Displaying art in your home is one of the most exciting ways to personalise a space, but it can often lead to confusion over which art is ‘right’ for the space, where the best place to hang it is, and even how high. Contemporary art expert and founder of KAB Gallery, Kerry-Anne Blanket, believes that while every space is unique, there are a few do’s and several don’ts to follow when it comes to displaying art and curating a space.
Here, Kerry-Anne shares her expert do’s you should absolutely follow and the ones to avoid when it comes to using art to elevate your space:
DO CONSIDER THE SIZE OF THE WORK
When it comes to original paintings, according to Kerry-Anne, size matters. “You want the artwork to pull the space together. Too small and the room can look incomplete, too big and the room can feel overcrowded,” she says.
When it comes to size, scale is important. “If you’re hanging a piece of art above large furniture such as a sofa or bed, a great rule to follow is that the work should be about two thirds the width of the piece of furniture. If your artwork doesn’t fit this scale, you can cheat by having it framed with a more generously sized frame to increase the pieces overall size and give it a greater presence on the wall.”
If budget is preventing you from purchasing a bigger work for your larger space, Kerry-Anne suggests opting for a selection of smaller pieces positioned alongside one another or eclectically as a staggered gallery hang. This way, several smaller and less expensive works may be admired both up close, and from afar, all the while making a collective impact in the larger room.
On the flip side, Kerry-Anne cautions against buying big art for small spaces. “A painting needs some breathing space so you can truly appreciate it from every angle,” she says. “A general rule is that a painting should take up 60 to 75 percent of available wall space which isn’t covered by furniture or mouldings.”
DON’T BE TOO MATCHY MATCHY
“Gone are the days of having to adhere to a particular genre, subject matter or medium of art,” says Kerry-Anne, “Too much of one style, even if scattered throughout a home, can be overwhelming or even boring. Instead, look for pieces that blend to your colour scheme and branch out from there.”
“Switch it up and avoid the clichéd ‘gallery effect’ where you limit the curation to the exact same type of art in every room of the home – instead switch up between canvases, and framed works, explore the richness of tapestries or showcase a bold sculpture on a pedestal in a space in lieu of the perhaps more predictable framed painting. The point is, using various art mediums and styles in your space is a fun way to showcase the dimensions of your personality!
And, while you don’t necessarily need to stick to an artwork with the same colours as your decor, Kerry-Anne suggests to instead be mindful of how you position colours that clash, “The art you buy should reflect your tastes so get creative with how you position various contrasting styles for a polished result.”
DO THINK ABOUT HOW YOU DISPLAY & FRAME YOUR ART
“Believe it or not, the framing of your art can make or break the work once it’s hung,” explains Kerry-Anne, “If you’re planning to invest in original art, it’s important to also budget for professional framing.”
When it comes to selecting a frame, avoid making the mistake of going either too decorative, or too boring. “Framing options are vast and can really impact the finish of a piece. While plain box fames have been on trend for a while, a decorative frame can really build on the character of the work if chosen wisely.”
Kerry-Anne also suggests there are multiple ways to display your works throughout the home, “From leaning paintings on furniture, or even using shelves or bookcases to showcase a collection – be that sculpture or small framed works, there are so many interesting ways to get creative when it comes to displaying art.”
DON’T BELIEVE THAT ART IS JUST FOR ADULTS
“Art is for everyone,” says Kerry-Anne, “There isn’t a single space in the home where art is wasted, so long as someone can see it – even if it’s your baby in their cot. When my youngest was born, we invested in a gorgeous painting of the beach by an artist I represent named Sally West, now six years on we still spend time each week discussing the tiny details of the work together before bed.”
“I’m a big believer that art doesn’t have to be reserved for adult spaces but can be used as a way to bring fun, personality, culture and colour to every space, including our children’s rooms. And it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.”
According to Kerry-Anne even framing and hanging a child’s own creations is enough to spark important conversations about art and help to build your child’s own tastes and preferences when it comes to what type of art they love. “Art appreciation for young children is deemed important across all education curriculums. And, if you do choose to invest in a professional artist’s work, it’s a beautiful keep-sake your child will have to cherish for years beyond their youth.”
Kerry-Anne also notes that by investing in art when your child is young, by the time they reach adulthood, the work could have the potential to appreciate significantly, providing an asset that is more than just emotionally valuable to your little one.