Selecting art – an interior designer’s perpective

Mar 07, 2012 No Comments by

A few months ago I was asked by Easy Art to answer a few questions on selecting art and also how to show it off in your interior. So here are a few tips and ideas for you.

If you are interested in commissioning an artist then see a previous post on Commissioning art works – the right piece of art for the right place. An artist’s perpsective – by artist Mel MacDonald.

Q: Do you feel that selecting art can be a daunting prospect in a new interior scheme?

A: I think it can. But remember, you need to like and love what you are putting up.  After all you are going to see it every day!  Then remember that there is no right or wrong way to hang art. However, I can share a few tips that have worked for me. 

Pictures on a  wall - use the same coloured frames to unify.

Pictures on a wall - use the same coloured frames to unify.

Crowding a wall with lots and lots of pictures can look great, and using the same frames for all the pictures will unite the wall. It works particularly well for photography (see main image above).  It makes for a cohesive and intriguing art work as people often come up close and spend time looking at each one.

Q: How important a role does art play in your designs/recommendations to clients?

A: Art is a very important aspect of any interior design scheme, whether commercial or residential. Sometimes clients have never considered art for their home. Whether it is because they always thought it was beyond their reach or because they had never thought about it – my job is to introduce something new into their life. 

Art does not have to be for multi-millionaires, it is accessible to all and for all types of budgets. Including art in an interior scheme completes the story but can also be the start of a new one!

Joan Miro - a happy and exciting art work don't you think?

Joan Miro - a happy and exciting art work don't you think?


Q: Do you feel that art is very personal? If so, does that make it difficult to select?

A: Yes and no. Art should be very personal if it is for your home, it should elicit an emotion – it makes you feel relaxed by looking at it or happy.As you will be seeing it every day, art that is bought for the home should ALWAYS be something you want to see time and time again. I adore Edward Hopper, Rothko and David Hockney, so these would be perfect for my home! See below. My very favourite is Rothko – often people find his art work lugubrious but personally it lifts my spirits- goes to show that art is really subjective.

Mark-Rothko-Orange---Yellow - lifts my spirit!

Mark-Rothko-Orange---Yellow - lifts my spirit!

“Orange and Yellow”, Mark Rothko (Top Left); “Day Pool with 3 Blues”, David Hockney (Top Right); “Nighthawks”, Edward Hopper (Bottom)

Crowding the pictures on a wall

Crowding the pictures on a wall

Art for the office should reflect the ethos of the company, the industry they are in and stimulate the staff and visitors visually. I always think that if Art can make you talk – good or bad – it has reached it’s goal of engaging with people.

Q: You have a very diverse portfolio– how does diversity play into your work?

 A: Yes I do work on very different projects – after all I design for my clients. I love mixing old and new.

My eclectic approach always starts with what I can recycle; such as salvage materials to re-interpret as contemporary furnishings. Then I always introduce original mid-century iconic pieces in a scheme such as a Barcelona Chair by Mies van der Rohe or the Panton chair by Verner Pantone as seen here.

Werner Pantone chair

Werner Pantone chair - old floorboard-mixing the colour!

Eiffel Chair by Eames FMurat copyright

Eiffel Chair by Eames - old floorboards, period house, modern mix -FMurat copyright

The trick is to mix old textures with newer materials– for example, reclaimed flooring with contemporary colours. Lastly I always add art! I love introducing art into a scheme especially if the client has never owned art before.

I think Easy Art is a fab service (and I am not being paid to say this) because you can buy your favourite art works at obviously a fraction of the price. I have recommended this service to many clients sicne I discovered them.

First published on EasyArt 9th December 2011



About the author

Degree qualified Interior Designer & Garden Designer. Eco not Loco! It's definitely eclectic!
No Responses to “Selecting art – an interior designer’s perpective”

Leave a Reply