Mosman Interiors: Expert Lori Murray Reveals How To Choose Art Work For Your Home
By LORI MURRAY
Selecting artwork for clients is a tricky business. I'm often asked to help select the perfect piece for a room. Getting it right brings the whole space together, just as it can create a fabulous and contrasting focal point to an otherwise neutral space.
Budgets, availability, and a huge range of styles and mediums make for a highly personal decision, that can take a long time for both client and designer to reach an agreement on!
Sometimes, an existing piece of art forms the whole direction of a room or even a home; the colours, style and general feel of a client’s favourite piece of art can be a great starting point for the interiors.
The colours from artwork can be carried through in the accessories and soft furnishing of an interior, creating truly cohesive space.
I am far from an art expert, but I do believe there are no real rules, when it comes to collecting art for your home, and no place that is right or wrong to source your perfect piece – however here are some tips that may help you to curate that perfect collection:
YOU JUST LOVE IT
If you loved it at first sight, you can’t stop thinking about it, or just couldn’t stop staring at it, then go back and buy it!
Lets not get snooty – the piece doesn’t have to be expensive, on trend (a ridiculous notion anyway, when it comes to art), or a work that your posh friends think you should have.
A sketch picked up from the markets, a family heirloom that needs re-framing, an online find, or a major investment from a big named artist - if you love it – buy it!
Make sure to frame it properly. Get it hung professionally. And then stare lovingly at it forever!
OFF THE WALL
Don’t think that art in your home has to be limited to the walls.
Sculptures, ceramics, and unique handmade rugs all add to the layer of colour and texture in your house, and are making a huge resurgence as part of the move towards unique, handmade accents that people are looking for.
SHAMELESSLY TRAWL THE INTERNET
Whether it’s following some of your favourite artists on social media, keeping up to date with local galleries and their exhibitions, or searching through online art galleries, this will help you refine your style and broaden your horizons of what is available.
We were Instagram fans of surf photographer Eugene Tan, from Aquabumps, for a long time, before finally deciding to head into his gallery to see some pieces in person – only to fall immediately for his photograph “White Line Up” for a large wall in the living room of our Cremorne project.
DON’T BE SCARED TO VISIT LOCAL GALLERIES
They want you to - and so do the artists! Galleries can seem intimidating, however it’s here you will truly see and connect with both the artists and their work.
Penny Farthing Design House in Balmain has fabulous and friendly staff, and showcases a wonderful range of emerging Australian artists, including Kirsten Lethem, whose piece we purchased for this master bedroom. Jerico Contemporary and Saint Cloche also have wonderful and unique exhibitions.
Closer to home, keep up to date and in touch with what’s happening at Mosman Art Gallery, and Harvey Galleries, too see what exhibitions they have on. It gives you a great feel for what you like when you see pieces in person, and learn about local artists.
CONSIDER SCALE AND CONTRAST
Don’t be stingy - if the room has the wall space, go big! A larger piece can also make some smaller rooms appear larger.
If doing a large gallery wall, I personally prefer a neater, squared off area of similar photos - ie all black and white or all colour - however a range of photos and artwork in varying frames can add an eclectic and fun element to an informal room.
Contrast a modern and dramatic piece in a traditional home, and likewise, try a classic and older piece in a modern home - this really makes them stand out and provides a great balance of styles.
DON’T FORGET THE KIDS!
A favourite artwork wall in our home is the one that houses an ever-evolving framed gallery of children’s artwork.
Kids do the best art - expressive, colourful and uncomplicated, and it makes kids so proud to see their work framed and on display.
Handwritten notes, Fathers or Mothers Day cards can all be framed - you’ll be surprised how lovely a framed handwritten note looks on your bedside table.
CALL IN THE PROFESSIONALS
For a special piece of art, its obviously a must to take the time to get it framed properly.
Also, it’s worth spending the money to organise a professional hanger to hang your pieces. There's nothing worse than beautiful art work that sits at an incorrect height, or angle!
Positioning is vitally important (and often should be placed MUCH LOWER than you think!), as is the correct location on the wall … and using the right tools to ensure it stays there!
Until next time, Lori x