage your time.
  6. You lack energy.
  7. You collect clutter as a side effect of a mental or physical disability.
  8. You simply don’t see anything wrong with you clutter and have no reason to change.

Understanding why you have clutter in your home is one of the major methods you can use to begin controlling and counteracting it.

An Inability to Let Go of Daily Possessions


For some, having stuff around is a source of comfort. If that is you, you may find pleasure in the constant inflow of items, whether you purchase them or get them as gifts. Although hoarding items falls under a different psychological category than clutter, an inability to edit daily possessions can get you into clutter trouble very quickly. A helpful trick that some with this issue have used is to make a rule that for every new thing that comes in, something old must go out. By sticking with this rule, you will either get rid of a lot of old things or you will lose the urge to keep buying new items. Either way, you’re on your way to a serene, de-cluttered home.

Never Learning How to De-Clutter


Learning how to de-clutter is not some innate ability you are born with. Like learning to balance a checkbook or cook a soufflé, one must be taught how to de-clutter and then practice, practice, practice.

If you have never learned this very satisfying skill, it’s never too late. There are many methods of decluttering available from decluttering experts. One of those methods will resonate with you and your personality, and once you’ve found the method you like best, you have to practice it on a daily basis to make it a habit.

Anthony Ongaro of Break the Twitch blog lists and evaluates 6 Popular Decluttering Methods for Minimalism. You might find the perfect decluttering method that works for you on this list!

The important part of teaching yourself (or having someone teach you) how to declutter is to practice. Everyday practice is the best, but even scheduling in time once or twice a week is going to get you going in the right direction.

How a Cluttered Home Negatively Affects You


We’ve already briefly mentioned some of the negative psychological effects of clutter, but now we’ll delve deeper into that topic.

Ranka Burzan, author of The SOS Guide to Clean and Organize Your Home, said this about what it means to live with clutter month in and month out: “People who constantly live in a state of chaos are prone to procrastination and an inability to commit to work or relationships. They get anxious and overwhelmed with change and usually give up before they even start the project. Their finances and time are wasted; they feel stuck and bad about themselves”.

What is it about the link between depression, procrastination, feeling overwhelmed and stuck, and living with clutter? Why is it that a cluttered environment makes you feel anxious, stressed, and unable to focus, even if you are fairly successful at your career and pursuits? How would clearing the clutter help you in all aspects of your life?

Author June Saruwatari claims that everything we hang onto that isn’t clearly useful or necessary to our current lives holds us in the past and weighs us down. Every time you stuff something in a box or shove something to the back of the closet with the thought, “I can’t throw that away; it reminds me of my first boyfriend!” or “It could come in handy someday, even if I have never gotten around to using it!” represents baggage to your subconscious. Unfinished projects that you know, deep down, you’ll never get around to completing; old letters and gifts from relationships past; paycheck stubs from long-ago jobs; magazines and newspapers you might one day want to read again; useful little tools or hobby equipment that sits around gathering dust—all these things may be hidden from sight, but they’re not forgotten by your mind.

What’s damaging, says Saruwatari, are the emotions associated with hanging onto relics of the past: guilt at not completing projects leads to a sense of failure and incompetence; old souvenirs and gifts representing painful feelings from broken relationships or faded friendships keep you lingering in the past instead of focusing on the present and preparing for the future; shame at not achieving your lofty goals turns into negative self-talk about how you can never do anything right. Are you starting to see the pattern?

You may not have identified the constant background thrum of anxiety, sluggishness, guilt, and stress your clutter is causing in your life. You just wonder why you’re lazy and tired, overwhelmed and paralyzed from taking action, always late or procrastinating the hard jobs. It could be that clutter is keeping you down. Clutter competes for your attention, sapping your focus and draining your energy. Whether it’s clutter on your work desk or clutter in the rooms of your living space, it’s always demanding to be remembered, even if it’s only your subconscious that is doing the remembering.

Obvious Ways Your Clutter Is Holding You Back


Not sure yet that what you call your treasures or dusty collections or “just in case” purchases are clutter? Let’s see how all that stuff you’re holding onto could be decreasing your quality of life.

Not Being Able to Find What You Need

Ever torn up your house looking for that thing you know you bought and then put somewhere safe? You couldn’t find it amongst all the other things you’ve got stuffed into the spaces of your home, so you had to buy a new one.

No Room for New Household Products

Sorry! All the spaces are taken!

Your Clutter Portrays You as a Messy Person

There are plenty of smart, social, and very fun people who will never throw a dinner party in their home because they are ashamed of the clutter. If you are one of these people—ashamed of the way your home looks because of messy clutter—you aren’t alone. You’ll happily meet up at a restaurant rather than invite people into your home, and you’re secretly (or openly) envious of your organized friends’ ability to keep a tidy house. You fear your clutter portrays you as a messy, disorganized person who is incompetent at keeping the little things together, and that feeling keeps you depressed and ashamed of yourself.

Once the Clutter Begins, It’s Hard to Stop

Clutter has a way of taking over. If you love to shop but don’t like letting go of past purchases that no longer serve your needs, you’re going to end up with a clutter problem. If you lovingly keep every gift, movie stub, or chipped cup, your closets and cupboards will soon be full. The sentimental attachment we place on our belongings often makes it difficult to let them go, and that is a cycle that can be very hard to break.

How to Declutter Your Home: a Storage Unit


A storage unit can be part of your successful decluttering journey.

Create Space without Getting Rid of Personal Belongings

Even after a good decluttering, there are things you won’t want to toss, sell, or give away. Valuable items such as personal and family histories, photos, and journals, family heirlooms, seasonal clothing, gardening equipment, holiday decorations, artwork, necessary work files or products—all of these need a home where you can easily access them. Rather than living with all these things underfoot, a storage unit can keep them safe, easily accessible, and out of sight, reducing visible clutter and increasing your peace of mind when you’re at home.

Allows You to Prioritize What You Need and What Can be Stored

Living without some items in your home can help you prioritize their importance. A storage unit helps you in that process by giving you a place to stash things out of sight and live without them close at hand. If you find yourself constantly wishing you could get your hands on it, you’ll know it’s something you need to store at home. If it’s something you don’t need more than once or twice a year (and would be very costly to replace), it can stay in your storage unit.

If you have stored something that you find you never use, you can more easily let it go and get rid of it. Now you have space in your storage unit for something you really do use!

Easy Access to Your Belongings

A good storage facility in a convenient location to your home or work means that you can easily access the items in your unit. Knowing you can swing by and grab what you need is comforting.

Affordable Alternative to Clutter

As we’ve seen, clutter costs you in many ways, including financially, mentally, and physically. Using a storage unit is an affordable alternative to cluttering your home. For a few dollars a month, you can store items you don’t want in the house but don’t need to use on a daily basis. Now it’s out of sight, which makes for a peaceful, more organized home (and helps organize your mind, as well). Your emotional mood will lift, and you’ll feel more successful in many aspects of your life. That’s worth a small monthly rental cost!

Seasonal Items are Stored until You Need Them

Seasonal items are notorious for clogging up a home’s storage spaces, only to be pulled out once or twice a year. Seasonal clothing, holiday decorations, gardening or yard equipment, or lawn furniture and BBQs stay safe, dry, and accessible when you need them.



Clutter is inconvenient, but clutter is also psychologically damaging. Living with clutter takes a toll as it constantly reminds you of your failings, which leads to guilt, shame, and depression in many people. There are many reasons why otherwise intelligent, driven people put up with a cluttered home environment, but clutter is holding you back.

Getting rid of clutter frees you emotionally. In fact, decluttering can be so freeing that people usually notice huge benefits in all aspects of their lives.

Storage units can be one way to help deal with the clutter that plagues you. Using a storage unit to get seasonal items, valuable items that you don’t necessarily want in your house, and transitional furniture or work items out from underfoot clears out your house and gives you peace of mind.

A Look Back: Art Basel Switzerland 2015

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ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 7, 2015: People at first exhibition of the project "Modern artists of

A month after blockbuster contemporary art auctions at Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips, Art Basel Switzerland celebrated its 46th year, opening to huge art-hungry crowds on June 18th in Basel, Switzerland. The art fair, which ran from June 18 – 21, 2015, featured thousands of contemporary art pieces in all types of media—from paintings to digital to performance art. The showed featured works by over 4,000 artists, including established career artists and up-and-coming artists as well as relative unknowns. Around 284 galleries competed for the attention of fair attendees, hoping to showcase and sell grand works to collectors from all over the world. It was estimated that the value of all the showcased artwork was around $3.1 billion.

The art fair is divided into sections, each section featuring different styles or types of art as well as different artists’ works. The Unlimited section, one of the most popular sections of the fair, included 74 art installations and pieces from artists such as Julius von Bismark, David Shirley, Konrad Klapheck, and Olafur Eliasson, among others. Julius von Bismark, for instance, enjoyed a glass of wine at a simple table or tucked himself into bed on an installation he titled “Egocentric System”—all while rotating on a large concrete bowl, the centrifugal force of the rotating bowl keeping the furniture and Julius from flying off.

While the Art Basel fair progressed, other art fairs also attracted crowds throughout the city of Basel.

Art Basel is one of the largest art fairs in the world. It has satellite art fairs in both Hong Kong and Miami Beach, which also attract large crowds of interested spectators and buyers.

The Art Basel Switzerland fair will resume on June 16-19, 2016. Will you be attending?

If you are an amateur or professional art collector, art storage is always a top concern. Museo Vault offers the best in art storage along with other services such as art shows. Visit our Homepage for more information today.

A Look Back: Top Galleries of the Art Basel-Miami Beach 2015 Public Sector

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Art Basel Miami Exhibition

For the fifth year in a row, we at Museo Vault were excited to install the artworks in the 2015 Art Basel-Miami Beach art fair’s Public sector. Located at Collins Park, these installations represented works expounding on the chosen theme of “Metaforms.”


Public curator Nicholas Baume chose the theme and explained its meaning in an email to artnet News: “The idea of Metaforms captures the way many works of art draw on the familiar forms of everyday life and through manipulations of scale, material, texture, and content become something else. That resulting work of art manages to evoke the form at its source while adding new layers of formal complexity and meaning.”


Some of the installations invited participation, such as sitting on Hank Willis Thomas’s speech bubble benches entitled “The Truth is I See You” or Sam Fall’s Healing Pavilion, a communal seating area covered in gems and crystals important to psychic healing. Other installations included Marianne Vitale’s Ace of Spades sculpture, which extended nearly 30 feet and included 60 tons of steel scrap material.


Also included in the Public sector show were art performances scheduled for the art fair’s opening.


This year, come visit Collins Park both during and after ABMB 2016 to enjoy Miami Beach’s lovely weather and to take in the inspirational installations and performances going on there. Art Basel-Miami Beach ran from December 3 – 6, 2015 and is sure to be around the same time in 2016!  See you there!


What It Takes to Put on an Art Fair: The Crazy Logistic Planning behind Art Basel-Miami Beach

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Art Basel Miami Exhibition
CAPTION: Months of planning go into creating Art Basel-Miami Beach


The younger sister to Art Basel-Switzerland, the Art Basel-Miami fair draws tens of thousands of visitors to Miami, Florida, every year. Fair goers expect to see the best of the best that artists around the world have to offer, and fair planners work incredibly hard to fulfill that demand.


This year, Art Basel-Miami Beach runs from December 3rd through December 6th. But fair planners have been busy since the moment the fair closed last year in preparation for this year’s extravagant event.


Gallery Selection


Hundreds of modern and contemporary art galleries from around the world compete to gain a coveted space at the fair. Each gallery is required to submit an application for one of nine sectors: Galleries, Edition, Nova, Survey, Positions, Kabinett, Public, Film, and Magazines. Each sector focuses on specific types and genres of art. Hopeful galleries spend weeks on the applications, which require them to detail the artwork they will exhibit, define the design of their exhibition spaces, and more. It’s an intense process. In the end, only 267 galleries won spots out of around 900 who applied.


The fair jury is looking for fresh, new works in order to keep drawing crowds of spectators and buyers, so each gallery has to prove that their exhibitions are works by brilliant up-and-coming artists or new and exclusive works by established artists.


Getting the Artwork to Miami Beach


Once a gallery has won booth space, they then have months of planning ahead of them. One of the biggest logistics nightmares is getting all the artwork safely to the fair, and for international galleries, this takes a team of dedicated experts. Leading private collectors and museums in the area help ease the stress by opening their homes and their storage warehouses to guests of the fair.


Gallerists and their teams must not only transport multiple pieces of art to the fair, they must then determine exactly how they will exhibit them to best effect. With so much competition, snagging fairgoers’ attention is of paramount importance.


At this year’s Art Basel-Miami Beach fair, you can expect that it will take at least an entire day to see everything there is to offer. Plan on several days if you also want to visit nearby 3D installations, murals, and concurrent art fairs in other parts of the city of Miami. The city of Miami, which has transformed itself in the past decade into an artistic hotspot with a young and exciting cultural pulse, rises to the occasion each and every year. We expect this year’s fair to be no different.

Art Wynwood 2016

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Art Walls at Wynwood

Further cementing Miami as one of the leading art centers of the United States, Art Wynwood 2016 joins other notable events as Art Basel | Miami Beach (December 1-4, 2016) and Spectrum Miami Art Show (November 30-December 4, 2016), along with plenty of smaller (but no less important) art shows scattered throughout the year. This year, Art Wynwood International Contemporary Art Fair will run from February 11-15, 2016 (the fair is always held during Presidents Day weekend).


Art Wynwood is a product of the Wynwood Art District, located in the Wynwood neighborhood of North Miami. The neighborhood houses multiple art galleries, museums, collections, art complexes, studios, and art fairs. A prominent feature of the Wynwood Art District is the walls covered with street art, which attract artists and viewers from all over the world. The district seeks to maintain its walkability, encouraging pedestrians to enjoy the wall and door art as well as browse through the galleries and museums.


The Art Wynwood 2016 event offers gifts and handicraft products from industry creators as well as exhibits from 70 international galleries. These galleries showcase the latest products and services as well as a wide variety of art genres, including contemporary and modern, urban street art, sculpture, art video, paintings, photography, underground, and more.



If you were unable to attend this fantastic event, it is still possible to experience the Wynwood Art District at other times throughout the year. The district holds Art Walks every second Saturday of the month from 6pm to 10pm (and sometimes extending further into the evening). During these Art Walks, galleries, art institutions, and retail businesses throw open their doors to thousands of visitors, who are invited to browse, shop, and enjoy the unique art culture that both Miami and the Wynwood neighborhood have to offer.

Tips for Storing Pottery

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Turkish Traditional  Handpainted Pottery Bowls

Beautiful pottery pieces—whether they are the works of artists or your own beloved child—should be treated with care and precision. You should pay as much attention to the storage needs of your pottery collection as you do to other fine works of art in other mediums.


What is Pottery?


The broad term “pottery” covers vessels and pieces made of earth or baked clay, including porcelain, ceramic, earthenware, and stoneware. Clay is thrown on a wheel or sculpted by hand into vessels, bowls, and figures. After it has been shaped and thoroughly air-dried, the clay is then fired in a kiln. The heat of the kiln changes the clay on a molecular level by burning out any water, carbon, and sulfur stored in the clay body. The heat also causes the clay particles to fuse together, turning a once malleable material into something hard and impervious to water. Glazes that have been used to decorate a pottery piece now adhere to the clay, making them permanent parts of the final product.


The Needs of Pottery


Pottery, while it can be incredibly strong, is also susceptible to the ravages of frequent and sudden temperature and humidity changes. Thus, storing precious pottery in a garage or traditional self-storage unit is not a good idea. Always keep pottery collections in a climate-controlled environment such as in your living area or in a climate-controlled storage unit.


Storing Pottery Collections Safely


Before wrapping and storing pieces for storage, carefully dust the pieces first—especially if you are storing unfinished or unglazed pieces. You can gently wash finished and glazed pieces in warm, soapy water before storage.


Always avoid using newspaper to wrap pieces, as newspaper contains acids that can mar a pottery piece’s finish. Instead, choose acid-free paper or soft cloth like linen or muslin. If you are storing your pottery in boxes, lay several layers of bubble wrap on the bottom of the box before wrapping the bubble wrap around the pieces themselves. Make sure there is enough space between pieces that they are not rubbing or knocking against one another. Fill in all gaps with more bubble wrap or cloth until each piece sits firmly supported. Place layers of bubble wrap on top of the pieces before closing and securing the lid of the box.


Pottery pieces can also be stored individually. If you are storing a collection, use wooden or smooth metal shelves to hold wrapped pieces, placing each piece far enough apart for air to circulate freely.


Expensive collections of pottery should be entrusted to a fine art storage facility. These facilities have the ability to precisely control temperature and humidity ranges as well as providing security for your investment.

Picking Art for Your Home: An Amateur Collector’s Guide

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Sunday flea market.

Your home should be a reflection of the personality (or personalities) that lives there. Ideally, nothing should end up in your living space that isn’t functional for you or beautiful to you or a combination of the two. Artwork is no exception. The art you choose to hang or showcase around your home should be pieces that speak to you in some way. When you invest in pieces that you truly love, your home will seem more comfortable and nurturing.


There are no rules to choosing art you love; that choice will often be a result of a gut reaction you feel toward any specific piece. It doesn’t matter if the piece was created by a famous artist or your young nephew: if you love it and it speaks to you, that’s art.


There are, however, some general guidelines you can utilize as you look to populate the walls and other spaces in your home with beautiful works.




While fine art can be an investment, it should never be a road to bankruptcy. Consider your budget as you look for pieces you want to buy. There are many places where you can find stunning pieces that won’t break the bank while not requiring you to compromise on quality. This article lists 21 websites that sell affordable, high quality artworks. You can also explore the wide variety available on, where vendors are average people who have decided to share some of their extraordinary talents.


Towns and cities often have art festivals throughout the year, and it’s worth peeking in to local galleries to further your education on art as well as pick up originals by up-and-coming artists whose works are within your budget. Become a frequent visitor to estate sales and flea markets. It is even possible to find decent artwork at thrift stores and discount stores if you search a little.




While you can certainly fall in love with a mass-produced piece (they are, after all, mass-produced because they seem to be universally appealing), there is a certain thrill in owning an original, unique work. It might also fit within your budget to commission a piece from an artist that will be able to take your desires into consideration.


How It Fits in Your Home


Size, color, and shape are also considerations when you are working to curate artwork on your walls. Pieces have more impact if they are proportionate to the wall on which they are to be hung. Smaller canvases have impact when they are grouped together. You can use colors within the artwork to choose colors for the walls and furniture, or you can choose pieces according to how they fit into your existing décor.


Don’t be afraid to move your art around your home or on the walls to find the most pleasing configurations. When your collection expands beyond your ability to display it all at once, be sure to store it in a way that will not cause damage. You can rotate your collection as the mood strikes.

How to Choose the Right Wall Color to Showcase Your Art Collection

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You don’t buy or create art in order to hide it away. When a piece speaks to you, putting it on display so you can continually enjoy the visual beauty, sensations, and emotions it evokes is only proper. By carefully considering the background color of walls in your home, you can more easily draw attention to one or more pieces in order to showcase and enhance its qualities.




Gallery walls have traditionally been painted in neutrals—most often whites or off-whites. But while some museums are choosing to switch things up in order to better present particular art styles and eras, a neutral background is still a great way to showcase a private collection at home.

Neutral colors do not show up on a color wheel, so they do not interfere or clash with other colors. White, black, and gray (along with all their gradations) are neutrals. We also think of light browns, beige, or taupe as neutrals.

When you have many different types of artwork—paintings, drawings, photographs, collages, etc.—a neutral wall color can provide a uniform background that unites many artwork colors, styles, and genres. In contrast, pieces that are themselves in neutral colors (a series of black and white photographs, for instance) could look boring and unassuming against a neutral backdrop.


Matching Colors to the Piece(s)


Focal pieces or a collection of similar pieces (a series of related pieces by one artist, for instance) stand out against a wall color that has been pulled from the piece itself. Select one of the colors from the piece and use it on the walls.

A variation of matching the wall color to one of the colors in a piece is to use a shade or tint of that color (a shade is a color with a bit of black added, and a tint is a color with a bit of white added: think of the strips of colors on sample paint chips).


Complementary Colors


Complementary colors are opposites on the color wheel, and the use of a complementary backdrop creates a striking juxtaposition that serves to draw the eye to a colorful piece. As an example, a painting with a great deal of orange in it will pop against a wall painted a soft blue.


Historical Colors


When displaying pieces from a particular era, many museums are turning to background colors that were common from that era. You can use this idea in your own home. If the color you choose would be overwhelming if applied to all walls, consider using it only on focal walls.

If you plan to rotate your collection frequently, you might choose to keep walls fairly neutral and confine brighter colors to a few focal walls throughout your space. When you rotate pieces out of your current display, be sure to store them correctly for optimal preservation. Museo Vault offers top-quality fine art storage facilities and other services in Southern Florida. Visit our Homepage for more information.