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Putting Your Art to Work

Nothing in your home says more about you than the art on your walls. Furniture has to serve such a multitude of purposes that often our decisions when choosing new pieces are lead by practicalities rather than the simple pursuit of beauty in our homes. Artwork however serves no practical use other than to decorate a space, meaning we are free to express ourselves in whatever way we choose.

The old adage that you can’t buy taste has never been truer than with art. Spending more money will not guarantee that everybody loves the art you choose- beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. What this means is art is for everyone, for all incomes and all ages, it can be picked up in the bargain bin of a discount store or commissioned to great expense.

A large part of successful art work is how it is hung and where it is displayed. The first thing to get right is the height you hang it. All too often people think of their art as nothing more than a tool to balance out the colour composition in a room (and as we will discuss- it is capable of doing just that), but also remember that art supposed to be viewed. Art set at the perfect height should put the centre of the composition level with your nose, thereby allowing you to take it in as a holistic piece from a balanced angle. In terms of where to hang it, putting it underneath directional spotlights will really add to the impact of the piece. To tie pieces into a room and help “ground” your art, try to hang it directly above furniture, remembering to maintain a sense of proportion. For example, whereas you would only need one large piece of artwork above a single seat settee, a three seated settee or a sideboard would probably fit better with three smaller, evenly spaced frames.

But what type of artwork should you choose? This really is up to you but there are some guidelines you can follow to make your art really emphasis the look you are going for in a room. In a classic or period setting, make sure the art is relevant to the era you are recreating. A Victorian themed room for example would need a country scene or formal portrait. If it is café cool 1950’s Paris you want to recreate, pair up some black wooden blinds with some with some Mondrian prints which really mirror the rhythm and contrast created by the blinds. If it is a minimal style you have created in your home and you are now trying to spread an accent colour, artwork can really help. If you have a white room with red dotted around in the shape of curtains, cushions and a rug, you can balance out the scheme by hanging modern artwork which contains similar colours on the opposing wall to your windows.

Remember, choosing the correct frame is almost as important as the art itself. Add warmth with a natural wooden frame or some retro cool with brushed steel. A huge ornate, oversize frame will really ensure your artwork gets noticed, whereas a simple sheet of frameless glass will help it fit in your scheme without any fuss.

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