What does your artwork say about you?
Many of us struggle to curate artwork in our home, especially when we’re redecorating and essentially starting from scratch. Artwork that has been collected and put up organically over time can often look a little more natural and fluid, but when you’re faced with a totally blank canvas the task can seem a little daunting. If you’re struggling to know where to start, we’ve put together our top tips for tackling wall space in any home.
Find Art That Tells A Story
It’s easy to be drawn in by something ‘off the shelf’ for the sake of ease, but if you’re trying to add character and identity to a room, finding artwork from large interior retailers or DIY stores isn’t really the best approach. While they might be reasonable in price, you’re likely to feel bored and uninspired by it if there is no real point of reference connecting you to the piece. Take a slower approach – collect the artwork over time and find pieces that resonate. It’s important to feel they tell a story about you or relate to an experience you’ve had. It’s not about spending lots of money and it’s not about filling a piece of wall space for the sake of it, it’s about finding something meaningful to you.
Displaying your favourite photography can be as simple as grouping it together in a cluster with some blue tack or tape. It doesn’t have to be a traditional staged family photograph captured in a studio, it can be something quite abstract or a throwaway shot. The important thing is that it captures a moment that, when you glance at it, makes you react with happiness or emotion.
Making photography look coherent is often a tough task, so sticking to all black and white or all colour can help.
A more unified approach is to group photography in the same size or same frame finish. Grouping in rows of 3 and quantities of 6, 9 or 12 (depending on the size of the shots and the wall space you have to play with) is a good way of managing this. If you’re going for black and white pics, teaming them with black and white graphic prints can also work well.
Going for a framed photo with a mount will also give a better finish than a canvas wrapped frame, which lacks borders and can look a little messy.
A great tip for photography and paintings is to use it to punctuate furniture. You can create a much more engaging focal point in a room if your artwork in corresponds with a cabinet.
Out With The Old
Look at each piece of artwork in your house and try to articulate why you love it. If you can’t answer that question positively it’s probably time to cull back and make room for something that really floats your boat. Equally when you’re looking to buy something new, ask yourself the very same thing.
Think about your passions; music you love, places you’ve been, people you’re interested in, hobbies you have. Consider local artists or local themes, think about objects as well as prints and build your artwork around your interests.
Sites like Etsy, Not on The High Street and Big Cartel are an easy and convenient way of gaining access to unique or limited edition litho or screen prints. All you have to do is type in some information relating to the topics you’re interested in and see what comes up.
Alternatively, if you know someone and you have an idea, think about commissioning a local artist to create something for you that’s truly unique. Even if they’re an amateur, they’ll give you something with far more depth than anything ‘off the shelf’ could.
Cheap & Cheerful!
Don’t always think that art has to be expensive, or big. Some of the most interesting visual collections can be found in materials as simple as postcards, greetings cards and maps, particularly if they feature somewhere you have an emotional attachment to.
Post cards can be framed individually or arranged on the wall with blue tack, it doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be a collection of things that make you smile because of their beauty, or make you reminisce about home or a wonderful holiday.
Making your framing consistently coordinated or consistently mixed by room can help to make a room look more coherent, even if the artwork is quite different.
Wooden, black or white block frames are easy to come by and deliver a fairly slick modern scheme. If you want to add a bit more texture, a great approach is collect frames of different finishes, shapes and sizes and spray them all in the same colour. This can really help to unify the décor in a room and make things look a little more considered.
Boot Fair Beauties
Boot fairs season will kick start again from Easter and these are often the perfect place to source new artwork or new frames for existing artwork. One mans rubbish is another mans treasure and artwork is no exception to this rule! Keep your eyes peeled at boot fairs and charity shops and you might just find the perfect new addition to your home.
Having some form of artwork on the walls is a great way of adding interest and colour; offering a flexible alternative to patterned wallpaper. So go forth, be bold and begin to tell the story of you and your family around the walls of your home.