Home is where the art is by Chris Read… Week 1

Home is where the art is… Week 1

Interior design is essentially about relationships – in a nutshell, what elements work together. As part of that, I’ve always seen works of art as important elements in interiors.  I love them for themselves – personal, handmade, tactile and visual evidence of the artist’s creativity and skill –  but also for the life and perspective that they bring to a room, their colour, texture and form.  I’ve never understood the snobbishness of many in the art world who think that it devalues art to buy a piece that suits a particular room.  It’s a discussion I’ve had often with artist and gallery owner Gill Wilson.  We both think that art in interiors important – it enriches the space and the art, as well as the owner’s life. Gill finds that people are often unsure how to showcase a piece that they’ve bought. As an interior designer, I find that people need help in pulling together all of the relationships in a room, including the art they own.

Myself and Gill have decided to do a blog on how easy this can be. Starting with the basics, we’re going to take individual works of art that come through Gill’s gallery, Gallerytop  in Rowsley, Derbyshire, and show how they change & grow with a good wall colour behind them.  This can transform how you view the work, draw your eye in and just be really satisfying.


We’ve started with a real colourist work from Mary Sumner, called ‘Pigeon and Bee’.  An exquisite small piece, this has huge charm and is very easy to live with – nature calls us all.  But it is far more than that – the depth and strength of the colours and the clear simplifying lines of the birds give it a contemporary edge. There is a huge amount of personality in this piece.  The colours are a delight and we were spoilt for choice, finally deciding on Dulux Fragrant Cloud 2 – the name wasn’t one of the reasons for choosing this colour but it does suit the painting nicely.  This warm blue always strikes me as an upstairs colour – and would look great in a bedroom with lots of light.  The small jewel of an painting is held and enhanced by the blue.  This is quite a traditional look, and if you wanted it a bit edgier, look at the bee in the foreground and be brave with the orange!  However, you could also work with a soft neutral like the middle ground – I’m thinking Dulux Heritage Green Clay, a sophisticated neutral.  The effect you get from working with the more subtle areas of a painting can be really successful and more so from being subliminal.


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