Living with art

“Art, in its many forms, brings life to living,” says WAG’s Wares columnist Cami Weinstein, and that is especially true in the home.

For many of us, designing and decorating our homes take time and patience. For others, who are collectors, travelers and homebodies, there is a strong urge to keep feathering the nest and a strong edit is often necessary. Most of us are somewhere in between. Adding art to your home is either a natural extension of collecting or brings a blank look of incomprehension when suggested. Many clients don’t understand the value of incorporating art into their lives.

But as an interior designer, I find art to be an important element in the home. Usually, clients have certain pieces of art that they would like to feature in their homes and we often design rooms around those pieces of art — especially if they are large since they can create a commanding presence. When designing rooms around large pieces of art, I often pull some of the colors that are in the artwork out and use them in the room. I definitely suggest clients buy artwork that they love and then we find that perfect spot for it. 

Artwork comes in many forms and it’s fun to include many different types of pieces in your home. A few types of artwork to consider are paintings, photography, sculpture, wall hangings and pottery. In my own home, I have collected art for many years, often moving it around and hanging it in different areas. This freshens up your room and gives a different perspective to your spaces. 

Artwork can be expensive and, if you are going to consider purchasing for investment, I would consult with a reputable art dealer or gallery. There are, however, many levels of reasonably priced art that can also be explored. Arts organizations offer the chance to purchase art from unknown or newer artists, whose works will give you many years of pleasure. When you are a budding collector of art, consider taking trips to various museums and art shows to acquaint yourself with different types and styles to figure out which pieces “speak” with you on an emotional level. 

Another way to put artwork in your home is to take some beautiful wallpaper panels and frame them. They can have an instant effect on your room without significant cost. However, some antique or vintage wallpaper can get quite expensive. Taking some of your photographs and having them enlarged and put on Plexiglas gives them an immediate edge. These pieces automatically make your room look more contemporary. 

Framing children’s artwork can elevate your family room’s style. Taking a series of your children’s paintings and grouping them together in the same style frame can create a wall of color. Children’s artwork is usually so free-spirited and unrestrained that it becomes sophisticated when used in a collection. 

Some collectors become very specific with they’re collecting, considering a time period or one or two artists whom they love. Many collections also become statements in themselves. For example, I collect Venetian glass paperweights from the island of Murano, Italy. When I group five to six together, they create a visual statement and a conversation inevitably ensues. 

Art, in its many forms, brings life to living. While many people are afraid to make a statement by purchasing art, they shouldn’t be. Add art to your life and, if some of the art is found on your travels, you will find yourself looking at that piece of art and remembering where you purchased it and the wonderful time you had on that trip. Sometimes a painting can trigger a memory and then it is added to a collection. 

Abstract art can also trigger emotions and memories. There are certain abstract artists whose sense of color and shape can really inform a room, make a statement and elevate your mood. Photography can also do the same and, for a lot of people, the ability to understand it makes it more approachable if the objects in the shots are easily identifiable. 

So make artwork a part of your life It can certainly make your surroundings a lot more interesting. 

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