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Art As A Focal Point: It’s All About Finding A Balance

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 · 2 Comments

A single piece of art, given it’s scale, color, tone and placement can make a dramatic statement in a space, such is in the examples below from Apartment Therapy House Tours. In these spaces, the art, which is large in scale, colorful, bold and centrally-placed is the focal point, the place where your eye naturally gravitates.

Notice, however, that in none of these rooms does the art overwhelm or clash with the space and furnishings. When making a statement with art, you still want to make sure that the art fits in the context of its setting. It should never feel like it’s “screaming” at you.

Source: Apartment Therapy: Johnny & Stacie (1 & 3)  Erin & Chris (2)  Christen (4 & 6)  Chris & Heather (5)

Here are some tips to creating a focal point with art without overdoing it:

1) Even if the art is large, it should appropriately fit the size of the space and not overwhelm it. It should not feel like it was squeezed into the space.

2) Place the art in a central location where it will get the most eyeballing. Avoid hallways or lesser-used spaces if you want the art to have a big impact.

3) The colors of the art should jibe with but not perfectly match the rest of the room. You can pull colors from the piece of art into the room (accessories are great for this), or opt for a more relaxed look and use complementary colors (e.g. photo #1: the red table and gray chairs work actually help to highlight the yellow painting).

4) The style and tone of the art should relate to the style and tone of the room. (e.g. photo #4: the black and white painting is very graphic and playful but because of other fun details like the colorful art object on the table and the graphic blanket, the tone feels cohesive).

5) The art should be bold and visually stimulating, but you need other visual elements to balance it with; otherwise the space may feel lopsided (e.g. photo #5: the colorful, graphic shower curtain counters the bright art).

Tags: Living w/ Art

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ren // Mar 10, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Great post- I love the advice. I also love that print in the bathroom.

  • 2 Kate // Mar 10, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks, Ren! : )

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