If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you’ve probably noticed something about my design tastes. That is, I’m a HUGE proponent of incorporating great art into a remodel or staging project.
In fact, I may be a little obsessed with this design trick, which I personally feel is not used nearly often enough.
Because here’s the deal: the right piece of artwork can make a room sing.
Whether it’s a sculpture, wall painting, glass work — you name it. Everything looks better when paired with that extra touch of creativity.
Art Brings The Wow
You saw this in the last project I blogged about, where I talked about bringing a certain ‘wow factor’ into your home design.
The massive painting above the couple's stairwell really set the tone for the rest of the living room and kitchen.
It introduced a bright color pallet to an otherwise neutral base. And that allowed me to fully highlight other accent pieces throughout the open floor plan.
The lower level, which I’ve also pictured here, follows the same principle. The fact that some of the glass work pieces were designed by the homeowner made this art-centered design all the more special.
So let’s talk about how you can best incorporate art into your home, either with my help or if you decide to go it alone. (And I am always willing to help!)
In my work as an interior designer, this usually happens one of two ways. Either the homeowner already has a piece that they want me to design around, or I go out and find a piece that perfectly compliments a design idea that is already forming.
I’ll give you a few examples of what I’ve done in both scenarios. Hopefully this can help inspire you!
Bold and Brash Means Instant Art
First, I’ll take you on a trip down memory lane to one of my favorite design projects of all time. This was a project I worked on for an old friend. I love it for how unique and powerful it is.
Brightly colored artwork reigns supreme in this St. Louis home.
Bold — brash, even? — wall art catches your eye the moment you walk in the door.
Here, it was not as much about color matching, per se, but amplifying the array of tones that were already present in two key pieces of art. First, the wall painting above the stairs, and second, the sculptural piece above the fireplace mantel.
The latter is from Brother Mel, a prolific St. Louis artist and Marianist brother known for his brightly-colored metal sculptures and art.
I hand picked all of the furniture in this home, modeling the artistic style of the painting and sculpture.
The cocktail table, for instance, is also from Brother Mel. A lime green sofa and flamingo pink chair would assault the eye if they weren’t so wonderfully in sync by being disarming.
This is an example of taking it to the extreme. But there are also ways to more subtly introduce art into your home.
Using Your Art As Your Guide
Let’s say you already have a painting that you love, but aren’t sure how to best incorporate it into a room.
One quick and easy way to make your wall art coordinate with the rest of the space is by picking up on its key colors in your throw pillows and other accent pieces.
For instance, in one of the pictures below, you’ll see a living room fireplace mantel that hosts a big and beautiful painting.
What look like poppy flowers stand out against a bright, red backing. I simply took that red and repeated it in the throw pillows, while also letting the cream color of the couch coordinate with the flowers.
Or take a look at the staging project that I completed for this three-bedroom, four-bath brick home in Clayton.
In the living room, the wall painting is simple and worldly. We carried the red through to the throw pillows, and the different shades of brown coordinate with the rich mahogany bar stools.
The elegant settees draw in the ivory color of the painting. Just like that, we have an art centered design theme.
We followed the same playbook in the dining room. A sculptural piece on the table pulls in the red matting of this room’s painting. And a set of traditional chairs with a wooden crossback design reflect the tone of the art work.
That’s tip number two— a painting’s tone can be used for inspiration, just like its color.
In some of the pictures below, you’ll see how I repeat natural movement or an outdoor theme in other elements of the design.
As you can see, it really doesn’t take much to make your artwork fit seamlessly with the rest of your room. It’s just a matter of consistency and a little creativity.
Art Two Ways
Finally, I don’t want you to feel like picking a certain piece of artwork pigeon-holes you into a design theme.
In my staging projects, I will often reuse the same paintings or sculptures in different homes, to a completely new effect. The key is making careful choices in pairing to completely transform the overall look!
Take this piece of wall art, with its creamy stained glass appearance and gold veining.
When I used it for my Chase Park Plaza staging project, I highlighted its lines and movement by putting it in the backdrop behind a carefully chosen dining table set.
Notice how the chairs now pop, and the sculpture on the table flows organically.
But we achieve a completely different look by using the same painting in that Clayton staging project that I talked about earlier.
This time, I used it to help highlight the fireplace marble and its rich veining. The gold/beige tones are repeated in the carpet and furniture.
And notice how I stuck with pieces that carried a lot of movement, so that they could equally compete with the painting.
Let Me Help
Seems pretty simple, right? Well, it can be if you develop a careful eye and keep expanding your design knowledge.
So keep reading this blog, and feel free to reach out whenever you are considering a new remodel or staging project!
I love sharing my know-how and different design tips.