Art can definitely change a room. But even a world famous work can be disappointing if presented incorrectly. Our top designers share their top five tips for making a statement with art.
1. Location, location, location.
Throw away the rule book when it comes to where you display your favorite works.
“The main starting point for remodeling my built-ins was art placement. I specifically designed the shelves to house the art in a very unique way. I wanted the built-ins to be all about art instead of what you’d usually expect which would be more object centric. Here it’s reversed. To make this thumbnail even more interesting, I broke a few “rules” and placed the artwork at unexpected places. This photo shows artwork on the outside of the shelf, as well as a stacked piece that hangs below, less than a foot off the ground. It works because there is balance , texture and interest.Ginger Curtis, Urbanology designs
“Instead of excessive cabinetry in the kitchen, we’ve incorporated Stephen D’ Onofrio artwork to enjoy every day.” —Philip Vanderford, Studio Thomas James
“David Heald’s crisp black and white photo was the perfect piece to focus your gaze on the central library and add some drama to that long office of tall windows, painted millwork and very little wall space.” —Susan Bednar Long, SB long interiors
2. If you can’t find it, commission it.
The right part makes all the difference.
“The colors of ceramicist Maren Kloppmann’s glazes are a calming complement to this bedroom, and the three-dimensionality of the work casts shadows that continually change throughout the day. Titled “Whispering” after the movements of a flock of birds, the work was perfect for a room that overlooks treetops and the sky beyond. —Wendy Konrad, Wendy Konradi Interior Design
“That wall was huge. We explored making a living room-style installation, but ultimately decided to commission a piece from William McLure. He specializes in large scale jobs and is fun and easy to work with. The part arrived at Delivery Limited and they called because there were paw prints on the back. William told me the prints were courtesy of his Weimaraner, Ran. My client liked the piece even more after hearing this. —Samantha Fisher, Samantha Fisher Interior Design
3. Strike a contrast.
Predictability is boring. A dramatic departure attracts attention.
“I worked with an art curator, Liz Beaman Delman of Above the Sofa, to source this incredible piece of modern art by Gary Hume. My goal was to incorporate a piece of modern art to counterbalance the desk very traditional 18th century and classic 19th century portraiture.This is the perfect piece to balance out the antiques and make the piece current, but also bring in a bit of whimsy and fun.Meredith Ellis, Design by Meredith Ellis
“I love the contrast of this bold geometric artwork from the Dallas Art Fair against the delicate hand print
floral wallcovering. —Shelby Wagner, Design by Shelby Wagner
4. Prepare the ground.
Putting your art in the right context allows it to really shine.
“I replaced an entryway installation from a Jim Dine ‘Pinocchio’ series with Lichtenstein’s ‘Cow’ series and convinced the clients to paint the wall a darker blue. Pieces popped out and totally complemented Margo Sawyer’s sculpture and Julian Opie’s video installation in the adjacent area. —Robyn Menter, Robyn Menter Design Assoc. Inc.
5. Be your own curator.
Find the grouping that speaks to you, whether you prefer a cohesive collection or organized add-ons.
“My client previously had each of these pieces in the hallways and bedrooms of his old home and never considered hanging them together. They let me install their entire art collection in one day and asked me to to place objects where I wanted without any knowledge of a particular artist’s fame or price. They went home with this arrangement and that’s when I became their designer for all future projects. —Denise McGaha, Denise McGaha Interiors
“Our client had this collection of vintage portraits she found at an estate sale. We had this wall in the dining room where we really needed something big, and Sydney, one of my designers working with me on this project, came across five other portraits that appeared to be by the same artist at Benny’s Jack Antiques. The resulting collection filled that wall so perfectly. It was kismet. —Angeline Guido Room, Angeline Guido Design LLC