Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Tips on Choosing Art for a Coastal Inspired or Hamptons Interior

San Clemente
Photo by Blackband Design - I chose this image of water because of the restful movement and colours. This art would also work well in a bedroom because of its almost hypnotic effect

Choosing artwork can be quite a challenge regardless of your home's style, have you ever taken a piece of art home to find it doesn't suit its surroundings, it's a very disappointing feeling as art is not just visual, it can be quite an expensive investment. If you have a neutral, Hamptons style home, when it comes to art, the world is your oyster as long as you remember a few important points.

Art is a personal choice, it is about what catches your eye, maybe a subject matter you are passionate about, or maybe it is about colour and texture and of course you have to like the style whether a traditional oil painting, abstract or photographic piece. Why art looks great in a gallery but not in your own home is usually because of the following:
  • Art is too large or too small for a wall/room
  • Art is not hung at the right height (too high or too low)
  • Art is not hung central on a wall 
  • Colours are not right for it's surroundings
  • The overall image doesn't compliment the surrounding decor
  • The artwork overwhelms or underwhelms a space
  • The wrong frame, a frame should compliment the painting/print and your surrounding decor
  • It just doesn't look right but you can't quite pin point it and that is usually because of the subject matter
Buying art should be about buying something you love, something that makes you happy every time you see it, whether it's the first thing you see when you wake or walk into a room or the last thing you see before you go to sleep. It may be a piece that makes an impact to visitors when you open your front door. Whatever and wherever you place it, you truly have to love it whether a photograph of a horse or a myriad of colours in an abstract piece. When you see artwork in a gallery the reason it looks great is because it will be against a background of white, there is nothing else in the room to fight with it, you see the piece in all it's glory, when you take the art home however, it has to fit in with your personal colour scheme, furniture, decorative pieces, the size of your wall, plus other art, and if you don't choose the right piece, it won't look right.

In a Hamptons style home usually colours are neutral and walls are often shades of white or subtle shades of grey or blue but predominantly your walls are likely a shade of white which makes it easier to select your art as it always shows to its best against a white background.

Think about the size of the space you want to hang your art, and also where you want to place it within the space. I like my art to be central on a wall, especially if it is a large piece, which means equal dimensions either side. As for height, it should be hung so that the focus is at eye level. I have written a previous post on selecting artwork for your home which should help you when choosing art, not just for a Hamptons style home.

With regards to a Hamptons style house black and white photography can look great, paintings associated with colours of the beach and seas are also popular choices. If the colours are subtle they will add to the relaxed feel you should be trying to achieve for this style of living. You could choose something more striking, however if you place it in an entrance to make an impact but try to look for softer tones for living and bedroom areas.

To illustrate some ideas I have chosen examples of what I consider would suit a Hamptons style home. These images will help you envisage what style of painting might work in your own environment. When you look at these images remember to take into account the size of the painting for the wall space and the colour palette of the overall room. Look also at the decorative pieces around the room and other colours and patterns that could work with or against your art. The art I have chosen lean towards what will work in Hamptons style space, a feel of the ocean and beaches without looking like the obvious.

San Clemente
Above: Image via Blackband Design - A group of abstract paintings complimenting the colour palette in the room and proportionate to the tall space. A single panel on it's own would not have made half the impact that this group do which overall gives the impression of a large piece of art
Spaces Designed, Interior Design Studio, LLC
Above: Image via Interior Design Studio - Vibrant blue's in an abstract painting that has strong texture. The furnishing does not detract and the white, Buddah does not impose on the painting. I do not recommend placing a decorative piece in a way that it blocks part of a painting. This piece would make great impact in a hall/entranceway
Living Room
Above: Image via Rachel Reider Interiors - Again an abstract piece in coastal colours  depicted in the similar colours around such as the sand colours of the cushions and the shades of blue in the buttoned seating and turquoise vase
Edgemont Residence
Above: Image via PURE Design Inc - A bold statement, a little dark in subject matter, however the light fixture seems to add a further dimension to this piece. This type of art I wouldn't use in a bedroom as I don't consider it restful, however it does make an impact in this dining area and would also work in a hall and entrance way
Torrey Pines
Above: Image via Brooke Wagner Design -  A medium size print for a medium size wall, often people tend to choose small artworks for smaller walls but I say, "go as big as you can". Or group together smaller pieces to create a gallery wall. The other artwork in the room behind is of a different subject matter but the simple black frame compliments the frame of the historical print.
ID Creations, Holiday House Hamptons 2014
Above: Image via Rikki Snyder - Subtle shades of sand and the slightest hint of grey give this painting a coastal feel. The painting works wonderfully with the coral and rattan. It is restful and would equally well in a bedroom of similar surroundings
Clairborne Model
Above: Image via Pizzazz Interiors - This painting has a touch of  'mystery' about it. It could be interpreted several ways but I see it as misty waters. It works wonderfully with the wood floors, the simple design of the console and the colours of the decorative pieces on the console. Note the decorative vases are to one side, barely impeding on the painting
Majorca grande Quail West C.C.  Naples Florida
Above: Image via Interiors Group - I consider this a fun piece, it leads the eye to the end of the pier which gives an impression of the room extending beyond. This painting would work well in a small area or a large area but hanging it low in the small room, it does make you feel like you could step onto the pier. Cleverly placed pieces at the bottom help it to feel at home in this space 
Bondi Junction - Alts + Adds
Above: Image by Ergo Architecture - Another water painting, paintings that depict water have movement but as long as the colours are subtle they are restful and of course they work wonderfully in Hamptons or coastal style interiors
Above: Creating a gallery wall of paintings or prints of shades of blue's look great in a Hamptons interior
Above and Below, I love Karla Rosenlund's beautiful photography, see how this piece looks just as great in this dining space as it does in the chilled back, bedroom below.
Above: Photographic prints available from Karla Rosenlund
 Above: Another gallery style wall but this time of photographic prints that relate to the sea, making a feature of a larger space. The subtle tones of the picture frames and the surrounding furniture and colours all work together

I hope this post has given you a few tips, if you want to know more about choosing artwork, you may want to read my post,  Art, Go Big, Go Bold, or selecting artwork for your home or check out my Pinterest board below.

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