Stylish art is more than a standalone statement. According to Lucy Glade-Wright, co-founder of Melbourne homewares store Hunting for George, it can totally transform a space.
“A layered watercolour in pastels or muted earthy tones can make a space feel tranquil and inviting,” she says. “Similarly, hanging a bold or unique artwork in spaces injects life into the room and can serve as a conversation-starter.”
Buying artwork these days is easy thanks to the proliferation of online vendors. “There are so many great websites out there that offer a well-curated selection of original artworks, giclee prints, photography and frames from unknown artists you may not ever have stumbled upon otherwise,” says Glade-Wright. “That’s as well as prints from well-known artists.”
Hunting for George is one such site. Launched by Glade-Wright and her sister Jo Harris in 2010, Hunting for George stocks limited-edition original art prints from popular Australian artists as well as its own collection of art prints. Stylish items in the home can be many – from Danish-designed furniture to handmade tableware and the stark white bottles of Henkell’s Blanc de Blancs. But a great piece of art can elevate them all. Here Glade-Wright shares her tips for styling your home with artwork.
Planning goes a long way
Consider what you want to achieve. “Think about colours, themes and textures that appeal to you,” says Glade-Wright. “The more you look, the more you’ll understand what type of artwork you’re drawn to.”
Visualise your layout – especially if you’re creating a gallery wall. “You can choose to place your frames on the floor to work out a composition, or use masking tape and a tape measure to mark out the sizes on the wall,” says Glade-Wright. “Have someone hold the artwork in place so you can step back and get some perspective.”
Don’t limit artwork to the walls. “We love artwork resting on a side table or bedside leaning against the wall,” says Glade-Wright. “It allows more flexibility.”
Hanging artwork at the right height is key to anchoring a space, says Glade-Wright. “The general rule of thumb is to hang your artwork at eye level,” she says. “This is standard practice in most galleries and museums.”
If there is an obstacle in the way, like a bed, ensure the bottom edge of the frame is “about a forearm’s distance or less” from the top edge of the piece of furniture.
A large blank wall needs a big artwork. “If you hang a teeny tiny artwork on a big, bare wall, the work gets lost,” says Glade-Wright. “If you don’t have a large artwork but you want to cover a lot of wall space, you can create a print gallery wall and mix a range of different sized art pieces together.”
The right frame
Don’t make the frame an afterthought. “An artwork isn’t complete until it’s framed and hung,” says Glade-Wright. “A frame can make or break the overall look, so it’s important you select something that complements the artwork inside.” She says choose a dominant colour in the artwork to use as a guide to match your frame. “Black and white photos are generally accompanied by black or white frames,” she says. “Pastels and watercolours pair well with natural wooden frames. When in doubt, a neutral wooden frame rarely fails.”
Don’t break the bank
“Let’s be real – not all of us have the budget to create our own art gallery at home and that’s okay,” says Glade-Wright. “Affordable art is on the rise and there are plenty of ways to dress up your walls without breaking the bank.”
She suggests looking to emerging artists to avoid the hefty price tags attached to established artists. “It’s amazing what you can find by exploring artists just starting out,” she says, citing Instagram and Pinterest as great ways to scout.
Another way to minimise costs is to buy prints rather than original artworks. “You won’t get the textural delights you can expect from acrylic on canvas,” she says. “But they sure look good once framed and mounted.”
Trust your instincts
An artwork’s true value is subjective, says Glade-Wright. “The most important thing is you love it. Don’t be too concerned with trends, follow your gut and choose an artwork that makes you happy.”
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Henkell Blanc de Blancs. With a delicate palate and light scent of golden apples, pears and citrus fruit, it’s a stylish sparkling wine for special occasions. Follow @HenkellAU.