Art at home: how to make it work for you in every room

The French artist Henri Matisse said that "creativity takes courage". Whom better to take advice from when it comes to getting creative at home? The first rule of bringing artwork into the home is to be courageous. But it's not quite as simple as that. Here, we take a closer look at the secrets to matching artworks with the rooms around your house, learning how best to hang or display art around the home.

Barcelona - art at home

Think about size

One of the most important criteria when matching art with rooms in the house is size. As a general rule, large artworks should be hung in large rooms, and smaller pieces in small rooms. This isn't just because you'll have more wall space to deal with in larger rooms (and vice versa) – it also has to do with viewing distance. Big works of art are typically best viewed from a greater distance, while small pictures are easier to look at close up.

The room in which this advice is best heeded is undoubtedly the bathroom. Bathrooms benefit from small pieces of art, which can be hung abundantly in any open bit of wall. If you have a bath tub, consider this to be a focal point. It's from here that you'll spend the most time appreciating the artwork that's hanging on the wall.

Consider your colour palette

Hanging art at home isn't just a means of introducing culture to your living space – it's also a brilliant way to inject some colour into your home. Again, this is particularly effective in bathrooms, where the colouring is commonly white or neutral. Be mindful, though, of condensation. The wet environment of a bathroom can damage certain types of art, causing staining, wrinkling or mould growth. Others can be obscured; for example, items or frames made of glass will only look their best when they're completely dry.

Play with lighting

One rule of hanging art at home is that it must be properly lit. It follows, then, that you'll need to consider the types of lighting in your room before choosing works of art. The dining room is usually an example of a darker space; since it's typically used in the evenings, this is a room that is often lit in a dim, artificial way.

Certain types of picture benefit from being lit directly. This is true of traditional oil paintings, particularly those featuring dark and dull colours. Others, such as glass-framed photography, prefer more ambient light. Always consider the angle from which pieces will be viewed when planning lighting.

Create a personal space

Using art at home is more than just a means of decoration. Of course, hanging images will improve the look and feel of your home, but it's also about making it a more personal space. As such, give priority to your artworks. Rather than digging around for pieces of art which complement your existing spaces, use your favourite items as starting points upon which to build a room.

Visit the Engel & Völkers interior design blog for more advice on improving the inside of your home.

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Engel & Völkers Real estate agent Maria Danilova
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