Yesterday, I arrived home from Hong Kong a little tired but excited and dreaming about all the fabulous art that I saw at Art Basel Hong Kong. The art that we choose to hang on our walls and sit on top of our pillars and buffets says a lot about who we are and how we like to live – art is a key element of fabulous living at home.
As designers, we often create entire rooms, and even homes, around a single piece of art or a personal collection; we understand how important art is in creating and defining a homeowner and the home itself. If you are building or renovating a home, it is important to plan with your art in mind, whether you have already purchased or are planning to invest in certain pieces. Heavy artwork that will need to be hung may need enhanced framing to support the weight or you may want to create a built-in niche to hold a special piece of sculpture. Art needs to be lit properly, so we always include display light or directional lighting as part of our lighting schemes. Lighting of art is often missed or overlooked in lighting plans, plan to use picture lights or directional LED pot lighting to enhance a painting or a sculpture. You may even want to ensure that a floor plug is strategically placed so that you can light a piece from underneath.
Art does not need to ‘match’ your décor – buy and display what you love. We adore contemporary art pieces hung in traditional rooms and vice versa. Mix it up and simply enjoy the art. Having said this though, the framing and matting does matter and can often make a piece work or make the piece feel as if it doesn’t belong in a room. Working with a designer or at least bringing photographs of the room that the art will hang in, along with you when you visit the framing store, will help. Framing art is an important part of the design process. The manner in which you choose to frame and display art (ex: a pillar base for a piece of sculpture) can certainly elevate the status and appeal of the piece itself. I have seen inexpensive or student art framed brilliantly pass for high end collectable art and expensive art framed incorrectly overlooked. The size of the wall versus the art, is also important, it’s all about proportions.
Collecting art can be addictive and a lot of fun regardless of your budget (think of art just as would real estate, you can always upgrade as you buy and sell). When you are given an opportunity to attend an art show or to check out a new gallery, go and enjoy the art, learn about the artist and when you find a piece you love, bring it home. Your personal art collection should mean something to you and each piece should have a story or a memory attached to it. Art, as the say, is subjective – connect with it personally and let it speak your story at home!
DESIGNER TIP- Art should be hung at eye level, approximately 60 inches from the floor.