Friday, February 19, 2010

Art: Like Jewelry For Your Room

Artwork falls under that category we decorators and designers call accessories.  What is ironic about that is that many times the artwork is the inspiration for the design aesthetic.  A single small canvas painting or print or piece of sculpture can influence the color scheme and simplicity or complexity of what else is chosen for the space.

Consider a carved wood figurine found while vacationing in Indonesia, purchased and carefully transported to it's new owner's home because of the "feeling" the new owner got when he or she found the piece and couldn't walk away without it.  Translate that "feeling" into some specific emotional reactions such as happy, delighted, intrigued, relaxed.  We have now identified exactly the emotions we designers will want to incite for the room's owners (and hopefully, also for it's visitors) and have a "jumping off point" from which to start and can identify appropriate furniture and textiles.

Now imagine a very large, graphic, abstract and brightly colored painting, and how different the space around a piece like that should feel: exciting, fresh, avant-garde, untraditional, etc.

Most often, however, the artwork and accessories are like the finishing touches on a carefully selected outfit: the jewelry that adds the interest and conveys the overall feeling of either traditional or contemporary, funky or timeless and so on.  Whatever point in the design process your art enters the scheme and regardless of it's monetary value or origin, the most important factor is that you really, really love it. (One of my favorites - because of my love of design and decor - is this drawing of a chandelier, by Daniel Schneider and available through

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