Art is fast becoming recognised as an increasingly desirable component of a modern home’s interior design scheme, with the ability to elevate a space and bring real depth and character to a room.
The notion of art inspiring a space, to the extent that the design of an entire room can be based on a piece of art (from the colours to the fabrics and finishes specified), allows extraordinary living spaces that dissolve the lines between art, architecture and interior design to be created.
With this in mind, we share our expert know-how on everything from displaying your art collection, the best framing options, how to keep your works in pristine condition and demystifying artistic mediums. We're here to help whether you're adding to an existing collection or dipping a toe into the art market for the first time…
Framing can transform an artwork. Consider the feel of the piece, the ambience of your space and the framing style of neighbouring artworks. If you’re building a collection, reframing similarly sized artworks in a matching style makes them easier to hang together and unites the works. But remember, you don’t have to play it safe with frames - be bold and make your artwork into a real statement piece! Or if you prefer to keep it simple, choose a wooden tray frame to complement the artwork with clean, neutral lines.
Mounting styles can also make a huge difference and help elevate your artwork. Float mounting (where the artwork is suspended away from the mount board) is a great way to achieve a crisp, contemporary finish. Alternatively, window mounting (where a window is cut in the mount board through which you see the artwork) can be a good way of hiding untidy print edges and is a safer option for very delicate works or thin paper.
Reframing your art can revitalise your collection, so find a great framer and get their expert advice!
Size matters. A small artwork will be lost on a large wall, so hang as part of a group - a series of small artworks in a group adds an intriguing focal point to a space - or find a quiet, unloved corner where it can bring an unexpected splash of character! In the other extreme, don’t be afraid to hang a large, impactful artwork in a small room, a large statement piece can transform your space.
One top tip from a practical point of view, if you’re considering a very large artwork, don’t forget to check whether it will fit in your car and through your door!
Don’t try too hard to match your artworks to your décor. Mirror the ambience but let the artwork have its own presence.
Mix it up! Try hanging different styles alongside each other for an eclectic and more personal feel and don’t be afraid to introduce contemporary artworks into a period homes, they bring a vibrant twist which is becoming increasingly popular.
Paintings, prints, drawings, photographs can all hang beautifully side by side to add depth and interest to your collection.
Don’t assume ‘print’ means a reproduction. An original print can be a valuable addition to your art collection and is a fantastic and affordable way to add contemporary colour and character to your home. Prints give art lovers the opportunity to own an original work of art for a more affordable price than a painting might be, allowing new buyers the opportunity to dip their toe into the world of art collecting.
Ideally, try to hang artworks so that the centre of the piece is at eye height.
Salon hangs, where your artworks hang together in an organised cluster, are a great way to showcase lots of pieces without having to fill every wall in your home. When going for a salon hang, think about a theme or common colour across the artworks to create coherence and try to ensure the spaces between the artworks are consistent throughout. You could also add personal touches to a salon hang by including framed letters, postcards or music amongst your artworks.
Storage & protection
From time to time, rotate your art collection throughout your space to minimise damage from light or humidity and frame works on paper with glass to protect them from humidity.
Store unhung artworks upright, away from sunlight and covered in waterproof wrapping to protect them.
Ultimately, a home is defined by its details. An interior design scheme can be lifted and utterly transformed by a piece of art; treasured collectables and artworks are what really make a home unique and vibrant. And while not every wall needs to be a gallery showcase, a piece of art that brings out certain shades and colours can complete, rather than simply decorate, a room.
But, above all, we always come back to the most important approach to art: choose artworks you love. Find something that speaks to you and bring it home to make your space entirely your own.