Home is Where the Art Is
7 Ways to Make Your Home a Work of ArtBy Amy Elisa Keith
Looking around your house, one of the last things you may feel like considering after coordinating the paint, lighting fixtures and the to-die-for seating area is, “What art should I put on the walls?” After all, a well-chosen painting or mosaic can truly enrich a room, not to mention wow houseguests. But, these days art has broken out of the confines of a frame and leapt off of the walls.
Getting creative with your furniture, flooring, window treatments and overall balance of a room is certainly an artistic expression, says designer Nicole Nadeau, star of Bravo's “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist.” “Art is more than decorative function. It's more than just last-minute decoration,” she adds. “The presence of a great design piece can be an expression of the owner.”
But don't go crazy with splatter painted walls and mismatched vases trying to channel your favorite abstract artist. Choose pieces that have meaning to you and compliment each other in unique ways, being mindful to not go overboard.
Here are seven secrets to creating artistic and original spaces:
1. Look at the object, not the author
Keeping your space free from trendy designers can be very liberating and will help make your home look different from everyone else's. Nadeau notes that, while name brands are easy fallbacks, you should go out on a limb with some lesser known finds from stores that you happen to stumble upon.
2. Consider vintage
“I love design furniture from the '50s. Some of those pieces can really stand alone in a room,” says Nadeau. Look at the date of an object because it may tell you a lot about its value and provide a centerpiece around which to build a room.
3. House first, design second
“Design definitely depends on the type of house you're in, so use that as your starting point,” she says. “Look at the unique aspects of the house to guide you. Limits in design or art can be the secret for creativity.” If the house is tiny, work with that and focus on pieces of a petite nature rather than trying to camouflage the limited space.
4. Don't be afraid of empty space
“An empty space can be more meaningful than the object,” says Nadeau, who also designs for Ralph Lauren Home. “Treat the space well and realize that you don't have to fill it completely.” For example, a striking chair or large bed with a unique headboard may not require additional accessories or accents in a room.
5. Think different
When looking for furniture or rethinking a space, “challenge yourself and see a room from different angles,” says Nadeau. Figure out how an office can be a second bedroom or vice versa to fit your needs.
6. Less is more
“It's true in life and in design,” says Nadeau. “You don't want your house to be a showroom that is packed with every accent and furnishing.” Instead, recognize when you've gone overboard and don't be afraid to pull back or move pieces out of a room to “let it breathe.”
7. Add contrast to each room
Instead of sticking to one style throughout the house, embrace a more eclectic look in each room depending on the function. “Throw a modern chair into a vintage mix,” adds Nadeau, who notes that mixing styles like industrial spaces with soft accents is very chic. But beware: “Don't have too many strong design pieces because your eye won't be able to rest on one.”
Tune into Bravo's “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist” on Wednesdays at 10pm
Designer Nicole NadeauCourtesy of NBC Universal