Bringing Art Alive In Your Home

words Al Woods

Art at home


Art is very controversial. For some people, it’s a love-hate relationship, especially when it comes to their own homes. Art is something that most of us will agree with, definitely has a place in the home. In fact, for some of us, it’s mandatory.

The home is incomplete as long as there isn’t some kind of painting or sculpture to admire. Well, some art is great to look at on it’s own and horrible when it’s among surroundings where it doesn’t belong. For example, can you imagine a glamorous home with lots of mirrors and neutrals, displaying the bust of a great philosopher? It just wouldn’t look right. So how then, should you bring art to life in your own home without it becoming an eyesore.

Make it practical

The very first thing you can do to introduce art into your home is to make it practical. First and foremost it has to be usable. So perhaps decide on how you want to do this. 

You could have a beautiful side table lamp that is designed with vintage scrolls sprouting out from the underside? Perhaps these scrolls could be in a particular color? Maybe blue, gold, bronze or some kind of powerful earthy tone such as brown. You can also have botanical illustrations on the sides of the lampshade. These vines and other botanical elements wrap around the lampshade and everything they touch, making art seem like it’s just part of the furniture. This art style will bring your style of lamp into an older category, something like a classic, traditional, Georgian or maybe Rococo design. 

You can also make it untouchable by digitalizing it. Using great-looking digital photo frames has become more popular in recent years. You can scan your favorite paintings, sketches or even photographs of sculptures and have them displayed on a digital frame. These frames come in a variety of sizes and styles, so you can choose one that fits your home’s decor perfectly.

People might not even notice that you have such a piece in the home, until it comes to turning on the light. Maybe that is how you should approach this, making art practical suits not just a piece to look at on the wall, but use, interact, feel and pair with other parts of the home.

Different styles of art for the home

Let’s just be honest, you cannot turn your home into a living art gallery. There are some paintings you simply cannot and should not have in your home. Well, unless your home is grand, vast and has the space where you can display these paintings. But, unless you are some kind of British baron or lord, then you might not have the option.

Instead, you should focus on the types of art that can be used in your home.

  • Photography. If you get the right shot you should display it in your home. Maybe it’s a photo of a landscape, an animal, a moment in time in a city. Vitally important, the Photo Frames should match the photos you want to display. 
  • Busts. These sculptures are great for homes because they show the best of someone, yet they are small enough to move around the home with ease. Perhaps the bust of a great general of the ancient era, such as Gelon, maybe a medieval king such as Henry V, or perhaps the bust of a modern politician. 
  • Abstract. Of course, this is the most popular because it’s also the most subjective. You can have an abstract piece of art truly to you. Someone might have a different interpretation of what they see from it, but you can have your own. It works for everyone.
  • Sketches. Sometimes the simple black and white drawing of something is the most powerful art a home can have. It’s basic, can be very expressive and it doesn’t cost a lot.

These are just some of the art types your home could have. There are of course others, such as portraits, romantic era paintings, epic paintings, mythology, optical illusions, etc.

Make your own

Who says that you need to buy art? Why not have a go at making art that you want to display? This can be easy or hard, depending on what type of art you are doing.

Even if you are not an artist and you just like to draw every now and then, make a simple sketch drawing about something, and attach it to the fridge. It’s out of the way, but it’s also something new and quirky. You could also go one step further. 

If you are a painter or would like to display something you painted in your home, then look up some oil painting tutorials. It’s quite easy to find them online. You can begin by painting landscapes, then items like fruit, cutlery, plates and tables. Then you can learn how to paint people, faces, animals, etc. It’s a journey that is well worth the trip, as you’ll learn a life skill and you’ll display something you made. Keep your guests guessing as to who made it and get their genuine reaction. If you’re going to do this, perhaps it’s best not to sign the painting just yet.

If you want to make a sculpture, you can of course learn how to work with different materials, such as metal, stone, wood, clay, plaster, glass, etc. 

In the foyer

One of the best places to place art in the home is in the foyer. If you want to wow someone as they walk into your home, it has to be in the foyer. It’s the first part of the home where you can actually style it and it won’t look out of the ordinary. Some people want to place artwork on their porch, which is quite uncommon. This can be damaged by direct sunlight, cold and hot temperature changes and also, just get vandalized by people coming and going from the house.

So, it’s best to put art in the foyer where it can be appreciated and also protected. Think about what will be. This is the very first thing people see. So a painting about triumph loss or perhaps just a famous image can set the tone for the rest of their visit. 

Little pieces

If you’re not really into major pieces of art, keep it small and interesting with a few ornaments and items. For example, a display cabinet of tea china is great. It’s classic, has been done for many centuries and it takes skill to craft. The images on china tea sets are amazing. They offer a great talking point for guests and give you a reason to collect something and put it on display.

Other smaller pieces such as trays and vases are a great addition. These can easily be placed in the corners of rooms, or on side tables too. They should be handmade if possible, as you can get much more authentic and intricate designs this way. 

The different styles of ornaments you can buy are quaint English, Renaissance Italian, Ancient Chinese, imperial Russian, and imperial France. These were the most popular type of ornamentation series in the 1700-1900s. Russians dolls, ballet dancers and Italian still life pieces are great gems to place around the home and surprise guests. Everywhere they look they will find something new and interesting.

Art can be brought to life around the home, you just need to vary it, decide the best pieces of the space, location, lighting and mood for the rooms. It’s a great way to add depth to any home, make your guests scratch their chins with amazement and also, change the atmosphere of the entire living space. If you get some inspiration from these mentioned, then act upon it and bring art into your home the right way. 


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