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Interior Design: Styling Art

Of course Art can stand alone but sometimes you might want to celebrate it further to give more of an impact in a space. This is where styling and design comes in, so, here's some ideas and tricks used by designers that may help you when experimenting in your own home.


Positioning Wall Art

  • Art is often hung at eye level. Art hung too high may look like it doesn't relate to the other objects in the room and if it’s too low it could look cramped. Or, if you divide the wall horizontally into 4, with 1 being the part closest to the floor, and 4 being the part closest to the ceiling, the centre of the Artwork often works well in the 3rd Area. For a bigger impact and statement, the Art may stretch out into the other areas, or it may even fill almost all of the wall - whether it's in a group or in one big statement piece - this is often said to give a very grandiose and luxurious look.
     

  • If hanging above furniture, the gap between the furniture and the Art will be around 8-10 inch, and the width of the Art / group of Art / Gallery will be around one third to two thirds of the width of the furniture.
     

  • Think about the Art size: having 1 small piece of Art on a large wall can look odd - it’s always better to go too big than too small when choosing Art.
     

  • If you're interested in making a gallery wall, check out my tips on that

Positioning Wall Art
Layering Art and other Decor

Layering Art and other decor: 

 

  • Layering gives a contemporary feel to space. You can put a small piece of Art in front of larger one, or you can interject different items to make the styling more curated and unique (e.g. layer with vases, ornaments, your photos, mirrors, plants, lamps etc), here's an example in the photo below, which also demonstrates another design tip: visual triangles...

Visual Triangles for styling decor
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Visual Triangles

  • When styling a small area (e.g. a shelf, or a mantle) arrange items of different heights to form a triangle shape this will make it look more curated and visually pleasing. If you want to add more height, consider hanging pieces, sitting items on books or bringing in new items (e.g. plants, candle sticks). See the image above for an example on this.

Lighting for Artwork

Lighting for Artwork

Light is a great way to draw your eye around a room and to enjoy a space. You can also use it to highlight your Art: you could use picture wall lights that hang above the Art or consider different angles like spot lights, strip lights plugins and more. Mirrors also help to reflect more light, space and Art.

Using Colour Effectively in Decor

Using Colour Effectively in Decor

  • Match some of the colours from your Art with smaller items in your home, for example if there's navy blue in your art pieces, why not add a navy blue blanket on a chair nearby, or a navy rug or lamp perhaps? This creates a cohesive look and draws your eye nicely around the room.

 

  • Contrast is good, especially when pairing Art and large furniture - it's rare to have one large navy blue painting above a navy blue sofa or bed for example 

 

  • It might also be helpful to consider colour psychology (the way certain colours can evoke certain emotions). If you want to feel calm, relaxed and destress in rooms like lounges or bedrooms for example, use cool colours (blues, purples, greens). In areas like kitchens / dining rooms where you may want to encourage energy, enthusiasm and increase hunger use warmer colours (reds, oranges and yellows). Here's an interesting youtube video which dives deeper into this topic.

Gallery Wall Tips

  • Arrange the Art on the floor first to check you're happy with the placement.

 

  • When grouping Art you want to look at the area / overall shape of the group as a whole and consider how that would look in the context of the room.

 

  • If you are mixing and matching different sizes, start with the largest piece first, then fill in the rest of the space with the smaller pieces. 

 

  • Keep the measurements of the gaps between the art sides and / or corners consistent. Measure-it tape would help with this if you want to be super precise, otherwise you can just play around and trust your eyes with what looks right.

 

  • Use matching frames and sizes for a modern, cohesive look, or mix and match for a more unique / eclectic look.

 

  • Depending on the kind of look you’re going for, you may want to consider adding different forms, textures, colours, sizes, thicknesses and perhaps adding other forms like mirrors, hanging wall art or sculptures for example. The more different the items, the more eclectic the styling will be!

 

  • It's a good idea to have either a light or a bold dark wall as the background as it will put more emphasis on the art.

 

  • You could also create gallery wall by simply using picture ledges instead of hanging each individual Art piece… You could have one ledge, you could arrange several ledges haphazardly, or you could arrange them parallel to eachother so that you have rows to display. You can also experiment with subtle layering here to add more depth to the look.

 

  • Searching 'Gallery Walls' on Pinterest for more inspiration is always a good idea too!

Gallery Wall Art Tips
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