Using art to define a space

Using the right artwork is crucial to define a space and add drama to an interior (or exterior!)  It can act as a back drop for furniture and bring a new dimension to large open wall space,  whilst adding intimacy and personality.

It’s now relatively inexpensive to purchase large pieces of art, due to the reduced cost of printing and the competitive nature of the brands offering large scale canvasses. I use a selection of on-line sources for home staging, as large new builds often require a lot of wall coverage to make the space feel lived in and alive.

If I’m choosing artwork for a developer or home staging I will pick the artwork purely on how it fits with the interior, this usually means something of a more abstract nature or a piece which uses colour directly from the interior scheme. It is a completely different process to choosing art for a private client, which is a more personal journey in order for the the client to find a piece they totally fall in love with.

A great trend to pick up on for easy art is the picture wall.  This involves mixing up an eclectic array of frames.  Creating this can be trickier and more time consuming to source than one large piece, but the look  is very effective.  What I like to do is mix up a selection of frames, incorporating different sizes and styles for a more homely, personalised feel.  Ikea have a great selection of frames, as well as on-line shops such as Etsy, who have both vintage and new frames at very good prices, they also showcase the work of many digital and graphic artists who supply prints which can be sent directly to you as a PDF so you print yourself, or you can buy from a huge selection of ready printed products.

My tips for choosing and installing artwork:

  1. Layer artwork as part of an interior, use it behind furniture to create a back drop.
  2. Scale up – be bold and use something of a size which will add drama to the space.
  3. Dont hang artwork too high, keep it to around eye level.
  4. Not all artwork needs to be hung on the wall, sitting pictures on the floor or on a shelf or mantle can look very effective.
  5. Be bold and mix up styles.  You can use a gilt frame against a modernist black and white print.
  6. Create a theme for your picture wall. If you don’t feel like mixing up the frame styles use six or nine frames all of the same style and keep the images all black and white for a harmonious finish.
  7. Neon Art – this is very fashionable right now and adds urban sophistication to any room.
  8. Use art in the garden – I brought the elegance of mature birch trees to this shaded urban space with a large scale mural.



Urban painted garden


A picture wall adds interest to the space below this high window.



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