Displaying Art

Displaying artwork in a way that is visually enticing while seemingly enhancing the overall scheme of an interior can create a challenge. When choosing what type of art should be showcased, let the artwork speak for itself. When designing a space, I tend to select artwork after the interior is completed so I’m not influenced by the color pallet of the piece. Although,  if one has in their collection a special piece they want to use, the colours of the art can be utilized to help unify the space and create a visually balanced composition.

In this featured living area, a wall panel is displayed like a beautiful backdrop for two native sculptures placed above the mantel. Using a traditional decorative frame and Venetian stucco on the panel, the artwork stands out creating a bold display. To balance the room, a stunning midnight blue painting was selected, anchoring the sitting area. Taking inspiration from our client’s passions is helpful in creating a space that they will love. For this open and airy bathroom interior we actually had another piece in mind to be hung above the bathtub, only after learning of the clients love of crocodiles did we decide to select this subtle interpretation. It’s a perfect addition as it merges effortlessly with the overall color scheme. As for the bedroom (right), we inserted a pair of elegant bronze plaques with Indian Sanskrit. They each become a strong focal point when entering the room.

The above painting by Markus Oehlen was a last minute addition to this living area. It may seem as if the room was decorated around it or that the painting was personalized, but it was in fact a later addition that seemingly could not have made a better fit.

In the dining room above, as opposed to the previous image, the artwork was the first item I acquired for the client and in many ways set the theme for the room. In the design the showpiece was placed on the wall opposite to the window creating a counter focal point. Tying in the chosen color palette, the entire color scheme visually flows as the hues are effectively repeated throughout.

Sometimes less is more, crisp white walls make the perfect backdrop to a focal piece that might otherwise be overlooked. Highlighting the image with direct lighting will keep the frame from fading in the shadows. Typically, each piece should be hung around 60-66 inches from the floor or the average person’s eye level, but then again it really depends on what type of art is being displayed and the overall composition.

Large scaled works will create an immediate focal point and should be placed on walls where they can be seen and enjoyed. Smaller pieces, such as family photos, often work well grouped together in a gallery type setting. They may be placed in similar mattings and frames to make for a stronger visual and cohesive arrangement.