9 Unique and Clever Ways to Display Art in Your Home
Here at Bed Threads, one of our favourite hobbies is collecting artwork. We find joy in unearthing new and emerging artists on Instagram, purchasing a variety of pieces to hang in our home and discovering how to invest in art. Plus, collecting beautiful artworks is no longer an extremely expensive investment. We’ve previously rounded up eight of the best emerging Australian artists whose work you can still pick up for less than $1000 here and you can also find a large range of affordable artworks you’ll fall in love with on our Shop. In fact, you won't find any over $80.
What we also love about art is its ability to elevate a space and inject a major dose of personality into an otherwise underwhelming room. But when it comes to styling art, many people can feel somewhat confused as to how to best display it at home. As beautiful as a well-curated gallery wall is, is this the only option you have? It's a problem founder, director and curator of Australia's leading investment art gallery KAB Gallery, Kerry-Anne Blanket, hears regularly.
"Whether a first-time buyer or an experienced collector, the opportunity to create an amazing space through the use of art is nearly always the brief when they enter my gallery," Blanket tells Bed Threads Journal. "However, more often than not, the challenge most collectors face is not so much which artwork to buy but how to help make it shine within the home."
So with this in mind, Blanket has revealed the clever and unique ways you can display art in your home that go beyond your traditional gallery wall.
9 Unique and Clever Ways to Display Art in Your Home
1. Odd trumps even
Savvy decorators value a sense of coherence achieved by positioning their art within a considered configuration. For example, try hanging similarly sized artworks side-by-side and positioned at even heights with uniform distances between. The finished look will appear coordinated, planned, and give more structure to your space.
When hanging your artworks with this orderly approach, try to remember that odd numbers of artworks will strangely also feel harmonious in a space — groups of three always create a sleek, sophisticated feel. This is because it’s generally more attractive to the eye, and you can arrange an odd number of objects symmetrically for an ordered look.
2. Attract with asymmetry
You can also use the odd number rule to create a quirkier and more casual feel with an asymmetrical arrangement. Hanging art together in odd numbers is also a clever technique used to create harmony amongst mixed media items — think obscure mirrors vertically positioned between a pair of luxe oil paintings or interestingly placed alongside textural diverse media assemblages, basket hangings or other unique collectables.
3. The door divider
Another favourite way to approach hanging is to find two artworks that work especially well together and hang them symmetrically on either side of a doorway. These artworks need a sense of cohesion to achieve the best result. They could be linked by style (possibly created by the same artist), matching frames or even just share a similar colour palette or subject. I especially love this in a high traffic spot such as an entranceway or at the end of a frequented hallway.
4. Juxtapose contrasting architecture with art
Sometimes our modern, contemporary open-plan spaces and clean lines can make a home feel stark and more like a hotel than a home. Art is a great way to break up the space and add beautiful interest and homely warmth.
Struggling on where to start? Think about the areas of your home with the whitest space. A large wall linking the kitchen and living room may be calling for an oversized landscape or abstract. Alternatively, a unique series of still life could provide a more traditional mood to the contemporary layout.
5. Under your stairs
Another challenging white space is the high ceilings above staircases, particularly when a landing is between two flights. While you may need specialist help to hang artworks in this sometimes-awkward space, one or two big abstract pieces in this area will elevate your home environment to the next level. Abstracts work well here as they can be appreciated regardless of the height and distance, so you can select your art based on colour, light and composition instead of the subject.
6. Step it up
When it comes to stairs, you can also stagger your art up the wall to echo the configuration of the steps. By using three, five or seven pieces (remember, stick to odd numbers where possible) lined up in a way that mirrors the stairs; you can create an attractive pattern up the staircase.
7. Create cohesion with colour
The staircase is another space where you can use art to connect spaces, tying colours and moods together. For example, a client commissioned a gorgeous artwork filled with copper and earthen tones, neutral creams and turquoise greens to echo a magnificent copper feature front door that had developed the most beautiful natural patina. The art instantly brought the front door feature inside and through the home via the stairway.
The artwork was also custom framed in a contemporary timber frame stained to match the flooring. The result was impressive and is the perfect example of how art can not only enhance your blank walls but become the stylish link between architecture, furnishings and your taste.
8. Make a feature with sculpture
Sculpture is another artistic form that can easily be positioned around the staircase, too. A unique and welcoming feature to the base of a staircase could change the mood dramatically, or perhaps it could fill the empty “what to do with” void beneath the stairs. Surprisingly, sculptures can break up a room and, if positioned well with the right lighting, can become a significant feature that could establish the style basis for the rest of the home.
9. Shop your stash
Last, but definitely not least, before you begin to reshape your home with your new art purchases, take a good look at your current art collection to assess it. Consider which pieces you love and want to feature in high traffic spots such as entryways or living rooms, and which of the smaller pieces could position interestingly together in less frequented spaces like guest bedrooms or even the bathroom.
Secondly, consider which fresh pieces on the market could lift your collection and add to the overall panache you’re aiming to achieve. When dealing with original art, you'll also need to consider the conservation and sensitivity of some collector artworks, so reach out to an expert if you need advice. It’s important to know which pieces that may be sensitive to heat or light.