No matter how lovely your furnishings, a room with bare walls often feels incomplete. Sometimes the artwork drives the placement, sometimes the space drives the art. Small space or large, dark walls or light-filled, we’ve put together this guide to help you figure out how to pick the right artwork for your space.
The hallway or entrance to your home is the first thing you see at the end of a long day, and the first impression guests have of your personal style. Do you want your hallway to be a calm respite before you move into the rest of the house? Do you want to immediately give visitors a glimpse of your taste? You don’t have to sacrifice a warm and inviting space to do either.
Transitory spaces such as hallways, landings, or corridors are great places to feature a really bold, colourful piece of art that you may not want to put in a bedroom or living space. Something large that grabs your attention the minute you walk through the door. Another option is to create a gallery wall stretching the length of your hallway. You can achieve this by clustering a group of similarly sized and themed artworks together, or pull together a more diverse set up by mixing themes, colours, and frame sizes to create something that is uniquely yours. An alternative is to select pieces that reflect a specific mood such as calm, soothing or energetic, and you can also use your wall paint colour to amplify this feeling.
Don’t try to match art to your room. If you have a traditional space with original features why not contrast it with a contemporary artwork. In the living room you can go a little wild - mix styles and colours, consider a large statement piece over a fireplace. Don’t hide art behind doors where you can’t enjoy it. You can create little areas of interest by clustering artworks together behind a reading chair or above a sofa.
Scatter different sized pieces around your living room for a more dynamic feel. Art isn't just for hanging on walls, so experiment with positioning small sculptural or framed pieces on shelves, display cabinets or prop up big pieces by the wall. This will add a variety of viewing points throughout your living room.
The kitchen can be the heart of the home and of course you wouldn’t want to miss having some gorgeous pieces where everyone gathers. Keep artwork in the kitchen on the smaller side so they don’t compete or clutter other design details in the room, such as tiling, overhead lighting, or strong-coloured cabinetry. The kitchen is now, more than ever, a social gathering place, and your artwork can reflect this. Think about typographic art, with text or quotes, a brightly coloured series of the same print in different colour-ways, or quirky cartoons and illustrations.
Steer clear of canvases and unframed artworks in the kitchen, as no matter how clean a home you keep - grease and oil from cooking can carry on air particles and ruin artworks. Also make sure not to hang art above the hob or by the sink. Temperature and moisture can damage the artwork, even when framed.
Your dining room may be only used for family gatherings, or perhaps it pulls double duty as a teenage homework station and home-office. You can use the artwork you place in your dining room as a conversation starter when you have friends and family for dinner, or to create a lively atmosphere. Consider photography, abstract paintings and typographic text based artworks. They should reflect your taste but also complement the decor and crucially, not distract from the meal!
Hanging art lower than you normally would in your dining room helps to create a pleasant viewing while sitting down.
Style your bedroom as a space to help you relax and unwind. The artwork you choose for this space should reflect that. Intersperse family photographs with small artworks or illustrations that are personal to you. Try an abstract painting in soothing colours or a peaceful landscape photograph. Avoid over-hanging on the walls (keep it simple) and pick one or a few larger pieces of work to create a calm oasis for the evenings and lazy weekend mornings.
If hanging on the wall connecting to the bed, select one to two large feature pieces. Monochrome art might be a good fit to match up to any bedroom design.
When decorating for a child’s room, think whimsical, not childish. Avoid artwork that’s too character-based, or overly themed where they’re likely to grow out of it quickly. Instead focus on images of things they and your family are interested in; animals, cars, flowers, holiday-themed. This way, if they grow out of it you can relocate the artwork to a guest room, downstairs loo or office and it won’t feel out of place.
And if all else fails we can assist. Depending on the piece or particular theme you are looking for, we could source what you are looking for or if you are searching for something extra special, we can coordinate commissions from a variety of artists.