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april russell art tips collector's townhouse

My Top Tips for Using Art at Home

Posted in Art, Insights, Interior design

Art is my passion. I love to collect beautiful pieces originating from a variety of sources, and enjoy indulging in a wide range of artist, era, and style. As with many things in life, art is very personal to each individual, and every piece means something different depending on who is viewing it. Choosing the right piece, and displaying it in the right way, is extremely important in successfully transforming a space. With this in mind, allow me to share with you my top tips for using art in the home…

Never buy a piece that you can live without

Have you ever seen a piece of art that you liked, but didn’t instantly love? That is the art you should always walk away from. Everyone has their own tastes, and you should always trust your own instincts when it comes to yours! If a piece is hanging in your home, you will see it every day. Wouldn’t you rather look at something you love, than something you quite like? Follow your heart, and you’ll be left with an art collection that you simply can’t live without!

Consider the art

A common mistake when designing a room is to neglect to take artwork into account. You should always consider your art first, and design the room around it. This will allow you to bring the interiors into balance with the art – if your collection is important, remember not to overpower it with too much colour, it shouldn’t have to compete for attention!
april russell art tips collector's townhouse

Avoid too much pattern

On this note, try and keep your walls free of large patterns, as this will detract from the art. Unless of course the space is enormous, and you have old masters to hang!

Lighting is important

You should always consider your lighting at the beginning of a project. Keep pieces away from damaging UV rays, and consider artificial lighting – try and cover all areas with over-head directional light or a pendant light. Low level lighting in the way of lamps should also be considered.

Think carefully about the frame

Too many times I’ve come across a beautiful painting in a terrible frame. Framing is incredibly important, and can make or break even the most enchanting piece of art. I always like to frame according to era – modern work in modern frames, traditional work in traditional frames. A simple tip, but an effective one!
april russell art tips

Always hang at eye level

Never hang anything at an awkward height. If you have a wonderful painting and you have to stoop to see it, or stand on your tiptoes to appreciate it, viewing it will become a chore. If you are hanging in groups, start at eye level and move up. In this case, you can always take a step back to appreciate the entire grouping.

Plan, plan plan!

If you have a large collection, split it across different rooms and lean the art against the wall before making holes. This will allow you to check and double check that you are happy with your placement, and give you the chance to change your mind.

Employ the help of a friend

Have a helpful friend with you when it is time to hang. Have all your tools lined up: leveler, pencil, tape measure, nails, hammer. If the art piece is heavy you will mostly likely need to drill a raw plug and screw into position. In some cases you may need a pair for extra support. Remember when drilling to check that you aren’t drilling into a pipe on the other side of the wall!
april russell art tips

Don’t overheat your room

Much like natural lighting, overheating a room is certainly not ideal for your canvas, and can cause a lot of damage. Avoid keeping your collection in a hot space.

Try something fun!

Never be afraid to try something new and fun. One thing I like to do is take black and white family portraits, and adorn them with colourful frames, before grouping them together. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous with an unexpected pop of colour. Looking at it will always make you smile!

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April Russell Insights

I want to share with you some of the most inspiring finds from the world of interior design, art, architecture and lifestyle.