As a mix of creativity, self-expression and skill, art can have a powerful effect, not only on us but also on our living spaces.
The display of an original piece of artwork, whether it’s your child’s painting or from a well-known artist, makes a statement about who you are and what matters to you.
Incorporating artwork into your home delivers tangible rewards. With a little knowledge and experimentation, you can create a unique space with style and character, that paints a picture of your personality.
What matters is what you see
Art appreciation is subjective. In the words of American writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau, “It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.”
Since you’re likely to look at the works in your home every day, select pieces that resonate with you – compelling creations that make you feel and think.
For example, if your love of sailing is what drew you to live on the lower north shore, you may want to seek out a local artist’s impression of the boats on the harbour.
Mixed art and its effect
You want to define and liven your home, so consider what type of pieces would complement its spaces. Prints and paintings are great starting points, but remember that art encompasses more than colour on canvas.
Take the time to explore other forms, and note how they might work in your home. Sculpture can add depth and invite touch, lively sketches can animate a neutral space, and photography can create a more modern vibe. To personalise your collection even further, try mixed media.
The ambience of art
Art can transport, inspire, energise, quieten, and comfort – affecting your state of mind and your home’s ambience. To select the right pieces, assess each room on its individual merits. Some spaces lend themselves to social activities and therefore suit dynamic works, whereas others make for cosy retreats that call for serene pieces.
Of course, colour plays a vital role in shaping a room’s atmosphere. Although yellow, orange and other warm, bright colours lift mood, some people find vibrant shades overpowering, so be mindful of how you want to feel.
Consider visual balance
Once you have an idea for your home and particular space, think about proportion. Large artworks offer a sense of drama and occasion; small art pieces have a quiet presence.
To make a real impact, fill the void of a large blank wall with art that makes a statement, such as a modern abstract. This can look incredibly powerful above a bed or lounge. An empty wall can also be an opportunity for a more flexible solution: a revolving gallery where you’ll rotate various works.
Two ways to link rooms or tell a visual story are to display several pieces by the same artist or to stick to a common genre, such as portraits or landscapes.
Consider colour coordination
To enhance the harmony, decorate with room accessories in shades similar to those of the artwork. For a bolder effect, determine the room’s focal point so you can rearrange furniture and other objects to let the art draw the eye.
Fortunately, the size and colour of the walls will help dictate what’s possible, because hanging artworks is an art in itself.
Consider shapes and sizes
If you have a diverse collection to display, experiment with shapes and sizes to create a salon-style gallery. Place the largest piece in the centre and arrange the others around it.
If many of the works are similar, design a grid gallery. For a striking look, pick identical frames and leave at least 5 centimetres of space between them. Even the choice of frame contributes to the overall effect. A shadowbox, for example, can provide a modern twist, while reclaimed wood is well suited to beach style living.
Light has a strong influence on both the artwork and the feel of the room. Avoid placing pieces in areas that flood with sunlight, especially watercolours and other media that can fade. Use artificial or indirect light to showcase your art and prevent deterioration.
If you are planning to sell your home, you may need to reconsider your art and having your home professionally styled so that it has the greatest appeal to the broadest number of potential buyers.
Having sold hundreds of high-end homes on Sydney’s lower north shore, the team at De Brennan are on hand to answer your questions, so call us in the moment you are starting to prepare your home for sale. Our home consultations come at no cost, other than a conversation.