We invited interior designer, April Russell, to give us the low down on the do’s and don’ts of using art in the home. April has a wealth of experience and prides herself on being committed to “delivering exceptionally designed interiors around existing or growing art collections.”
Well, she sounds like just the girl for us. Let’s get in to it…
1. What is your thought process when introducing art into the home?
This is a big question… it depends if the client already has a collection. If we are starting from scratch for example:
– Budget is key
– I ask myself, ‘what period does the client like?’,
‘Is the client knowledgeable on the subject?’ and ‘Does the client prefer watercolours, oils or photography etc?’
– I evaluate how large the architecture will allow the art to be
To start with, it is a fact finding exercise.
2. If our readers know they want to introduce art into their home, but have no idea where to begin, what would you suggest?
Good question, it is important to train the eye. The more the clients expose themselves to art and attend art talks, the more they will begin to realise what they like. Never purchase on impulse.
3. What are your top tips on how to arrange art.
I believe art needs space around it to breathe, unless of course there is a collection and the effect is better when hung as a group. Singular pieces should be hung at eye level.
4. How do you know what size art is right for your space?
A large space can take a large canvas or a collection. If in any doubt draw up a wall to scale and cut the paintings to scale, moving them around until you are happy with what you have arranged. It is always fun and helpful to have another set of eyes to bounce ideas off.
5. How can you relate the art to the furniture below it?
I believe this would only cause a problem when you have seating below a painting. The seating back height is usually around 80cm and I like to hang (depending on the ceiling height) around another 35cm above that level.
I think that any furniture below the art should also be centred on the painting.
6. Any rules for using multiple pieces of art in the same room?
I would say perhaps not to overcrowd.
7. What are your top tips for lighting art?
Lighting is so important. DO NOT expose your art to direct natural day light.
You want to vary your artificial light source to different levels for interest. If you are working with a new build I like to wash the walls in light for flexibility. Use LED light products.
8. What mistakes do you see over and over again?
Hanging at the wrong level, badly lit art and frames which don’t work with the art.
9. Are there different recommendations for choosing art according to the room?
I believe heavier pieces should be in the entertaining spaces and watercolours and prints in the private areas.
10. What are your favourite examples of how you have used art in your projects?
I enjoy hanging art in entrances to allow for drama and I love to place art in Guest WC’s which I feel are small jewel spaces for quirky pieces that might get lost in other areas.
So there you have it: how to hang art in your home from expert interior designer, April Russell.
All of the images included belong to April, so if you’d like to see more of her gorgeous projects, head over to aprilrussell.com