Calm Sea 1866 Gustave Courbet (Courtesy National Gallery of Art)
Written by Shantel Susan, Art Consultant & Founder Shantel’s Art & Design Inc.
Above anything else in a room – art brings all the tangible components including furniture, fabrics and finishes together – but that is only where it begins. Art really contributes to the totality of a space, through creating atmosphere with enhancing the mood and personality of a room. Art presented together in such a way, heightens your senses, making the room a more inviting and inspiring place for you to be in.
For this cohesion to occur, the selection of art that best compliments a room comes about through a careful blending and discernment of what style the room is and then paying close attention to your sensory preferences for art.
To start, it is important to discover the mood of the space through reviewing its style. The idea here is that art needs to reflect and be in concert with the existing space . . . to be in harmony with the room style.
It is best to thoughtfully observe the context and atmosphere the art will inhabit. Although there are numerous room styles, there are 4 that most will fall within. As a guideline these briefly include:
- Contemporary rooms that show soft lines and linear shapes in neutral tones that are complete with one overriding bold colour as the feature.
- Eclectic rooms present a variety of styles and moods through patterns, colours and textures that complement one another.
- Traditional rooms tend to be classic in style and timeless in appeal. Warm complementary colours and warm wood appeal together present a cozy and relaxing atmosphere.
- Romantic rooms present a more feminine expression with an emphasis on soft, sheer fabrics and light to pastel colours – subtle contrasts of between light and colour and other specialty textured design pieces are central to achieve this feeling and look.
Once the room style has been deciphered, it is time to consider what your preferences are for art. Whether buying original art from a gallery, limited editions prints, reproductions or poster art – the decision of what art to buy is the same.
For your residential space be sure to, above all, make it personal. You also need to think about your preferences for art – what appeals to you – consider that whether you are sometimes glancing casually at your art, there will be days when you will want to study and stare at it – to that end, what is going to have staying power for you? Remember this art will be on your walls for an indefinite period of time so you will wish to exhibit art that has the potential to be pleasing and inspiring to you over the long term.
Don’t be too methodical or overthink it, just try to become one with what you like about certain art, but try to keep it simple and somewhat spontaneous. If you are working with an art consultant or interior designer, they will draw this from you and that will help you to better understand your tastes when it comes to choosing art.
If working on your own, ask yourself: What really appeals to you in terms of colour and style including abstracts, post-modern or vintage art? Is there a particular subject that you connect to – landscapes, animals, seascapes or people? What about the medium used to create the art – acrylic, water colour, digital, photography or something more adventurous? Do you prefer large expressive pieces, or smaller, dainty images presented in relational groups? The options are truly endless and not limited to your imagination . . .
Next, it is advisable to think about the money that you have to spend, as you can’t appreciate your art purchases if you spend beyond what you are comfortable with. Like anything, it is easy to become carried away with the beauty and breadth of art selections that are available to you. To that end, it is wise to have a working budget that will provide you with a general guideline for your spending. The art medium that you choose will often dictate what you can spend; however there are lovely and desirable pieces to be found with every medium, style and taste.
Through being prepared and enlightened with all of the above, you should be well on your way to choosing art that will not only tie your space together . . . but it will make you feel that you belong to a place that is positively reflective of you.
© 2016 Shantel’s Art & Design
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