11 ways to make art work for your space

Scream London gallery director Ruth Wilkinson has top tips for buying art on a budget

Amira Hashish
Thursday 07 April 2016 13:11 BST
Andy Wilx: Bear in Boar
Andy Wilx: Bear in Boar

Never underestimate the power of art when transforming a space. A great print can introduce a theme to a room, creating a new look and ambience. Scream London gallery director Ruth Wilkinson is a firm believer in making affordable art part of an interiors makeover. Here are her top tips for buying on a budget…

1. Space awareness

When you are buying art for your home remember to think about how you use your rooms, think about where you spend time entertaining or with friends and choose art that will reflect your personality in these spaces. Hang pieces you love to wake up to in the bedroom and your statement pieces somewhere everyone can admire them. It won’t make sense to hang your favourite artwork in a room you rarely use at home.

Cassandra Yap: Blown Away

2. Stay limited

Limited edition prints are the perfect way to add new artwork to your home in an affordable way, buying prints in a series from the same artist is an immediate way to start a collection which you can then grow and add to over time. Look for low edition sizes so that the print is not part of a huge run. That way your print is more likely to increase in value once the full edition has sold out.

3. Mix it up

Cluster or salon style hanging is great way to fill a large wall with lots of small pieces. It is a really good way to make a statement wall with a busy collection of interesting prints hanging at different heights within a layout. Remember to keep your space between prints consistent and have fun with hanging different sized pieces of alternative styles of art side by side. You will see how a really graphic print can sit well beside a more delicate drawing to bring real interest and diversity to your wall.

Joe Webb: The Neptune's daughter

4. Make a statement

If you have a large blank wall, a big bold statement piece can be the ideal way to fill it. One piece on a wall gives an uncluttered feel to the room and brings focus to the artwork with no distractions. A dramatic colour can command the room and let your furniture and accessories stay neutral. Finding a bold print that you love and adding a strong frame will give your artwork huge impact.

5. Size matters

Before buying a piece of art be conscious of where it is going to hang in your home. A small and subtle piece may be lost on a large wall and equally a bold large artwork will feel constricted on a wall that does not allow it space to breath. Prints come in all shapes and sizes so finding the perfect piece for any room should be fun and easy while still being affordable.

Joe Cruz: Woman on Horse

6. Get the balancing act right

Symmetry can bring calmness and order to a room. For example, hanging the same sized print by the same artist from a series or collection either side of a fireplace can make a nice balance to the room.

7. Go monochrome

Choosing a theme can help. Going with a monochrome theme allows you to play with different styles of artwork in different sizes with a clear thread that ties them together. Choosing a black and white theme also allows your furniture and room accessories to bring the colour while your walls remain classic.

Joe Webb: The Cloud Eater

8. Start young

In a neutral room a theme of bold, graphic, primary coloured prints can add vibrancy and a collection of pastel themed prints will bring elegance. Introducing typography prints to add fun and learning to a children’s room will also mean you can start their own art collection from an early age.

9. Pick a subject

Paying attention to the subject matter of your artwork is also a way to tie pieces together into a considered layout. For example, animal prints sit happily alongside maps and more organic or botanical imagery.

Cassandra Yap: Meow Vamp

10. Lean on

A clever way to introduce artwork into your home without the commitment of hammering nails into your walls is to lean a selection of different sized prints on top of a chest of drawers or shelf. This way you can try out different prints and see what feels most comfortable in the room.

11. Material matters

Tie your artwork into the room by highlighting a particular material with your frames. For example, when you are hanging prints in your kitchen or bathroom it is a great idea to use a metal that can be seen in the room. We are seeing a big trend right now of copper frames for prints.

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