Design a living room around monumental works of art




Each week, Mansion Global tackles a topic with an elite group of designers from around the world who work on luxury properties. This week, we’re taking a look at designing a salon around your prized works of art.

Several monumental masterpieces measuring six feet or more topped the list of spring art auctions last month in New York, including multi-million dollar works by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Claude Monet.

But how exactly should a collector present a prized piece as large in size as it is in provenance? When organizing a room with a bold or meaningful piece of work, the decor shouldn’t overshadow the art. We consulted several experts who share their expertise on designing a living room where art is the centerpiece.

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Make the right color and pattern

“Fill in, don’t match, the colors. It’s okay to take one color from a painting (say, greens from a traditional landscape) and build a palette from there. If you bring all the colors of the artwork in the furniture, however, the room may appear overdecorated and matched.

“Large, neutral artwork – say, four square feet or more – looks fantastic against a bold wall. If you hang predominantly white paint on dark red lacquer, for example, furniture in this red and other similar colors, like navy blue and dark green, looks amazing. Art will jump off the wall.

“If your space is contemporary with white walls and you favor large-scale paintings with muted palettes (or no color at all), I suggest one of two decorating strategies. The first is to keep the furniture quiet: soft neutral tones of whites, camels and grays. The second is to choose a bold color and repeat it throughout the room. For example, start with a gray sofa and off-white rug, then add lounge chairs upholstered in Yves Klein blue and place bright blue and cream cushions on the sofa.

“Limit the patterns, so furniture doesn’t compete with art, and remember opposites attract. If you have a gallery wall with busy paintings, the low-contrast patterned fabric looks great. art, whether colorful or neutral. If art is loose and abstract, a geometric pattern on fabrics looks great. The reverse also works: a crazy floral print looks fabulous next to a room. geometric design by Josef Albers. ”

Designer Annie Elliott wanted this stunning Karen Silve painting to be the star, so she limited the amount of designs in the room.

Angie Seckinger

—Annie Elliott, Director and CEO of Annie Elliott Designs in Washington, DC

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Bring it to life with light

“When designing a space around art, everything happens in conjunction with everything else to create the perfect aesthetic. If art is the starting point, then everything else, like lighting , layout, colors and patterns, is taken into account at nothing comes before the other, it is a simultaneous process.

“Light brings art to life and gives it dimension.Of course, you have to make some very intentional decisions regarding art lighting. Sometimes the room deserves a picture light above; other times it is a matter of pointing a pin light at art. The idea behind perfect lighting for a work of art is to ensure that the lighting is evenly moved throughout the work of art. You cannot achieve uniform lighting with a table lamp. Projectors and art lights are the best for showcasing artwork evenly. Either way, you never want him to fall into the shadows.

“When we have the architectural opportunity, we create niches to give art the impression that it has a permanent and important place in the house. We usually give enough space – around one to two inches – to properly install the artwork.The idea is to make it look like it was carved into the wall intentionally for that specific art.

This whimsical piece by Keith Haring (Untitled, 1984) shines in a well-lit space. A sheet of plexiglass covers the bottom to protect it from little fingers and pets.

Genevieve Garruppo

—Andrew Sheinman and Alexia Sheinman of Pembrooke & Ives in New York

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Let art set the mood

“Scale is essential to the design of a balanced part. Many sources recommend that a work of art occupies between 60% and 75% of the wall. That said, don’t let the scale of the art exceed the width of the furnishings below.

“Pairing the style of a room with a work of art may seem outdated, but the weaving of elements like color and texture that are found in the room through other decor pieces creates a harmonious atmosphere. .

“Allow the art to set the entire mood of the room. If possible, arrange it, so that it’s the first thing guests see when they enter your living room. Draw some cues from your artwork. art to enhance the mood you want to reflect in your living room This could include the room’s subjects, colors, and textures.

Layer. Layering various elements doesn’t take anything away from your artwork, but rather has the power to accentuate it. We don’t hesitate to add and accessorize a living room with multiple works of art. You we will often find one clever piece layered on top of another for added drama.

—Lucinda Loya, manager of Lucinda Loya Interiors in Houston, Texas

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