Friday, July 23, 2021

Create || The Love Affair Between Art And Decorating

Create - Collaborative post

Art, it’s everywhere. It’s all around us. Has been, is and always will be. Since the very dawn of human history, we’ve been finding ways to express our lived human experience through the visual arts. From the very first caveman drawings some 30 000 years ago (arguably the first form of home dècor), we’ve been trying to say something about who we think we are and how our personal spaces are created and lived in.

These days, however, that power of creativity extends far beyond a cave in a mountain (or sometimes not, as it happens) and we now have an endless selection of Objet d’art to inspire and amaze the most discerning of palettes and it’s no small business either. Brits spent more than £40 Billion in 1999 on interior decorating so it’s no wonder that you’ll find a local decorator no matter if you’re in London or Lincolnshire, who is more than ready to help you spend those Pounds.

But, even though a huge amount of money is spent on design elements like skylights, fireplaces, uplighting and such, you probably won’t believe how much money we Brits have spent on art collecting. How much though, might surprise you. Even according to the most conservative estimates, the Great British public spends somewhere between £ 400 Million and an eye-watering mammoth...£ 2.4 Billion, every year.

So, just what is it about art? Why are we not just as the British but as mankind in general so obsessed about collecting art, creating art, acquiring art, displaying art and - looking at art? We have dedicated thousands of years towards the creation and study of it and we assign hundreds of thousands of cubic metres worth of public space towards the arts in some shape or another and from the wealthiest of oil-rich Arabs and gas-rich Russians to the most humble of garden variety collectors, you’ll be well challenged to find a home just about anywhere that doesn’t have something hanging on the wall.


The widely held assumption that you need to be a billionaire to enjoy art collecting is simply not true - precisely because the beauty of art lies exclusively in the beholder and displaying your collections in your home and office spaces instantly tell the world something about you, you never have to subscribe to any standard but your own and that doesn’t matter if it cost £100 or £100 Million.

So where to begin? As always, the most direct and simple answer is the best one: you start with what you love. Don’t be tempted into thinking that you have to have a degree in art history to enjoy the sheer indulgent bliss that is art collecting. Whether you’re in the financial class that can give you access to unique, one of a kind oil paintings or whether yours is the weekend car boot sale, any work of art that “speaks” directly to you for whatever reason - is the right artwork for you.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to take some time exploring a few galleries to get your feet wet. Knowing the difference between Modern Art, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art and the Renaissance Masters, will help you articulate your feelings towards what you're witnessing with a little more finesse.

Image by the user at Pixabay


Along with the clever placement of accessories, soft furnishings and drapes, comes where to hang your latest acquisition. Just like a property, a well-placed artwork is all about location, location, location.

You never want to hang an oil painting in direct sunlight for example (the same could be said for most artworks mind you), but the artwork that has been created on metal like the abstract expressionist work of Chris de Rubeis or created through the “Gicleè” process (a method which an increasing amount of artists are utilising to indulge in printmaking, where the ink is “sprayed” onto the canvas), will have far more durability and could be placed virtually anywhere.

So you first want to acknowledge the space you have and where your future artwork is going to hang.

Take some time to understand the emotional impact that different types of artwork have on you. After all, you’re going to be seeing this piece for a long time. You’ll need to decide if this piece is going to accentuate your space or become the focal point of it.


Just like any of the other elements you have in your home or office that you’ve chosen because of their ability to extend your personality beyond the realm of verbal communication, so too must your artwork fulfil that same role.

Browsing galleries and exhibits should be your first start. Challenge yourself and visit galleries and artists in exhibitions that you normally would never have considered seeing.

Very few people will instantly look at abstract art and immediately connect with it - but abstract wall art can instantly change the energy, feel and “responsiveness” of the space you’re in at home as well as energise a working space. Whereas, softer romantic styles of art such as artwork by Italian artist Pino or the heavy expressionist oils of Slava Ilyayev make spaces more pensive and introspective.

Trying to fill your man's “man cave?” Artists like Scott Jacobs offer a classy but still masculine “scent”.
Don’t get too caught up in the “clever-speak” that often surrounds art collecting. You’ll find that artists themselves are seldom particularly egotistical people (the likes of Picasso and Dalí aside) because the point of creating art is the creation and the power of creation comes from the power that is, in turn, created - by its sharing. All opinions are valid.


To fully appreciate how artwork can change your rooms and spaces, you should consider that choosing the right artwork for the right space is as important as finding the piece that most speaks to you. To find balance and harmony within a space, art enjoys not just a visual function - but a practical function besides. So, if you’re choosing artwork for your kitchen, you’ll want something that is perhaps painted on wood, or created on metal and something that’s not overly expensive.

Your bedroom is your sanctuary, so you’re unlikely to want artwork that is too busy or abstract. Think more da Vinci with his soft and gentle Sfumato inspired techniques and less Jackson Pollock. The most fun to be had is finding and placing art for your living room. Here, virtually no rules apply to save for your own, because here you are free to indulge your inner self to grand purpose and on full display for all who enter your living space.

There’s something about the way we create our personal spaces that speaks to our very human condition and using art as a means to an end when it comes to finding balance, sensuality and harmony in that sanctum holds pride of place. Sometimes the only harmonious thing about your artwork could be that in and of itself it creates absolutely no harmony at all but it’s nevertheless a good idea to hang and place your art in different places in varying spaces before settling on its final hanging place.

Over time, feel free to change out your art between rooms and spaces and as seasons and differing intensities of light change. It doesn’t matter if you live in Buckingham Palace, or “Aspirational Palace”, be encouraged and inspired to test your creative limits. Art collecting has a way of turning from a casual hobby into a life-long passion.