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Art and design have always been two very similar subjects, diverging mostly due to their different approach towards beauty and functionality. Whilst fine arts have mainly been detached from mere decoration, the design has always been driven by the necessity to respond to both an aesthetic purpose and an application of certain requirements that define an object as functional. Ever since the last century, interior design has initiated a dialogue with contemporary art, creating a symbiotic setting, in which both of these elements cohabit, bringing the more academic side of creativity closer to our everyday life, through its placement in our homes. 

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Before we have a chance to analize further the dialogue between these two creative outputs, it is important that we define what is commonly referred to as Interior design art. When using this terminology we shall always keep in mind that interior design is the attempt to implement the aesthetic potential of a space, whether it is public or a private, through the meticulous planning, coordination and management of those components that can enhance the beauty of their surroundings. 

 

 

What is art in interior design?

A piece of art can tell a story, it can “make a room”, it can add life to a space and combine with the other elements giving them a stronger aesthetic power, allowing the storytelling to spark from the artwork itself, or from its dialogue with the surrounding. Besides all the compositional matters, an important step to define the relation between interior design and art, is starting from the question: how do interior designers use art? The answer comes directly from the first and hardest step to take when planning to prepare a room, which is definitely the choice of the dominant colour palette to use in the aforementioned space. It instantly comes to mind that the starting point for this chromatic coordination can come from a piece of art; for instance, if we hang a painting we deeply love in a clean room, this could act as reference for all the other objects and colours that will be placed in this artistic interior. Thanks to this example, we can understand the importance of the union between art and design, and the importance of their coexistence in order to achieve a fulfilling creative experience. While fine arts give something more to design than mere aesthetic pleasure, design allows artistic productions to gain functionality and have a role in our everyday life. Finally, if we try to answer the question: what is art in design? We will be able to realise that a carefully designed object, can overtake its functional purpose, by acquiring certain aesthetic characteristics that define it as unique, detaching itself from the category of “merchandising” and at the same time getting closer to the “oneness” that is brought to us by a qualitative art piece. 

Wall art in interior design: why does it matter the most?

When we think of wall art, we often see it as the finishing touch in the setting of a room. This statement is often misleading and imprecise since, when chosen thoughtfully, the right wall art can be enough to provide for the entire room, whether it is an abstract design or a composition of figurative components. An accurately chosen piece, can stand alone creating harmony in a space, and the space itself can be adapted to enhance the expressive potential of the wall. As previously said, if we think of a space in terms of colour, a harmonious composition, can set the standard palette for all the other objects that will coexist in the surrounding. 

 

 

Wall art in interior design creates a focal point

One of the basics of interior design art, is that every room needs a focal point, an object or design that will immediately capture the viewers attention and prepare him for what to expect in the rest of the space; an immediate assumption would be that a great piece of art can easily fit this purpose, and act as a gateway towards the design-like compositions that will be present in the room. A consequence is the standard that is set regarding size: a wall art piece, can neither be too small, as it would loose it focal power, nor too big, as it would disturb the emptiness of the space creating an agoraphobic type of feeling. Another characteristic that must be kept in mind when choosing the right piece to hang on our walls, is the sense of texture that it can create. When combining different mediums, shapes and colours, the interior designer can satisfy the urge to add visual weight to the interiors and determine the type of feeling he, or she, wants to transmit. It is to consider that rough textures are more likely to make a space feel intimate and grounded, while smooth textures bring a sleeker more aloof tone to the room. Besides all these characteristics, wall art is a key point towards the finishing touch of a room, which would feel unfinished and edgy if it failed to include a decoration of this sort. 

 

 

Emily Henderson Art: an atypical approach to interior design art

As much as it is true that interior design art is based on fundamental rules that determine harmony and aesthetic equilibrium, it is also true that, sometimes, especially in contemporary times, people don’t feel represented by standardisation and feel the urge to put something of their own that defines them as different from the mass. A pristine example is the approach that Emily Henderson has to the subject of interior design and the combination with artistic pieces. Her way of placing objects in atypical positions and settings, opens a series of different paths that can better embody one’s aesthetic persona. As we can see in her article “Stylist Hack: 7 Unexpected Places I Like to Hang Art (To Make Your House Look Unique)”, her aim is to give every self-taught interior designer some tips to gain possession of their house’s spaces and make them look unique. 

“If I had to rattle off a few of my favourite styling “moves” they’d be this: The open book on the coffee table (sculptural, yet horizontal),  a footed bowl of pistachios (obviously), or maybe the casual throw breaking the line of the sofa base… but most of those are for photoshoots and don’t apply to life. But recently I was combing through the years of work (per my obsession with self-reflection), and I realized one thing I’ve always done that I do really think is worth pointing out – Stylists (including myself) put art in unexpected/weird places. It’s so easy, and it edges up a space instantly because there is something very irreverent about breaking the rules with your art placement.”

 

                  

 

Conclusion: self-teaching in contemporary interior design art

Whether it is through the usage of abstract interior design, art dèco, Chinese art or contemporary design art, the certainty is that a space, if calculated and carefully planned, can fit one’s desire towards harmony and a healthier environment, it can embody one’s soul and aesthetic beliefs. In the past, there was a scenario where rules and balances were of great importance, and only professional interior designer could put their hands in the volitive process of interior design art’s growth. In contemporary times, freedom allows these rules to be broken by those who challenge them to find their own tailored interior design experience, giving every owner the chance to put a bit of himself into, or as we might say “onto”, the walls he defines as “home”. 

Written by Mario Rodolfo Silva

Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.
 

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