For most people, myself included, choosing a piece of art for the walls of your home is often the cherry on top, the last touch, or, sometimes, the afterthought of designing dwelling spaces. The color of the walls, the area rug, and the coffee table are all things that are the first to be checked off the list. But when trying to find the perfect piece of art to complete the room, there are so many fixed variables that the art has to accommodate if it’s the last thing chosen.
I came across this Wall Street Journal article that takes a different approach to interior design. Instead of starting with trim, paint colors, couches, and accent tables, these homeowners started with their art. They had a piece, or a collection of pieces, of art that they had to have in their home, but wanted to be absolutely certain that it fit in with the design of the rest of the house. Every detail, such as the lighting, the layout, and even the ceiling height was all determined from the specifics of the artwork. Some of the art collections were so precious, they even installed individual security systems for each artwork, like in a museum.
While the art collections & their homes in this article are a bit “out there” and “out of budget,” I was intrigued by how these homes were designed in a somewhat backwards way. Instead of finishing with the art as a decorative final puzzle piece, the art became the cornerstone for the rest of the room or house, not merely decoration on the walls. As an artist, I personally love this approach! I love it particularly because there are subtle details in a piece of art that deserve to be highlighted. A painting might have the smallest flecks of pink, and could be tastefully accented by a warmer tone of wall paint, a rug with a pink thread running through it, or with pink piping on a couple of custom pillows. Had you not known that this piece of art was going to be a part of the room, you might not have made these design choices.
To me, attention to the smallest details shows a great level of care in designing a space. And while I am certainly not an interior designer of any degree, this approach probably adds a degree of difficulty to the project, because more often than not, a designer is not starting with a blank canvas. However, I can only dream of how honored I would be if a piece of my work (like one of these) was the source of inspiration for the entire room whose walls it lives on.