How to choose and display artwork

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13 Nov 2012

The excitement of owning a new house or moving into a new office can quickly be diminished by the sight of bare, white walls all around.  

A symmetrical arrangement of artwork provides a harmony and balance that grounds a room, while an asymmetrical display creates an exciting visual effect.

Artwork can be used to complement the furniture in a room.
You may feel intimidated by the challenge of transforming bare walls into something beautiful and inviting, especially if you have no clue where to start.

While some people may love the idea of choosing a work of art, the majority feel at a loss; they either lack the confidence or feel they haven’t got enough experience to select the right painting.

There may also be the additional pressure of not liking art and finding it hard to appreciate a painting even after staring at it for what might feel like ages.

A work of art should be something that makes you stop, think, and, once you’ve walked away, remember it.

If it’s that special to you, it’s also worth displaying. But how? 

Artwork can be used to create a complemetary or contrasting relationship with the furniture in a room.

Ambius shares a few tips…

1. Decide where and which size

Decide which wall you’d like to be the focal point of the room and take the measurements. This will help to determine how big the painting or other work of art should be.

A beautiful presentation of the artwork depends on lighting, therefore, it is important that the wall that the painting hangs on be well lit or if natural light is not available, directional spotlights should be put in place to do

 the job. A hallway connecting a foyer to a main living or working area that is used by many peoplee, may be the most suitable place to dispaly the artwork.

Artwork can serve as the focal point of any room.

A hallway connecting a foyer to a main living or working area that is used by many people, may be the most suitable place to display the artwork. 

If the wall is high and narrow, the artwork should also have a vertical composition. The opposite applies to a long, low wall, in which case, the artwork should be wider than it is high. In other words, your artwork should be parallel to its backdrop for a visually harmonious effect.

If your painting is too small for the intended space, it will not make the desired visual impact.

The colour of the wall also matters. Decide whether the wall should be white to best showcase the artwork or painted a colour or textured to create the desired effect.

Paintings and artwork go a long way in helping to create mood and atmosphere.

2. What do you intend to achieve with the artwork?

It is important to decide on what mood, impression or feeling you wish to create.

Not everyone wants the same thing from a piece of art. Even a company like Ambius, known for their diversity in interior design, has recently added more ranges to its popular art-on-canvas offer.

One's taste in art is personal, says Nathalie Leblond, marketing communication manager at Ambius.

 She says they have expanded their range to appeal to a wide variety of tastes and preferences.

Complement the furniture

If the furniture and other items in the room are simple, choose a simple frame. Going over the top will detract from the impact.

The colour also leaves you with two options. The first is to go with the shade of the room; the second is to go with a contrasting or complementing colour.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

While a same colour frame may match the décor, a contrasting shade should be more eye-catching.

Be creative with the spacing

If one artwork is expressive and of a good size, it is better to keep the rest of the wall open.

Artwork does not have to be symmetrical. Think of interesting configurations that will draw the eye over the entire wall or backdrop.

An asymmetrical look can sometimes be more visually exciting.

If showcasing a grouping of wall panels, configure them close to each other to form a combined unit. If you are choosing a series of artworks, keep the theme in mind and hang them in that order.

If you want to hang new works next to already placed ones, the style, frame and colour of the existing work should be considered.

For uniformity, the frame of the new work should be in keeping with the others on the wall. Too many pieces on one wall will leave an overcrowded effect.

If one artwork is expressive and of a good size, it is better to keep the rest of the wall open.

If you should have more than one painting or artwork, the frames must ideally be of similar shape, style and colour to create visual synchronisation.

For more advice and examples of Ambius’s art on canvas, visit the website.

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