This morning on KATV’s Design Time with Tobi Fairley segment I talked about incorporating fine art into your interior. It was all about “which came first, the art or the room” and I showed how really either option will work with a few simple tips. My first rule of thumb for buying art is that fine art doesn’t have to be expensive to be great! Rule number 2…buy what you love even if it doesn’t perfectly match your interior. In fact art isn’t necessarily supposed to “match” your home but there is nothing that says you can do a few things to make it coordinate with your decor.
For example, if you fell in love with this stunning black swan painting by Arkansas artist Sheila Cotton but your room was primarily neutral, a few additions to your decor might make this artwork sing!
Consider adding throw pillows or cover a small accent chair in fabrics that pick up on the key colors in the art for a subtle enhancement to your neutral palette.
On the other hand, if you love this painting so much that you want it to be the inspiration for a brand new design scheme in your home, that’s ok too.
Embrace the hot color trend of red and aqua for your room since it is so prevalent in the artwork. Walls painted a pale aqua shade, a tone lighter than the art, will create a cool and relaxing backdrop for your focal point Black Swans. Pulling in the Black from the painting as a neutral for your room is also a good idea. Here I am thinking a pair of black chairs with a great greek key accent pillow that brings in the aqua tone. A red pouf makes for a comfy place to rest your feet when relaxing in these chairs. And a handsome geometric table between topped off with a glass lamp completes this seating arrangement. Red silk drapery, a neutral sofa with a colorful cocktail ottoman in front, serpentine chests flanking the sofa and aqua gourd lamps round out the decor. Anchor the entire room on a geometric black and white rug. Now pop that fabulous painting over the sofa and this room will sizzle. Mix yourself a martini and enjoy it in this chic retreat that was completely inspired by your gorgeous new work of art.
We can do the same thing with a piece of art that is a bit more neutral and subtle but still get a striking result.
Take this serene piece by Memphis artist Andy Reed.
If you love this work and want to make it pop in your neutral space, adding fabrics that bring out the blue accents in the painting will add a fresh look to your room. Try blue silk sofa pillows and a handsome blue and gold stripe on an ottoman or accent chair. These are safe and classic ways to enhance your room and the artwork at the same time. And the great news, these small additions won’t require a significant financial investment.
Now if your affection for this painting makes you want to design a whole room around it, then by all means go for it!
In this instance, I would recommend pulling the mossy greens and chocolate browns from the work since these colors happen to be a popular color pairing these days, but are timeless colors and would give your design longevity. A chocolate velvet sofa from Barclay Butera Home accented with Madeline Weinrib pillows, 2 slipper chairs in this great pagoda print and the square milo table in birch both from Hickory Chair make for a quaint sitting area. Flank the sofa with 2 Barclay Butera Bombay side tables and a couple of cream gourd lamps and your room is well on its way to fame. Across the room, pair 2 lounge chair in neutral from Williams Sonoma home with a fun metal side table between. A beauty of a lamp from 1st dibs makes this area have some “wow” factor. A pair of Lee Industries x benches in a fun fabric offer a perfect place for resting your tootsies. Create gorgeous drapery panels with the pagoda print fabric and unite the whole room by grounding it on this fantastic zigzag rug in brown from West Elm. For a fun surprise that further enhances the blue shades in the artwork, paint your ceiling a soft shade of blue. It’s a little unexpected treat that you and your guests will love. Now isn’t this just the perfect backdrop for your great new Andy Reed original work of art???
So whether you want to simply mesh original artwork in your home, or design your entire decor around it, use these tips and you can’t go wrong.
To see more of the current Sheila Cotton and Andy Reed art exhibit, visit the Tobi Fairley Gallery in Little Rock now through Thanksgiving or view our Flickr gallery online.
And thanks again for watching Design Time with Tobi Fairley on Good Morning Arkansas. See you next month with more great design ideas!