From creating a collage of prints to putting up huge paintings, there are many ways you can use art to bring a room to life or add a touch of personality to a property. Here, Sarah Ritchie, creative director of The Gifted Few, offers her advice on how to choose the right pieces and present them in an effective way.
Pick a theme
When choosing art for a room, think about what theme you want to follow. You could choose pieces that reflect a certain era or decade – perhaps a time associated with the property – or you may want to pick items that use certain colours to bring out the tones in the furniture or features of the space.
Alternatively, you might like to pick a certain subject – for example, a favourite city, different types of buildings, animals, flowers, music or film – and use that to inspire your artwork choices. My favourite wall of art in my own house is covered in images of hot air balloons. They’re all created by different artists and completed in various mediums and styles, but the subject matter ties them all together.
Paintings, prints and photographs may seem like the obvious choice when thinking about art in the home, but there are lots of other choices. Some frames will be thick enough to display keepsakes such as small items of clothing, pieces of jewellery or pressed plants.
And what you put on your wall doesn’t even need to be framed. You could put up hooks or shelves and use these to show off hats, scarves, toys, ornaments, glass bottles or any other trinkets.
The right place
Composition is important and having artwork in the right place can change the way a room feels. Some people may be tempted to use the centre of a wall as a starting point, but instead think about where pieces of furniture are. It can look much more effective to hang a painting directly above a sofa than to have it half straddling different features. Also, try to avoid placing pictures too high – especially in rooms such as the bedroom and dining room where people are more likely to be sat down. You should try and keep art at eye level.
There’s a popular trend at the moment for using several prints and images to create a collage effect, but it can be tricky to get the composition right first time. Use some inexpensive rolls of paper to cut out the shapes of the artwork and stick these to the wall using masking tape to act as a guide. This way you can play around with the positioning until you get it just right.
Don’t blow your budget
There is no rush to splash out on expensive pieces – especially if you’ve only recently started experimenting with different styles. There are a lot of inexpensive options available – check out car boot sales and markets for vintage postcards and prints, or keep hold of any attractive pieces of fabric or packaging that you could frame to give a new lease of life. A lot of retailers provide reasonably-priced prints, some of which may even be bespoke depending on what material they’re printed on and how they’ve been created.
About The Gifted Few
Founded by Sarah Ritchie and Aaron Andrews, The Gifted Few aims to make good design accessible to all. As well as sourcing authentic industrial and vintage lighting, furniture and homeware from across Europe, it also stocks a wide range of contemporary soft furnishings, kitchenware, prints and home accessories from some of the most talented designers and craftspeople in the UK and beyond. For more information, visit www.thegiftedfew.com or stay up to date with The Gifted Few on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.