4 Steps to Successfully Curate Art for Your Home
Curating art for your home is no easy task. The multitude a variables–artist, style, medium, size and even lighting can make the decision-making process feel overwhelming and complicated. Surprisingly though, art tends to “get along” with each other more often than not and whether or not you have an eye, just follow these four simple steps and you will be able to create a finely curated personal oasis of your own. Read on to find out how!
1. MAKE ART THE STAR. But mindfully curate even if you don’t think you have artistic genes. Because art tends to be the main focal point of any room and can completely transform the energy and feel of your space take notice of how each work of art embodies its own energy and carries a unique story. With that in mind, while some pieces might clash dramatically you might notice that unlikely works are actually extraordinary partners on your wall. Some pieces do need more space than others but if there’s synergy via color, form or medium, you are likely to discover that their commonalities fit nice together to create a new story of their own. Pictured here, art collector and museum trustee Chara Schreyer lives seamlessly with her massive art collection which seems to blend into the architecture as well as the Los Angeles landscape.
2. NOTE THE PRACTICAL DETAILS. It is easy to get carried away when collecting art without having a place in mind for it first. All too often collectors buy a work because they have fallen in love with it but fail to take measurements to see if the work can even fit through their door. A good rule of thumb is to bear in mind which areas the art will go before buying and ensure clearance of the works.
Be sure to consider the lighting, finishes, furniture and of course, your overall design or architecture for references or queues on the size, medium and style of art you want to procure.
Side note: If you plan to hang art above a piece of furniture it should not overhang too much unless that is it is meant to be a backdrop to the room in which case it would make up most of or the entire wall. The total width should be the same or less than the total of the furniture (including space between multiple artworks). Featured above, Mark Bradford’s ‘Thousand Daddies’, 2008, a mulitpanel collage that incorporates posters for child-custody attorneys, creates a powerful yet subtle backdrop in the family room.
3. CELEBRATE YOUR SPACE. If you do not have furniture to deal with by all means take advantage of the expansive space and find larger scale works to showcase accordingly. Otherwise, take a moment to survey your home for statement areas or walls as well as interstices or more overlooked to focus placing art. Avoid hanging oversized or protruding works in narrow spaces like hallways and bathrooms but be creative. Look for unused or high spaces to place art in an unexpected space. For high ceilings, take advantage of the opportunity to draw the eye upward to fully appreciate the architectural design. For example, pictured here, Donald Judd’s galvanized iron stacks shoot right up to the top of the overhang creating a dramatic effect.
4. MIX IT UP. Avoid being too monotonous or matchy and allow for contrast. Don’t be afraid to experiment! You might be surprised by how very different works can relate to each other once they are in the right space. You do NOT have to match artistic mediums or artists. Try placing a mix of paintings, photography, drawings and three-dimensional objects together and you will see a dynamic effect.
Collecting an artist in depth is great but maybe curate those works in entirely different vignettes around the house so people can see that artist in an entirely new context. Look for balance in materials, subject matter, color and form. Counterbalance heavy with light, old with new, and embrace the conversations, or synergy different pieces can create when place together.
Based on my experience, the best curated rooms tend to have pieces that represent a range of styles, artists and media. They also draw the eye to unexpected places even the ceiling, not unlike a successful painting! Bearing in mind these simple art tips, your curation is sure to reflect your personality and originality while being tasteful and cohesive at the same time. Remember to have FUN with your art!
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