Personal taste in artwork will always differ, but it’s where you position it that matters
Neale Whitaker has styling down to a fine art.
If there’s one thing guaranteed to raise the temperature in any conversation around home styling, it’s art.and didn’t cop it on The Block when I commented on some wall art in Hannah and Clint’s guest bedroom? I wasn’t even judging the art per se – just its position above the bed which, in my opinion, was much too high. Within seconds a stranger who had apparently visited my home – my actual home – when it was open for inspection last year shot back at me on Twitter, suggesting my personal (lack of) taste in art negated any opinion I might offer. Well sir, how very dare you. What’s wrong with a life-size portrait of oneself? After all, it’s not every day you get painted for the Archibald. Honestly, as Little Britain’s Lou might have said, “What a kerfuffle.”
So, let me put it all into context.art in the home should be 100 per cent personal, 100 per cent individual. Your taste and mine are unlikely to be the same but that’s what keeps it interesting. Great art inspires healthy debate. My view is that wall art (or any home art) should never, ever match the cushions, the sofa, the rug or the curtains. Impact comes from contrast. And unless you’re hanging art gallerystyle – more of which in a moment – art should be hung at eye level to allow for engagement.that’s where Hannah and Clint missed a beat. Some interior designers eschew unframed canvases but I think they can work beautifully – and texturally – with their framed counterparts. It’s all in the mix. And yes, size matters.as a rule of thumb, large artworks make more impact – even in small rooms – with smaller works reserved for salon or gallery-style hangs.and it’s open slather with the latter. Some people prefer multiple artworks, evenly spaced, of similar size and in uniform frames.that can work well but may look a little, er… uptight. Better in my opinion to create a mismatched miscellany of framed and unframed, sketches, paintings, photos and sculptures – big and small. What’s on my walls comes from a variety of sources. Local galleries, flea markets, trips overseas, gifts from friends. Some of it broke the bank and some was as cheap as chips, in dollar value if not sentiment. But every piece – even that portrait – tells a story, and that’s exactly the point. Neale Whitaker is editor-at-large of Vogue Living.
“Artworks evenly spaced of similar size and in uniform frames may look a little, er… uptight”
ARTFUL OFFERINGS (clockwise from left) An artwork at eye level is favoured in this country farmhouse bedroom; a living room in boho modern style uses a large artpiece as its focal point; a mixing and matching of styles adds interest to this living...