When original artwork comes into play, things start to get quite simple. Surprised? A bold, unique work by artists can be the only vibrant element in a room, and bring things to life with so little effort — beyond the effort of where to hang it… and, of course, the energy driving artists to create their many special works. There are many ways to go: hang each room with a different vision — go urban chic in the living room with the paintings
of world-renowned Gillie and Marc; glamour punk in the bedroom or bathroom with David Bromley
; bring in nature and narrative down hallways and over couches with Goombi Ugerabah
; or embrace poetic scenes and landscapes in the kitchen or a sunroom with Michael Davis
. Or get curatorial and combine genres because there are no rulebooks that say fine art should be matchy matchy — just take time, experiment and let your eye do the decorating.
1. Set a Constantly Relevant Mood
Unique artwork — original paintings, prints, sculptures, mosaics, photographs — bring whole worlds. They are always exotic, sometimes sombre, other times wild and inspiring, or eternally happy-making. Works by artists such as Mel Brigg bring with them a sombre fantasy and a sense of otherworldly nature. Julie Hutchinson’s paintings add a medley of feelings: they are dreamy, playful, warm, romantic, gentle. Both are perfect for a living room or bedroom where the moods of the works evolve with the activity of the family.
2. Choose Art that Gently Contrasts with a Room’s Décor
Both the art and the room show their best selves when there’s a little contrast between the colours and — subtly — the aesthetics of room to art. In a space decorated with muted tones, choose art with some flair, whether it’s pops and bursts of colour that are grounded in similarly muted tones, or modernist works like a canvas painted in one vibrant colour that is textured with brushstrokes and light. Then bring in just one key furniture element to match.
3. Or, Embrace the Busy Look
Contrast can be gentle or obvious — and busy doesn’t need to lack style. A big, bold abstract painting gives a living room, or even just a corner, the license to be unique. It can create a layering effect without much need for layers — choose a signature, stylish fabric for one piece of furniture (here, it’s a fabulous retro armchair) and then keep everything else rather simple so that the tones and textures gorgeously flow into one dynamic space.
4. Let An Artist’s Vision Command One Room
There are artists whose visions are made for bringing homes to life. Marc and Gillies are both celebrated sculptors and painters. Their dapper couple — the handsome dog and the stunning rabbit — are painted into bright urban and domestic scenes with rich layers of paint and narrative to keep imaginations peaked for hours. And yet, these paintings are also calming. It’s the perfect combination of action and comfort. And together with one of their world-renowned animal sculptures
— which are as dynamic in public spaces as inside — decorating with artists like Marc and Gillies is about embracing the playful even in spaces so clean and elegant.
5. With Great Art, Kitchens Can Rule
The party is often in the kitchen and with Marc and Gillie's chic and retro, urban scene commanding, there’ll be serious envy from the terrace to the dining room in this home. To let both the art and the space pop, frame a simple, glamorous colour scheme around the artwork and add some magic with a mirror and sparkling kitchen surfaces.
6. Set Exotic Scenes with One — or Many — Grand Indigenous Pieces
With one dreamy, astonishing work by artists such as Goompi Ugerabah
, a hallway can become a portal to vibrant worlds, as well as the rest of the home. And why stop there? Dedicate whole rooms, or whole homes to many indigenous paintings that burst with colour, texture and history, especially when boldly hung side by side or in gentle geometric shapes that can frame the layout of rooms with a sense of nature and stories from which they’re inspired.