Lately we were lucky enough to be asked to sit for an amazing artist, Caroline Zilinsky, for her entry in the Archibald Prize 2022. The process is amazing, and it really is a labour of love. 

It got us thinking about art in our homes and how do you get it right?

Styling your home is so much fun but what about those bare walls? You can go minimalist and keep it very simple, which works well when your views are the real art. Amazing ocean vistas, views over mountains, glitzy urban lights, or your ‘own view’ with an amazing garden all become ‘moving art’ luring your eye out. 

Not all of us have this, so art is important, and choosing art can be tough. So much to consider; style and colour, scale and the relationship to the elements of your room? Choices are endless. 

Art creates an emotional response. It can be thought provoking or calming, or just add to the overall ambience of your home. 

Choosing the right piece is really a personal preference. Does the piece resonate with you? Does it have some significance or meaning? If it does then have a look at your interior and determine whether the style of the piece, colour and frame, will work? 

Interiors need a focal point, and art is perfect, whether over a bed, in a living room, or over a sideboard. If your room already has a focal point, perhaps a dramatic pendant light, consider if the art will compliment or ‘fight’ with it. However if your heart is set on a special piece, you may need to play with you interior to get the balance right. 

We’re not suggesting to go bland with art. We’re not known for playing it safe, and our Block 2021 house had three pieces of striking art in the living/dining/kitchen area. In this case we used rugs and furniture to differentiate the spaces, and used art to anchor this. As long as the pieces have some relationship to each other, but are different enough, it works!

The scale of the room managed the artwork, and we actually upscaled the large artwork over the stairwell. The original piece was too small once hung, and the scale of the space and wall along with the light in the room managed a huge piece of art. The colours linked to furnishings giving a sense of purpose and calm. We were brave and took a chance on it. 

Often people talk about interior styling rules, and while there are guidelines, there are amazing exceptions, and we love people who take a risk. Some of the incredible artists and designers in history all took risks. 

If you are looking for art here are some thoughts;  

Create a focal point. If it’s to go above a bed or sideboard, measure your furniture and ensure the art is no wider than the furniture. You can use one, two or three pieces, just don’t go over the edges. The focal point can be on a different wall in the room, just ensure it’s not fighting with anything else, and that it’s the right scale for the wall. 

Think about scale. It’s as much about the depth of the room as the height and width of the wall. If you have huge space, and you can stand back to admire the art, well go for it! If not, make sure you’re not going to feel overwhelmed by a huge artwork looking over you. 

Create a relationship in the room. Ensure there’s some relationship between your decore and your art. Take inspiration from either but look for the links in cushions, flowers, décor items that lets the art feel at home in your space. We used a beautiful pink painting in our Block 2021 Master Bedroom which linked in with pink flowers and a subtle pink throw, it made sense. 

Placement and the light coming into your room makes a difference. If your art has glass, light will create glare. You won’t be able to appreciate the art! Or the reflection you see might not be desirable. Oh, and the dust! While there is glare resistant glass, think about placement first. 

Direct sunlight is not a friend of your art. Galleries don’t have art sitting in full sun, for a reason. Consider where the sun will be during the day. We’ve seen amazing displays of art in homes, where they all end up full sunlight. It will damage your art. 

We love great artworks, and admire the talented people who see the world and interpret it onto canvas. In a home it should be make you smile whenever you walk by. 

June 15, 2022 — Mark McKie

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