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  • February 15, 2023
  • Osnat Tzadok

Home Decor: Art Makes A Room Feel Finished

A Blank Canvas

When an artist looks at a blank space upon which something beautiful and meaningful will be created there are questions: What kind of perspective will be used? What colors? Where will the focal point be? What story will be told? What feelings am I going to express in this artwork?

An Interior Decorator will ask you these questions, and more. What will each room say about you, your personality and interests in life? What kind of atmosphere do you want to create? Your home is a blank canvas to an Interior Decorator. You might be adding an artwork to an existing room that has colors and other significant elements already decided. Keep a few questions home decor specialists ask in mind when you search for a painting for your home, office or business.

Interior decoration is an art form. Professional Interior Decorators use color, light, form and perspective cohesively with the architecture, furniture, lighting fixtures, windows, doorways, textures and space available to create an emotional response. You can consider these elements, too, when looking for an artist whose painting says something you want to express in your home.

The dictionary definition of Art states that "Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” Apply this to a home or business and you can see how important art is to creating meaningful expressions of the people who live or work in a particular space. Your home or business says a lot about you. And you can create that environment just like an artist controls what is put onto a blank canvas.

Art Makes a Room Feel Finished

Art is a final touch that can focus attention in a room like no other element. It brings everything into balance. Placement, the same way an artist chooses where to put a focal point in an artwork is key to the effect created in the viewer's eye. In your home, does the place you have chosen for a painting create a focal point when the eye is led to it by the perspectives in the room? This simple consideration can make or break a room. An important consideration aside from color, is size. A painting too large or too small can overwhelm or disappoint. If the size and colors are not in harmony with the rest of the space the effect can be jarring.

A room with colors already chosen for a particular effect can be enhanced by a painting that brings the colors present in the room into balance. Often, a room may have neutral colors. In this case, the other elements in a room such as the color of a couch underneath a painting, the curtains in the room, or window blinds that have a soft pastel color might be complemented by a painting you have found with similar or complimentary colors. You can use the colors in a painting to determine the color scheme of a room such as throw pillows, color and textures of a rug, table and chairs or a sculpture. When working with the original artist for a commissioned piece you can have a painting you like redone in colors that will enhance the choices you have already made, and determine the size needed, too.

Color Affects Our Emotions

There is a whole area of scientific study about the effect of color on human emotions. Far too much to go into here in detail. The color spectrum has an identifiable effect on mood. Interior designers and marketers are well aware of how color evokes different meanings and emotions. Artists, too.

Consider Van Gogh's iconic 1889 painting "Starry Night". Dusty mauves and blue-black colors fill the night sky full of swirling shapes of light blues and soft yellows. The focal point is the spiral shapes in the sky and the distinct brightness of the hard yellow crescent moon. Below, the Bell Tower and the Village seem not to benefit from the enormous light in the sky. Dark blues and dots of yellow and black dominate. A major feature is the cypress tree covered in dark shades of black, slashes of dark yellow and very dark blues. Associated with death, the cypress tree extends upwards to the heavens. The deep dark reflective water under the sky looks foreboding, empty and silent. Dark blues can make us feel lonely and detached. Lighter blues have a calming effect suggesting hope, serenity and the infinite. Dark hard yellows are associated with strain and frustration. Together, they make a certain statement in this masterpiece because of what this combination of colors and shapes does to our emotions. Van Gogh is telling us a very personal story and choosing colors and shapes that evoke feelings he is trying to portray.

The reason we feel these emotions associated with color are based on cultural origins and human perceptions over the millennia.

If you think of circus colors, bright yellows and greens and reds come to mind. Bright reds next to yellows next to blues between white and green create excitement, fun and laughter. Context matters, social and cultural references all affect our perception of color and what they mean to us. In your choice of artworks color is inseparable from human emotions. A light and breezy beach scene of a tropical hotel set next to palm trees beside a windy beach full of tourists with sailboats out on the water depends completely on the choice of colors by the artist to invoke a feeling of rest, freedom and joy. Choose your color schemes wisely!

Where to Hang Your Painting is a Serious Question

Where you place a painting affects how you feel about it in substantial ways. Is it a showpiece for the living room or dining room? Does it work best in your home office, library or business? What is the effect it will achieve for you?

For a child's bedroom you may want non-stimulating colors in art so there is a relaxing feeling before bedtime. Shades of blue, green, yellow or orange are soothing colors. For a playroom warm tones of red, blues, aqua or lavender are calming unless you want to wire kids up! Don't overdo red or other bold colors that overstimulate children and cause stress.

The office might be a good place for a painting that stimulates creativity. The bedroom for another that lulls you to sleep.

Hang it Right

For best effect in a living room hang your painting between 57 and 60 inches from the floor. High ceilings can have artworks hung a little higher. Eye level is usually a good placement. Hang artworks centered over furniture for the best balance. Paintings look best centered over couches and tables in living and dining rooms. One hand width above a sofa is a good rule.

Art Creates Atmosphere and Conversation

When you choose a modern original painting for your home you are creating a welcoming atmosphere that gives warm feelings to everybody who sees what you have done to express yourself and what is important to you. As a personal reminder at the end of a long day, it can be uplifting and relaxing.

There are so many choices from the abstract to the realistic and from originals to prints. Don't forget the positive effect of good framing. A beautiful frame and matting can set off a great painting or print making the artwork even more impressive. Art will always be a good conversation starter in your home or business and leave a lasting impression.

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