The Art of Design

A previous post looked at textures in a home. Here we look at how walls offer a different kind of versatility – the potential to display your fine taste in art works. When it comes to decorating with art, there are no rules; just guidelines to help you express yourself with style.

The first thing to think about is the overall feel you want to convey. Classic or contemporary, playful or subdued, calming or stimulating? You can also decide whether you want to carry the theme throughout your home or change it according to different living spaces.

different living spaces

Another feature to consider is the use of colour. There is nothing compelling you to match your artworks to colour schemes in your spaces, but it can be visually pleasing to allow elements of both art and design to play off each other. Sometimes it works to let the art flow with the palette of the room, while in other cases you can use bits of colour in a painting to emphasise the highlights in the décor.

textures, colour and feel


Above you can see how the first principle works. The textures, colour and feel of the art fit seamlessly with the rest of the room and allow for a sense of peace and order.

While below, there is a livelier feeling as the eye picks out the colours in the paintings which reflect those same shades in the furniture, rug, throws and cushions.

furniture, rug, throws and cushions

Art can also be used as a design element in and of itself. For instance, a bright painting can be used to break up a room that is otherwise deliberately monotone. The home gym below is a perfect example of this principle. The room is predominantly clean and simple with the occasional artwork to provide aesthetic interest.

home gym below is a perfect


Another way art can be used as a design element is to allow it to give expression to the room. A dominant piece, or series of works, can convey the décor intentions of the designer in terms of colour and mood. Correctly done, this often produces the most dramatic and pleasing effects of art as design as in these examples.

lements and more come into play

lements and more come into play

At times, all the above elements and more come into play. Such as when the art pieces provide a special feel to the room, reflect the colour scheme, add their own design features (such as with judicious use of frames) and dominate the décor choices. The smoking room below is a good example of this.

used to balance other features in a room

Art can also be used to balance other features in a room. Note how the bright paintings in the rooms below give balance in terms of shape and ‘weight’ but also produce a nice counterpoint to the panels and TVs in terms of their colour.

 TVs in terms of their colour

Finally, providing there is no major clash with the mood or style, don’t be afraid to hang paintings because of the sheer joy they convey, their value to you, or to showcase talented artists who deserve to be exhibited.

Call on the team at Wanda Michelle Interiors to assist you in the careful selection and placement of artwork to compliment the design and decor of your home. With more than 17 years of passion and drive dedicated to the beauty of aesthetics, their keen eye for detail has resulted in a solid reputation that represents savvy design, innovative thinking and tailormade brilliance.