Design Lesson

8 ways to add art to your home

8 ways to add art to your home

8 ways to add art to your home Author: Style At Home

Design Lesson

8 ways to add art to your home

Art doesn't have to cost a pretty penny. What's more important is enjoying and displaying it with confidence. We visited the home of art collector Lisa Diamond to see how it's done.

Who Lisa Diamond, co-owner of Art Interiors, Toronto

Art Interiors' specialty
Affordable original Canadian artwork

Goal To educate neophyte buyers about original art

Her style at home An eclectic, colourful mix of modern and traditional elements

art-interior-portrait.jpg 1 Go big in a small space
"A large piece can look great in a small space," says Lisa. This silkscreen originally hung in the kitchen of her childhood home. She swapped the original frame for a silver one to give the piece new life.

Why this works The bold, colourful image lends depth and energy.

Tip Choose a frame that works with that art, not with the space it's destined for.

Artwork Yellow and Pink Stripe by Jack Joel


art-interior-woman.jpg 2 Don't be afraid of figurative art
"Many of my clients think a figurative piece (with a human figure) should be reserved for a bedroom, but you don't have to put a still life with fruit in a room in which you eat fruit, so the same is true here," says Lisa, who hung this piece in her dining room.

Why this works It's dramatic and adds edge.

Tip Anchor art with a few well-chosen accessories.

Artwork Jean by Anna Yuschuk


art-interior-flowers.jpg 3 Hang at eye or setaing level to create intimacy
The secret to creating an intimate feel? "Hanging pieces at eye or sitting level," says Lisa. Further down the same wall is a framed piece that's part of its own vignette.

Why this works This trio packs a punch. Despite the mostly dark palette, the paintings don't feel heavy, thanks to a mix of positive and negative space (the space around an image). Plus, they're all unframed, which is less formal.

Tip Hang framed and unframed work on the same wall for a modern, eclectic feel.

Artwork (from far left) Still Life with Cherries by Nancy Kembry; Ochre Cloud by Richard Herman; Peony Blue 1 and Peony Blue 2 by Madeleine Lamont


art-interior-photo.jpg4 Strike a balance
Lisa topped her living room bookshelf with a restful photo and simple objects for balance.

Why this works
The photo has lots of white space around the image, and a white mat and frame, which is visually soothing.

Tip Matting in shades of white is easier to live with than colour.

Artwork Piled Receipts by Tek Yang

art-interior-bathroom.jpg 5 Put it where you'll see it
Most people hang art over the toilet, but Lisa says the most important wall is the one you see when you enter a room.

Why this works The black-and-white litho is spare and minimal.

Switch up art when you're bored with it. This piece used to be in the master bedroom; it has a new life here, says Lisa.

Artwork Choir by Vadim Brodsky


art-interior-girls-room.jpg 6 Add special touches
For kids' rooms, Lisa likes fun, vibrant and inspirational subjects. She adds pieces to honour occasions, such as the oil painting of a cake, which she bought for her daughter's first birthday.

Why this works
The art is fun, with whimsical motifs and pretty colours. "There's nothing babyish or childlike," says Lisa. "These pieces could work in any room."

Tip Offset a grouping over the bed wall to form a vignette with other furniture in the room.

Artwork (clockwise from top) Woman's Mule and Chinese Bags with Butterfly by Susan Fothergill; Birthday by Peter Harris; Gold on Blue, Gold on Green by Emily Bickell


art-interior-hallway.jpg 7 Focus on the details
"Small walls can mean vertical groupings, or miniature works that you can look at up close to see the fine detail," says Lisa.

Why this works These two small colourful abstracts energize what would otherwise be dead space. The encaustic and modern containers on the chest form a third piece of art and anchor the vignette.

Tip Consider the wall size and furniture weight when choosing art. It should feel balanced to your eye.

Artwork (from top) Swiss Cross 1/4 and Swiss Cross 2/4 by Lori Bellissimo; Nourish by Natalie Walberger


art-interior-living-room-vignett.jpg 8 Edit arrangements
Be selective about what you add to a vignette. "You don't want a contrived or cultured look," says Lisa.

Why this works The composition has balance, rich colour and texture. A few books and a bowl add height, the plant texture. Leaning artwork keeps the vignette casual. The canvas hanging above lifts the eye upward.

Tip "Mix different textures and elements to create an interesting look," says Lisa.

Artwork (clockwise from top) Two Hounds by Andy MacLean; Blondie by J.T. Winik; Persimmons by Drew Klassen



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Design Lesson

8 ways to add art to your home