June 27, 2013
Anderson Floors' Casitablanca collection has some of the qualities of a work of art. Made of Spanish hickory hardwood flooring, no two boards are alike in this exotic wood. Choosing Casitablanca is making a statement about the homeowners' personal taste and how it dovetails with the overall home design.
Selecting artwork for a home is a similar process. People shouldn't choose pieces just because they match the sofa. They should consider the impact art will have on their home style, the atmosphere it creates and, most importantly, whether they are comfortable with it.
Some designers believe the only rule that homeowners should follow when they are making a decision about outfitting their homes with artwork is to choose what they love.
"People get intimidated on the subject of art," according to Philadelphia interior designer Donna Hoffman. "Frankly, there are no hard fast rules when it comes to purchasing art, except this one: Buy what you love and, if possible, buy it when you see it."
Go beyond tradition
Hoffman suggests that home decorators first review the art pieces they already own. Moving them around to different places in the house can bring a fresh look to a room design. Once that first step is completed, homeowners can decide whether to purchase additional pieces.
Once out in the marketplace, people shouldn't be afraid to venture outside a traditional definition of what is considered artistic. Beyond prints or oil paintings, architectural pieces - including utilitarian items such as grillwork or pieces made from recycled materials - can make an artistic statement.
According to Inspired Spaces magazine, that statement can create a focal point for the room, express a sense of place or be unique enough to be a conversation starter when guests visit.
Presentation is a key feature in rejuvenating the art scene for any home. Homeowners are encouraged to diversify the ways in which they present their art. For instance, vintage handkerchiefs handed down through a family may be more effectively displayed in a shadow box than in a traditional frame.
Finally, an individual's special interests should be reflected in the art they choose to showcase in their homes. The personal value of an art piece may outweigh its economic value, and should be embraced for the meaning it brings to the homeowner.
"Must it be museum quality, collector quality or cost tens of thousands of dollars? Absolutely not," Hoffman said. "Beauty and aesthetic pleasure are so individual."