Choosing the Right Artwork for a Room

Do I choose artwork around my room or design the room around the artwork?

We get asked this a lot. As with most things in life there is more than one answer.

I have a very eclectic collection of paintings, prints, ceramics, sculptures and assorted doodads that I have collected over the years. So I design the color scheme, fabrics and patterns around my artwork. I like to surround myself with art, but for some people choosing art is daunting. So for those people who are moving into a newer or larger home and are in need of artwork to personalize their spaces, how do they do it? Interior Designer Lauren Grumbles of Slovack-Bass has one of the best "eyes" for choosing the right artwork for the spaces she designs. So I asked Lauren, "How do you choose artwork for your client's rooms?" "That is the best part of my job," says Lauren. "We start with the room first. Unless the client has a collection, we typically don't build around artwork. The style, color and design are established and then the art is chosen."

"Art is so personal. That is why we start by asking the client questions like, 'Do you enjoy landscapes? Still life? Portraits? Realism? Impressionism? Or abstract?' Once we get a sense of the client's taste, we scout out our local galleries to find a selection for the client to view. When we have assembled a collection, I bring the client into the gallery to shop. The client will make their selections and then we take the artwork out on approval to the the clients home. The rooms in which we place them can change the whole feel of the art work. Unfortunately, you can love a picture, but when it is placed in its space it may not work due to lighting or scale. That is why it's important to view the artwork in the room where it will live." Lauren also emphasized that "the collection of art needs to feel like it has evolved over time. It is important to have varied collection. Different mediums, scale and character makes a collection feel more personal."

Lauren's favorite Houston galleries are:

Sincerely, Janie's Signature

Janie Ellis, RID, ASID-IP, CF, Master Artisan janie@anythingbutplain.com