Liv­ing

Per­sonal taste in art­work will al­ways dif­fer, but it’s where you po­si­tion it that mat­ters

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents -

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...

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