Art, color, and collaboration. Three words that are part of my design vocabulary. So, when my friend, gallerist Liz Lidgett, asked me to work with her to create vignettes with pieces from her new show, I was thrilled to join forces.
There are countless ways to display artwork. Personally, I adore not only the creative works by inspiring artists, but the way they combine with the other residents of a home: the furniture and accessories. Here, I am going to share how I balance and blend the artwork in the gallery with pieces from our shop. I know that you might have a piece at home that needs attention, or if you are an avid collector, consider rearranging or rethinking those works you already have. The best art to have at home is art that moves you, brings joy, and sets the tone for the personality of your own space. Seeing how a few furnishings enhance the artwork in a gallery will hopefully inspire you to think about the relationship art and your favorite pieces have together in your own home and will inspire you to take it to the next level. Here are some things to consider when placing your art and furniture together:
Choose One Piece to Anchor the Space
Here I chose a black lacquer bar cart to contrast the colorful artwork that hangs above it. The frame of the bar cart is simple and geometric and allows the art to speak for itself. When I see aqua, my mind goes to clear skies and blue sea waters. The abstract canvas washed with vibrant aqua by Kate Blomquist and a second abstract with turquoise, orange, and yellow by Allison James both have a strong voice and did not need an intricate furniture form beneath it. Toned down gold candlesticks add a touch of glimmer to the grouping. A black lacquered table nods to those places with a stack of vibrant coffee table books. Featuring dreamy destinations brings personality to the mix. I added a lime green ginger jar, natural baskets, and a vase with a bit of height that’s filled with faux oak leaves to balance the theme. Oh, and nothing says happy sunny days like ice cream. Here, a lifelike resin sculpture by Betsy Enzensberger does the trick.
Put Like Palettes Together
Did you ever think that a detailed painting of a beetle could be so captivating? When painted on a canvas and hung on the wall, the detail is quite exquisite. Kevin Brent Morris’ beetles crawl among backgrounds that hint toward the feminine. Not to distract from the framed beetles, abstracts by Logan Ledford and Kate Blomquist complete the wall arrangement. I thought that a mix of textures underneath would blend nicely with the varied paintings. A sleek wood table hovers over a stack of large, old books including one about artist Norman Rockwell himself. Then to add a little more texture and pattern, I added a basket weave vase, a mother-of-pearl tray, a shiny pomegranate object with a satiny gold finish, and a pair of black-and-white boxes.
Use a Confident and Balanced Palette
You might have realized that I love blue and white, a classic pairing in a design vocabulary. In this case, I mixed modern with classic forms. A blue-and-white-striped stool keeps the layout of artwork grounded in tradition. I love this stool’s clean lines and optic geometry. There’s a variety of artwork styles here: An abstract by Allison James colorful and orderly dots by Logan Ledford; another beetle by Kevin Brent Morris; and a bunny by Hunt Slonem. To balance the decorative moment, I warmed the floor with a Moroccan rug that represents just about every color shown in the artwork through its diamond pattern. Arranged gallery style, mixing subjects and artists, this vignette shows the impact of various artists displayed together.
Play with Scale
On a simple wall, the curves and sculptural quality of the Nate Nettelson piece balance the traditional metal console below. The loopy flat sculpture works well over a large piece that has soft lines but is overall rectangular. I put a big soft palm tree next to it and added a simple vase, inlaid box, and small still life as its companions. I would also love a pair of upholstered stools under the console table as well, both for softness and to bring some pattern to the mix.
Don’t worry about the rules. Art is not only about the artists, living with art is about YOUR creativity. Display art in a way that suits your style and your home.