We all know how satisfying it is to tick off an outstanding item on your to-do list, those pesky tasks that you’ve been meaning to get round to, but haven’t yet managed. Like most budding art collectors, we’re often guilty of buying a beautiful piece, but then leaving the frame to gather dust whilst we indulge our curatorial deliberations: where to hang, how to hang, and what to hang it with.
With this in mind, we’ve hunted through the very best of interior Instagrams and blogs to show you neat hacks to reinvigorate your space with – don’t underestimate the impact that hanging a unique piece will have in your home. By pairing artworks with some of the coolest trends around, you’ll be amazed at the difference a small change can make. It might be a punchy sculpture jazzing up a previously overlooked space, or a classic linoprint neutralising a busy room – whatever it is, once it’s up, you’ll kick yourself for not having hung it sooner!
Indoor plants are enjoying a bit of a comeback currently, and buying an array of succulents or some foliage with an artwork in mind is a foolproof way to reinvigorate your space when on a budget. We absolutely love Carolyn Lorraine McDaniel’s feed, @animenosebleeds, which revels in beautiful images of artworks combined with a menagerie of plants and pots which bring the simple forms and colours of her art to life.
The thing about plants is that they’re bound to have some aspect to in them that complements your piece, be it print, paint, sculpture or photography. It might be a dark flowerpot contrasting with a white wooden frame, green leaves neutralising a bold pattern, or pastel petals bringing a touch of colour to an otherwise moody canvas; whatever your piece, keep an eye out for complementing shrubs, cacti or bouquets next time you’re at your local flower market - you never know what might inspire you to create the perfect pairing for your artwork.
Create a unique hang with ceramics
Vases, bowls, cups and saucers: not your usual bedfellows with paintings or prints. But with those summer dreams of rural French markets or bustling Italian mercatos, test out your new, sunny plates and bowls by getting them up on your wall. It might sound strange, but adding a touch of ceramics to your salon hang is an affordable nod to warmer days without breaking the bank, and proves a really pretty, vibrant contrast to your existing art works.
Two tone your walls
We’re obsessed with anything unique, easy and simple - so it was love at first sight when we saw this piece on two-tone walls on Design Sponge’s brilliant blog. Okay, so we’re not suggesting you paint over your artwork, but we definitely admire this gutsy, no-holds-barred attitude towards incorporating artwork into your space.
Painting your skirting, a section of a blank wall, or the lower half of a much-used room another colour a few shades lighter or darker than the rest of the room, is a beautifully simple way to update your space. Paired with artwork of similar colours or shades, this tip can really bring together a room which was previously a little clunky. Think slate grey, pastel pink or sea green, combined with bold landscapes, abstract oils and classic portraits. By adding colours and simple frames, you can completely revitalise your space with just a lick of paint.
And if you needed any further persuasion to get a little two-tone in your life, check out the awesome vertical stripes of @homestylemag’s interior, whose walls coordinate with her black, white and pink art walls perfectly. It’s bold, but we like it!
Just add shelves
Whilst we like to see art securely on the wall, sometimes we’d like the option to play around with styles, textures and combinations, moving work around depending on our mood. Relying on shelving rather than nails is an excellent way to keep things fresh and spontaneous - and if you’ve already got a decent shelving unit up, then you’re pretty much sorted.
The recent popularity of the simple and oh-so-chic floating shelves are a perfect way to display smaller framed or unframed prints, alongside smaller square canvases. It’s a quick and easy way to add an instant uplift to your space, à la norskeinteriorblogger - just make sure that the work is stable and won’t wobble, and you’re away! If you’re shelving is wide enough, accessorise with books, plants, children’s drawings, lamps, even taxidermy - there are lots of ways to accent and update your collection with a few, simple additions.
We’re also a big fan of the box shelf – an extremely simple DIY hack which adds a minimalist twist to your home, as seen below in French blogger, Island Of White.
And if you’re still stuck, go extreme…
Working with so many galleries and meeting collectors from all over the world, we appreciate that every collector is different, but sometimes, a piece of art can be a wonderful catalyst for a major design overhaul, no matter what size. If you’ve bought a sumptuously simple piece, let it inspire you to completely declutter your home and create a space where you can really switch off and relax.
Likewise, if you’ve purchased that fabulously loud piece you’ve had your eye on, perhaps your home is crying out for some much needed colour. Blast your space with pottery, textiles, plants, flowers and inject some of that vigour you saw in the piece into your home.
It’s perfectly acceptable to let your artworks be your guiding lights - remember, you fell in love with them and took them home, so they might just be ideal starting points for a whole host of interior projects!