words Al Woods
Art is the single most powerful statement most of us can hope to add to our homes. The power of a good piece to move, excite, delight or even horrify viewers is well known, and that impact is a great thing to add into a more domestic setting. Art can completely change the mood and feeling of a room.
It can add colour, awaken the senses, introduce a thematic device to your space, tie a scheme together and set a tone for the home. And with the affordable art revolution, plus the power the Internet gives us to source new pieces, it’s getting easier to add those qualities into your home without a billionaire budget as well. If you’re planning an interiors makeover, consideration towards art should definitely be a part of the process – from a much earlier stage in the planning than you might think.
Considering art in the earliest stages of home design can have a transformative effect – the right piece can quite literally alter the entire design and layout of your space. Your choice of art is a highly personal matter, expressive of who you are and what statement you want to put out into the world – but as you most likely live with others, their considerations and tastes also have to be taken into account. So, how do you make sure you have the right art – for you, for your loved ones, and for the space itself?
Creating A Functional Space
Art is a thing of emotion – it’s all about how it makes us feel and the thoughts it triggers. And yet when it comes to buying art for the home, there is no escaping the more practical considerations too. You have to create a livable space that serves the functional daily needs of its inhabitants. Interior designers renowned for using art and even gallery curators understand this intuitively, even though the idea of giving practical consideration to a piece of art can seem strange to some. Think about the setting your piece will live in – how that space has to function and how you use it on a daily basis. Think about the mood that you’re aiming to create in the space. For example, a bright, splashy piece of pop art brings an energetic, upbeat vibe perfect for a transitional space such as a hallway or a place with lively gatherings such as a kitchen or family room. But it may not create the right ambience in a bedroom or a dining room, where the aim is to relax or to entertain. Think of art as a tool to adjust the mood in whichever space you choose to put it. A statement piece is ideal as a conversation starter in a social space such as a dining room. And never fall into the trap of ‘saving for best’ – the art you most enjoy shouldn’t be hidden away in rooms that barely get used – it should be put out there for people to admire and interact with.
Create Your Own
If you have any artistic leanings, creating your own art can be a hugely satisfying process. It’s a fairly easy process to buy a canvas and some acrylics and practise something Abstract – in this way you can also customise the palette exactly to the tones and shades you want to introduce into the room. Don’t underestimate the power of photography either – you can print and frame photos in large groupings together to add a very personal touch. This can work particularly well in a smaller, more enclosed space such as a downstairs toilet. Choose matching frames for a modern, uniform look or individual ones to add a bit of quirk and find a theme among your pictures – it could be outtakes from family life or local landmarks.
Going the DIY route can work well for abstracts. Image via Pexels
Keep It Local Or Limited
If you don’t fancy the DIY route and you don’t have a substantial budget, your best option is to seek out either local artists whose work you like or to buy limited edition prints online. These allow you entry into the art world in an affordable way, plus there is always the thrill that you could be buying the next Damien Hirst! Never try to second guess what will become more valuable over time – although art is a good investment, first and foremost, you have to go for pieces that you love and feel a personal connection to. Purchasing a series of prints by the same artist is a great way to add continuity and a thematic mood into your interiors and can be the start of a collection that you can add to over time. The key is to seek out low edition sizes – this means that your print is not one of many in a huge run, and is therefore more likely to increase in value when the full edition is sold.
Don’t Be Afraid To Mix It Up
Half the value of a great art collection is in the curation, so develop your taste by getting a feel for how different pieces work together in your space. Aim to create some cohesion by finding common threads which tie your collection together – it could be colours or a mood – and experiment within that with elements much as scale and orientation. A cluster of smaller but related pieces displayed together on one wall is a strong way to create visual impact and a curated feel to what could potentially be quite a disparate collection of pictures. Hang them at different heights but create a theme by sticking to the same colour framing and keeping a uniform distance between pictures – use a template on tracing paper that you can play with until you are happy and then map onto the wall before hanging anything – command strips also make your art both easier to move and suitable for rental accommodation.
With a little thought and planning, you can welcome the transformative power of art into your home space without it having to cost ridiculous amounts. Remember, when it comes to art in the home it’s not all about budget, it’s about taste and celebrating your individuality.