Now that our house is getting there bit by bit in terms of our renovations, I’ve finally been letting myself think more about decorating our walls. Because we are still styling our house on a tight budget so we can afford to do our renovations, I have a stack of thrifted picture frames I’ve picked up, and a collection of artworks, prints and pictures we’ve collected over the years. I’m looking forward to doing a lot of serious hanging-up! So I thought I would put together some tips on choosing artwork for your home, whether you’re styling on a budget or have money to invest in a beauty to keep forever.
Scale can make or break your room, so when you buy a piece of art, always consider its size, says Twinkle and Whistle interior designer Nelly Reffet. “You don’t want to put a beautiful but tiny artwork on its own on a big white wall, or a huge artwork that chews up so much visual space that it overtakes everything in the room. If you intend to move the piece around your home or to move house at some stage, you might want to focus on pieces that are of fairly “standard” size, i.e. not too big and not too small. Things with measurements between 30cm and 120cm are pretty easy to accommodate in any house.”
Trust your instinct.
“If you love it, buy it!” advises my artist friend Francesca Gnagnarella. “You will always find a space on your walls for something you love. But if you have really limited space, be prepared and don’t forget to take with you your wall measurements. When I talk to my clients about choosing the right piece for their homes, I always insist on buying a piece they love. Art is such a personal choice and once it’s in your home you will look at it every day, so you have to like it! When we hang a painting it does not just enhance the appearance of the environment, it brings life and dimension to a space. It says something about you and makes the space more interesting for family, friends and guests.”
Follow your heart - it sounds cheesy but it’s good advice, says Nelly (you can follow her Instagram and Facebook for interiors tips). “’Real’” art is an investment and a long term commitment,” she says. “Its essence is to generate emotions in the person who looks at it. If a piece looks beautiful but you don’t feel anything about it, move on. It’s better to stare at a blank wall for a while than watching something that doesn’t make your heart sing!”
Go online to find originals.
If you’re in the market for a beautiful original, Saachi Art sell a wonderful range of originals that can be shipped all over the globe. My pick – this painting ‘East Village’ by U.S painter Peter Dugovic. I can picture it in our living room!
Find something beautiful in black and white.
Ok I know that sounds weird. But I just think there is something about black and white artwork that means it can work just about anywhere.
Mr Nerd and I are stalker-style obsessed with the work of Sarah McCloskey, who is the younger sister of a friend and an artist and illustrator. And goddammit this lady’s stuff is AWESOME. So talented. She will make you weep jealous tears that you can’t draw like her, but she is so funny and nice you can’t hate her - she has a cult following for a reason! You can see her stuff on Facebook here or stalk her on Instagram.
Find out who created your favourite piece of street art.
If you’ve been to Ootong and Lincoln in Fremantle you’d be familiar with the distinctive work of Perth artist and illustrator Anya Brock. Anya’s colourful paintings have become hugely popular and yet her work is still not impossible to get your hands on.