Art is often the one item that can really transform a room so I love being challenged with finding art for small spaces. With so many different mediums, styles, and sources for art there is almost always something for any size space and because of art’s ability to create an emotive response, no space is ever too small!
Here are 5 tricks to make art speak volumes in your cozy abode:
1. GET INSPIRED.
Galleries are a great way to find ideas and inspiration for some really cool ways to install art. Look for local shows by you or go gallery hopping on your next vacation! Solo shows are especially good because the curator can take advantage of the entire space and take more risks.
Sit down and think for a minute about your space before going on your shopping spree. Consider the space as a whole rather than a series of separate areas and identify the most important wall to hang artwork. It will become the primary focal point and it is usually where most of your art budget goes. Then, consider the understated areas around the house or office to add extra elements of surprise. You can also create clearly defined areas or vignettes with sentimental or inspiring objects juxtaposed with your art. Look up, down and all around–you will find those unexpected spaces!
Do you have high ceilings? You can draw the eye upward by placing an over-sized artwork where it can define the room without overpowering it.
3. LOOK OUTSIDE THE BOX.
Small spaces are great because a little creativity goes a long way and an unconventional placement can give the owner a whole new perspective. Spaces like the laundry room, bathroom, outdoor patio or even garage can be a delightfully surprising place to install art. I also encourage collectors to look outside the box, literally. Renowned collector, Howard Rachovsky for example, positioned his Maurizio Cattelan sculpture depicting a sitting “drummer boy,” atop his roof in Texas. Cars would stop and wave for the boy to come down all the time! While you don’t have to go to such an extreme, have fun placing your art and experiment with different possibilities.
4. LESS IS MORE.
The minimalist look is always good for small spaces. Try to avoid putting artwork on every wall just because it’s empty, or else the space will look smaller and cluttered. If variety is the spice of life for you, however designate one wall only for either a salon-style installation or install 1 – 2 tiered shelves and rest an assortment of art on top. Stick with the same colored frames and mats (preferably white) to create a more cohesive look.
Think of art as a statement rather than an accent and don’t worry about matching the color of the art to your decor. Do try to create the illusion of one large space rather then several disparate living spaces by placing art that effectively bridges space.
Why not commission a mural for the ceiling or the floor by a local artist? It can really personalize your home plus, there’s an interesting story behind it. The artwork will be a conversation starter not to mention it will distract guests from noticing the small size of the room!
Also, for tiny corners or interstices, there are many darling miniature works by contemporary artists that add whimsy and humor.
5. TAKE RISKS.
To me, every room has 6 walls. An eye-catching mural on the floor or on the ceiling that compliments the space can be really captivating. An artist friend of mine, Karen Gunderson, painted her entire living room floor a beautiful abstract pattern that has lasted for years. It’s simply stunning!
If the collector is open to multimedia, video art is a great medium to collect without taking up much room and can be played on any plasma screen TV or even projected onto a wall. DVDs don’t take up much space and you maintain control of when you want to watch it because it’s easy to switch them on and off anytime you want.
Bring your focus to one major work of art and don’t be afraid to go extra-large or hang artwork with bright colors or ephemeral materials. Small spaces don’t necessarily translate to small-sized works of art!
If you have a big idea for a small space please share it with me. Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!