With the promise of a brand new year afoot, you're might be starting to get those life makeover itches. The start of the year always feels like such a good time to start those things you've been putting off, or just haven't been able to find time for - like giving your home a (much needed) facelift. If you've been wanting to give your space a new feel - artwork can be the perfect way to do so. But it's not always easy - trying to visualise how something might look in your space can be daunting, but fear not - MARG Studio founder Emily MacAlpine has come up with her top five tips for buying and hanging art at home.
As The Castle’s Darryl Kerrigan once said "It’s not a house, it’s a home” and interior designer Emily MacAlpine, director of MARG Studio, is passionate that art is the icing on the cake that creates this. However, choosing art really is subjective, and not quite a decision that an interior designer can make for you. That's why MARG Studio came up with the unique idea to run an Art Buyers Course, making the process of buying and hanging art that much easier.
“Buying artwork can be an overwhelming experience for many and is often met with decision paralysis whether that be based on choosing the piece itself, how much to spend on the artwork and framing as well as how to hang it and tie it in into your home,” says Emily.
The Art Buyers Course is an online program designed to help people purchase timeless art that tells a story. Structured as a three-part module to guide people towards making purchases they will love for a lifetime, the course is designed to be self-paced, allowing students to take up to a year to complete. The next Art Buyers Course enrolment commences at the end of January 2021 - so if you're in need of a little more guidance to get you started, this might be just the thing you've been looking for!
Here are the five key things Emily considers when buying art for her home:
1. Choosing art
[Emily] When choosing art, you should pick something that has a little depth to it that reflects both your personality and your home. Artwork should have some element of sentimental value to you whether it reminds you of a person or a place for example, as well as being aesthetically pleasing. I’d always encourage people to invest in pieces that hold emotional significance, you are far less likely to tire of them.
The way in which you display your piece is almost as important as the piece you pick. While not all artworks need to be hung and some may look great displayed on a shelf or leaning up against a wall, the height at which your artwork is positioned does influence the amount of enjoyment you can extract. The centre line of your artwork should be hung at eye level (1.5m) from the ground to ensure maximum gratification.
People often ask me how much they should be spending on artwork and this is where I’d encourage them to be a bit clever. While I don’t recommend buying a whole lot of things that are cheaper but that you will get sick of, I do believe that there is an opportunity to balance cheap and cheerful pieces like posters and kid’s artworks with a bigger investment. It is important to spend time to understand what sort of art you like to make sure that you are making an investment in the right pieces.
4. Interior schemes
If you have a favourite artwork, this can be a great departure point to design your room around. Take cues from colour, shapes, or subject matter from the artwork to tie a room together. To use a personal example, two of my favourite artworks are from different cities I have lived in Australia (Sydney & Melbourne) and despite their differences in size and frames, the subject matter and similar use of colour mean I love having them in the same room. The complementary overlap of colours in the artworks has acted as an anchor for finding soft furnishings like cushions and throws to unify them. There is great scope for artworks like these to provide a starting point to inspire the rest of a room's design when it directly links to something personal to the artwork's owner.
Make sure that your framing matches the investment you’ve made to your artwork. If you are framing a piece of your kid’s artwork or a poster, you can find a great range of ready-made, cost-effective frames. If you have saved up for a more costly piece of art, I would recommend finding a professional framer who can do justice to your special piece.
So, say goodbye to the old and hello to the new and refresh your interior with some new art!
WORDS | Brittany Ross
IMAGERY | MARG Studio