People are often heard to remark ‘I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like’.
You don’t have to be an art major (or stylist for that matter) to appreciate art. You don’t need to be able to recite the history of the artist, or know the story of the painting to be able to look upon it and say ‘I dig this’. It just needs to speak to your inner sense of style.
When considering art from the perspective of a home owner who is decorating, there are several compelling reasons to display art.
It communicates your style
It’s that old adage ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ hard at work. Art and imagery - be it a realistic painting, semi abstract, abstract or even a pattern - can stop you dead in your tracks when you find one that just speaks to you. You might not know why you like it, but you connect with it instantly. It’s just ‘you’.
This experience can be found in so many places; a bolt of fabric, pretty stationery, cushions, rug, a gorgeous bedspread, the print on your favourite dress, gift wrap and a card; and of course a painting or art print. You connect with it emotionally, because it speaks to your sense of style. This kind of connection can - and should - be present in your home. Not all art will appeal to all people, in fact it is quite personal. And that is exactly how it should be.
It is a happy place to rest your gaze
It stands to reason that when you find and hang a piece of art that you truly connect with, you will find yourself gazing upon it with happiness. You might see and learn something new about it each time. Or you might just give yourself a little pat on the back for choosing something so beautiful for your home; for giving yourself permission to buy it and love it. Either way, it will add joy to your life and will be a welcome alternative to gazing upon the dishes or the TV. Do you deserve it? Absolutely.
Art sets the mood and ties a room together
From the point of view of a stylist, this is probably the most important reason to have art. Art is a device. It is an effective tool which sets a colour palette and communicate a style and mood.
When working with clients, I often urge them to select an expression of art first - be it on a rug, cushion or piece for the wall - which inspires them and describes their desired style. From there, I start to pull together the mood board for the overall project. I can draw many elements from the artwork to steer the project in the right direction - shapes, colours, styles, textures and more.
This of course means that the artwork can act as not only as the informant for the room, but the linchpin which pulls the room together; creating harmony with all the elements in the room.
Let's see Art in Action!
Take a look at this room, and consider the design elements at work. (Click on the image to enlarge it).
Shapes and lines - Repeated use of triangles, angles and hard, bold, clean lines
Colour Palette - Black/grey/white/pastel pink/purple/blue with a splash of yellow
Style - Contemporary, geometric
Texture - Rough patina, unfinished surfaces
The stylist has drawn out many (but not all) of these elements and repeated them in the soft furnishings; the lines and blocks of colour on the bed cover, the angled lamp base, the concrete finish table and lamp shade, as well as the colour scheme of pink, purple, blue, grey, black, and white. Building upon this, the additional elements of wood, layered textiles, the use of round cushions and the small posy of flowers softens and builds overall feel, making it a suitable and inviting resting space.
See how it works? It's fabulous isn't it!
Why should I pay for good art?
First things first. At the start of an interior styling project it is vital is to first define and understand your overall budget. Then you can work with your stylist to determine where it is worth investing the money, and where you can make good savings.
When it comes to selecting the art, the price tag should not be the first consideration. Rather how you connect with it, and how successfully it works as a device to pull together your room should be the primary concerns.
Of course we don’t all have thousands of dollars to spend on buying art; but we don’t need to. Not all art is super expensive. There are so many talented artists in Australia alone, you’re sure to find a piece that achieves your design brief goals and fits in your budget. And because you now understand how important art is, you will no doubt be more comfortable in investing in art which does all the right things.