Art and Interiors: the tips and tricks for finding balance

Finding the balance between enjoying art pieces and creating a stylish interior can be difficult. We share our tips and tricks to make finding that middle ground a little bit easier...

Striking the balance between artistic tastes and designing a functional, homely interior can be a challenge. Most people enjoy art from a variety of different eras and genres, but the surrounding interior design choices can take away from that beautiful piece of art hanging on your wall. But you don't need to sacrifice great interior design in order to make art pieces shine - instead, have a look at our tips and tricks to help find that harmonious balance: 

Create a focal point

After spending big on a painting, or if there is a beloved family heirloom framed somewhere in the house, you’ll want people’s eyes to be drawn to it no matter what. An obvious choice is to frame a painting above the mantelpiece for maximum visibility, but some homes lack such an obvious focal point.

The next step, then, is to create one - and the possibilities are numerous. For instance, build around the painting with bookshelves which carry other precious family items, such as photographs and certificates. Or, use a number of mirrors to subtly deflect light, and therefore attention, to your statement piece of art.

Leave space for sculpture

Great sculpture works when it is given a lot of ‘breathing space’ around it - like the white space around a haiku, it lets the art define itself away from other distractions. So, if you have a small sculpture on a windowsill or a mantelpiece, consider removing whatever other ephemera are sitting alongside it and allow it to breathe.

As a result, you may find yourself appreciating the sculpture in new ways, when the clutter surrounding it is removed. Take a cue from modern art galleries, where even the smallest sculpture inhabits a large area of floorspace, giving greater impact to the art your eyes will automatically be drawn towards. 

Create clean lines with tiles

It may come as a surprise, but tiles can often create a clean, uncluttered feel in a room. If that room features a painting, a sculpture or a photo that you want to draw attention to, adding a few simply designed mosaic tiles can create a focal point in the same way that a frame does.

Tiles also work best to create focal points in a kitchen or a bathroom - after all, there’s no reason why you can’t have artwork in a bathroom or the kitchen. There is an overwhelming argument for elevating these purely functional spaces into something more beautiful, for everyone's enjoyment.

The importance of lighting

Once again drawing on the world’s art galleries, there are lots of ways that natural light can be let in to complement the works on display. Tate Britain, for example, has a number of subtle ways in which natural light is allowed to flood into the space. In terms of your own house, start by removing heavy, bunched curtains that can prevent a room from feeling light and airy.

If natural light is unavailable, consider layering the lighting: include floor lamps alongside ceiling lights, and make sure the art is well bathed in warm light. Try to avoid the blue light projected by cheap fluorescent bulbs and strip lights. Incorporate your home artworks into the ambient space you have created. and you’ll have a beautifully lit home that shows each piece at its very best in no time.

Guest post by Suhayl Laher

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