Art and interior design have become fundamental elements of interior spaces. Art is not only an inspiration to the design of the room, but also adds unparalleled beauty to the aesthetics of the space. It gives character to a room and brings it to life. If you have ever been in a room that is flawlessly designed around an outstanding art piece, then you’ve certainly experienced the indescribable wow factor that art brings to the experience of a room.
Finding that outstanding artwork with a wow factor may not be as easy as it seems though. While some budgets are sufficient to hire an art consultant who will lead the buying process, in most instances, you will need to do the hard work yourself. In any case, before you purchase an artwork, it is important to get up to speed with the art world and recent trends through a guide to contemporary art.
Elegant Sitting Room, Sidekix Media, 2020, via Unsplash
In the Art Nouveau era, the integration of art in interior design went beyond just the use of fine art in wall hangings and paintings. Art played a major role in the interior architecture. It formed part of the structural design solution. In this modern era, interior decorators still incorporate art in different forms, such as sculptures, photography, ceramics, textile prints, and most commonly, paintings and wall art.
Château de Versailles, Mat Reding, 2018, via Unsplash
The Classical period saw the use of massive and costly paintings in grand and lavish interiors. However, the commercialization of art in interior design has led to the creation of more affordable pieces that can fit into any design style and budget. Artists presently collaborate with interior designers to create original art pieces that are still unique, but that also work best with interior spaces.
From million-dollar paintings to affordable pieces, art is a must-have in any well-decorated interior. It is the final touch that unifies the design to complete the look of the room. For art enthusiasts, nothing is better than investing in a one-of-a-kind original piece. You can get these from art galleries, exhibitions, or even local flea markets. However, if you’re on a tight budget, photography and digital printing are great options to explore.
White and Black Bed Linen, Carlos Montelara, 2020, via Pexels
So, How Can You Incorporate Art into Your Interior Design?
There are several principles that you need to consider when incorporating art into your interior design. If you’re wondering where and how to begin, this will help:
1. Selecting the Art Collection
A lot goes into the selection of the right art piece for your interior space. While you should always go for a piece that is first appealing to your personal taste and viewpoint, there are a number of other things to consider. What is the design style of the room? Whether it’s classical, minimalist, or contemporary, the art should be able to complement the design.
While the artwork is the first element you should select to inspire your interior design, it will also affect the mood of the room. The colors in the art piece will not only influence the color palette of the entire interior décor, but also affect how someone feels in the space. Bolder colors are energizing, subtle pastel colors are more refreshing, and duller tones are more intimate.
When using art as a focal point, is also important to consider whether to select one exceptional artwork that stands out alone or a cluster of pieces that seamlessly interact with each other.
Lounge Art, Kam Idris, 2020, via Unsplash
2. The Context of Culture
Art is a celebration of culture in interior design. It creates a sense of belonging and familiarity in the space. Whether you want to create a community or appreciate diversity, art is the best way to bring people together.
Hotel Bedroom, Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels
This is particularly important when designing for public and commercial spaces. Appreciating culture through art allows people who interact with the space to be able to relate to it. In interior design, it is not just limited to the incorporation of heritage art pieces. It can also be about communicating the values and philosophy of that population of users.
Culture means different things to different people. What matters is emotionally connecting to the space. It could be simplistic art for minimalists. It could also be elegant, or more natural. For a home, it could be a framed collection of all the amazing vacations you’ve been to. For an office space, the art piece could be a motivating expression of the organization’s vision and values. Consideration of culture in the selection of the most suitable artwork puts your space into the right context.
3. Expression of Creativity
While most times, an interior designer uses art strategically to set the mood, evoke an emotion, or complete a look, sometimes art is just an expression of creativity. The clever use of color in a range of tones, the incorporation of different textures, and the selected type of artwork can be a brilliant way to express your creativity in a space.
Interior bedroom lifestyle, Bumiputra, 2018, via Pixabay
Abstract art pieces are a splendid way to add bursts of color in an otherwise plain room. A monochromatic artwork is a subtle way to add elegance to a space. Investing in a mix of different forms of contemporary art pieces is a more daring way to explore your creative side.
Monochromatic Wall Art, Sidekix Media, 2020, via Unsplash
4. The Display of Art
How and where you display your art is crucial when incorporating art into your interior design. You can dedicate an entire gallery wall to the exhibition of your artworks. You can also opt to position centered pieces at eye level to add a focal point to a room. You can choose to display your art symmetrically in a grid, or in staggered asymmetric layouts. You can place them on accent walls, above your furniture, or in a stepped layout on staircase walls. While there are various principles that govern how to display your art in various spaces, the final decision on where to display it entirely lies with you.
5. Crown it with Light
Art Gallery, Dannie Jing, 2018, via Unsplash
Every coveted art piece deserves to capture attention. Illuminating your art piece is the best way to highlight and flaunt it. Incorporating art lighting as a layer of accent lighting in your lighting design is, therefore, highly essential. Perfect picture lights exist in a variety of options. Ranging from overhead lighting such as track lights and ceiling lights, to wall lights and various light bulb fittings, you will be spoilt for choice. Track lighting systems are particularly fantastic for lighting giant art pieces and large collections.
Track Lighting, Valerii Zorin, 2021, via Unsplash
You also need to select the light type that brings out the best in your art while preserving it from any potential damage. This can be LED, incandescent, or fluorescent. When it comes to art, there is a lot to learn on the concept of art and lighting design. You can sign up for an online interior design program or contract a specialized art consultancy when you need to integrate lighting for your art collection in interior decorating. This will help you make the right decisions based on your design style, budget, desired finishes, bulb type, power sources, and most importantly, the size of your art.
Dining Room with Custom Trim Accent Wall, Carrie Hays, 2020, via Unsplash
Art is an elegant addition to any interior design. It is no longer just a luxury, but a necessity that harmonizes the entire décor. Having selected your art collection, and where to place it, always do it justice by highlighting it with the perfect picture lights. That is exactly how to elevate your artwork to extraordinary, whether it’s a luxury painting or an affordable art piece.
The incorporation of art and interior design can completely transform a space. Read on to find out exactly how to integrate art into your interior decorating, and make it stand out with the use of the perfect picture lights.
Winny Okoth is a practicing Construction Project Manager and Interior Designer. She is also currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Construction Project Management. Winny Okoth has a great passion for every form of design and has the mastery of principles of design, as well as 3D visualizations skills for architectural and interior design renders.