06 Nov Interior Decorating Perth: Art and Your Home
Prior to collecting artworks for your home, consider your reasons for purchase. Your criteria for purchase may be as varied as your criteria when selecting a house. I have listed below criteria you may wish to consider if your experience in art selection and purchase has been minimal or non-existent in the past and they are as follows:
- Do you prefer two or three-dimensional art and do you intend to display your purchases internally or externally?
- Are you collecting two or three-dimensional pieces and for which location?
- As a serious collector and do you have the appropriate illumination?
- Do you prefer paintings, prints, ceramics or sculptures?
- Are you selecting fine art pieces to collect which may ultimately appreciate in value as a collection or a piece of not much artistic value to fill a space on the wall?
- Do you prefer contemporary, romantic, photorealism, realism, surrealism, pop or abstract?
- Do you have a particular penchant for subject matter?
- Are you more attracted to realism or graphic art and in what medium?
- Do you prefer oil, alkyd, watercolour or print as the medium?
- Are you purchasing for your own interests or other members of the family?
- What is your budget?
Should you feel a little uncomfortable with your lack of knowledge when it comes to selecting art, then I would suggest you undertake research to determine your preferences. Art purchases can be expensive as can the placement, framing and illumination of all pieces so mistakes must be avoided at all cost.
Matching Your Artwork to Your Personality
Selection of artwork can be highly subjective and what one person finds appealing may be unappealing to another in the home. Art should be selected by the person or persons occupying the space. Please, do not inflict your personal tastes on others. Seek their opinions and approvals on selections for their areas of the home prior to purchase.
Selecting Fine Art
Fine artworks are generally original pieces created by the hand of professional artists. There have been many occasions when keen art collectors have purchased student works at art school graduations including myself. A colleague of mine hesitated to purchase a Robert Juniper for $400.00 in the 1970’s at a student exhibition many decades ago and has regretted it ever since. Remember these students are the professional artists of the future.
However, a limited edition of prints may also be collectable. Limited edition prints are numbered with the production number of print from a collection. For example, print 6 of 100 after which the original print is then destroyed.
Should artistic merit and value be the criteria for selection, then it is generally advised that the piece is displayed as a focus within the space in a securely, well-illuminated position with furniture arranged comfortably for the purpose of viewing the art. Out of respect for the artwork it is suggested that furniture colours do not attract from, but enhance the work/s. Generally, a subtle neutral approach is undertaken when selecting and arranging furniture around the piece to ensure the furniture does not visually detract. Die-hard collectors often display the precious works in specifically designed spaces with minimal furniture addition. If in doubt, take a trip to the State Art Gallery to see how fine art should be displayed and viewed. Let’s not forget, we generally purchase fine art for viewing and discussion.
Selecting Mass Produced Art
Mass produced works may be poster printed, piece moulded, photos or machined pieces for the general public to be sold at budget prices. In this case, the art is generally purchased as an inexpensive adornment to balance the room visually or for filling a space on the floor or wall. It may also add colour or be another piece of inexpensive décor we couldn’t resist buying. Ultimately, these pieces generally end up as out of date, faded and often damaged pieces ready for the next garage sale.
Be alert when paying high prices for mass produced pieces. We may purchase a poster print only to find that to frame the print may be four times the cost of the print.
Art may often be selected for visual appeal only which is dependent on the eye of the purchaser. It may be rude to offer opinions on the purchase unless asked. Always remember, one man’s trash may be another’s treasure
Using Art as a Focal Point
Both fine and mass-produced art have the biggest impact when used sparingly as a focal point. If the piece is to be placed on a large wall, then size comparison is important. A too small piece on a large wall can look somewhat lost and unimportant and visually wasted whereas larger pieces are more demanding and visually contribute to the surrounding space.
When selecting the positioning of your artwork, keep in mind where you and your family tend to spend most of your time. Subject matter should be tantamount when placing your art in various rooms around the home. For instance, it would not be wise to put a painting of fruit in a bathroom and a print of fish in the formal dining room. Ensure the subject matter relates to the function of the space and the age of the occupier/s of that space.
Extra Tips and Tricks
If the painting medium is oil, the painting will not fade and may be located happily in bright rooms. Poster prints, photos and watercolours must never be located in brightly illuminated spaces as they will fade or discolour in time and could be lost forever.
When hanging two-dimensional works on walls, always position the middle of the painting or collection at eye level, approximately 1.65m above floor level. To ensure accuracy, arrange the collection on the floor as you will be arranging them on the wall. Measure the perimeter of the entire collection of pieces and find the measured centre point. Translate the centre point to the wall at 1.65m above floor level and mark faintly with a pencil. Use this centre point to commence your arrangement.
If three-dimensional pieces such as sculptures or ceramics are being displayed in a seating area, the display eye level should be determined by the seated eye level which may be 1.1m above floor level approximately. Smaller pieces may be elevated on low tables or display cubes but must be protected at all times if valuable or sentimental.
Flat pieces, such as bowls, ceramics, glass or metal are best displayed on flat surfaces such as low tables or sofa tables.
Using art to enhance and brighten up your home can be a lot of fun, but to ensure you incorporate it perfectly into your home, talk to your interior designer Perth; we’ll be able to help you bring each of your home’s interior elements together to create a welcoming and cohesive space.