By Heather Gampe
The right artwork can either make or break the look of an entire room, so it’s important to get it right from the get go. However it’s hard to know where to start – especially if you’re not much of an aficionado when it comes to art. Heather Gampe, from Sydney-based home design duo Oak and Orange, gives her tips on how to make smart, stylish decisions.
Pick an artwork style that you love
Artwork is such a personal choice and one that needs some consideration before you dive in and make that purchase. The first step is to make sure you love it! If you are going to be looking at it day in and day out, you want to make sure you are happy with your choice. Go online at a large artwork site such as United Interiors and look at different styles. Are you drawn to bold, modern themes or dreamy Renaissannce prints? Do not rush the decision and make sure it suits the style of the room you are putting it in. A good approach is to search for artworks that fit the style of the room and narrow it down to ones that you absolutely love the look of.
Consider artwork colours when accessorising
This ties into the style, but if you have a room that is filled with colour you may want an artwork that is more monochromatic, so it does not compete with all the other colours. On the flipside you may have a neutral colour palette in the room and decide to introduce colour through your artwork. The temptation can be to match the artwork colours to soft furnishings and styling items, but the risk here is that it can then become too matching. Choosing similar colours but not exactly the same is the perfect combination.
Choose the right artwork size
Once you have found the perfect artwork get yourself a tape measure and mark it out on your walls. Even if you use painter’s tape to mark out the corners of where the artwork will fit it will give you a very quick indication of whether or not you have selected the right size. A common mistake we see is people choosing artwork that is too small.
Mark out groups of artwork prior
Groupings are a great option for larger walls that need to be filled, but the key here is still getting the right sense of scale and proportion in the space. A group of two or three equal size artworks still gives a sophisticated finish to the room so long as they are not too small. It is a good idea to premeasure and mark where the artworks will be hung on the wall just to make sure you will be happy with the end result.
Frames are important
There are so many framing options at the moment but if you want to invest in artwork that is going to last a long time you cant go past a white or black frame depending on your interior style. Timber frames work beautifully as well but it is important to not let the timber of the frame compete with other timbers in the room. Remember you want your eye to be drawn to the artwork itself not the frame. Canvas is another great option often more affordable than framing and lighter to hang it is a great option for those renting as they can be hung using removable hooks rather than drilling holes into the walls.
-Heather Gampe runs Oak and Orange with longterm friend Sarah Jobse. They’re both builders’ wives, serial renovators, mums and interior designers.