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The importance of art in the home

Updated: Jan 13

Are you unsure of your decorating skills? Do you have bare walls or worse, art that seems drab? Below are some reasons why art in the home is important, including tips to consider when furnishing and what types of art will enrich your environment.


Art creates a mood

Our environment has a direct impact on our mood. When we a lot of our time at home, it is important to create an environment that makes us comfortable and brings us joy. Art can promote positive energy in the home; create a healthy space; and nurture feelings of comfort, safety and security. Art creates a space that is truly our own regardless of whether you are renting or not.


Decorating your space is not about being an expert in art. Don’t worry if you feel insecure about knowing how to decorate. Ask yourself what emotion you would like to provoke in each area. For example, many choose calming colours to promote relaxation for areas like the bedroom and brighter colours for the kitchen for liveliness.





Self-expression

Art expresses your personality. Self-expression is validating, promoting feelings of self-worth and security. Displaying your favourites to others shares your style without the need for words. American artist Edward Hopper said "If I could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint." These pieces create a focal point in the room, provoking conversations about personal tastes, passions, interests, politics and social points. It helps reflect who you are.


Of course, there are people who prefer a clean blank slate, the minimalist uncluttered look, but ask yourself what values are important to you and what aesthetic brings you joy. Some don't decorate for fear of commitment and others because of economic issues. But if possible, you should display artwork that makes you feel good.


Inspires

Art provokes creativity and imagination. We can display our dreams and fantasies on our walls and it turns into something that inspires us every day, helping us imagine the world of possibilities.


Since COVID-19, we are spending more time at home, so it is essential to make the space engaging. Find art that provokes your thoughts. What does it bring to mind each time you look at it?


Gives meaning

Art helps transform a space from a house to a home, from a functional room to one of comfort, safety and belonging. Having art on the wall creates a feeling of completion. It also brings meaning to the environment through character and warmth.


Find artwork that is meaningful to you. It could incorporate places you have visited or activities and hobbies. For example, if hiking is an interest, then landscape pictures are likely to induce feelings of joy.


Promotes mental wellness

Research has proven that by simply looking at art we can boost our mood. Whether it's creating or just viewing, art reduces the stress hormone cortisol and increases the happy hormones dopamine and serotonin in the brain. In other words, art makes us feel relaxed and happier.


Looking at art has also been proven to enhance brain function. Like learning a new skill, looking at a new piece of art increases activity in the brain. It has been linked to improved memory and critical thinking skills.


Art is for everyone

The visual impairment community benefits from art’s ability to inspire, express and boost mood through braille and textured work. These elements add another dimension to the environment, making it more tactile, and involves other senses.


Just like different colours affect the feel of a space, so do textures. Textures grab attention and add depth and variety. Smooth surfaces can feel sleek and modern while rough textures evoke feelings of rustic, cozy and settled.


Colour associations

Colours affect our moods through different associations. For example, blue is associated with the sea and the sky, evoking feelings of calm and serenity. Red is the opposite, a fiery colour associated with blood but also passion. It can promote feelings of love and heat but also anger and intensity. Each colour is different; for a detailed explanation and to find which colours suit your mood or the emotion you wish to nurture in each room, check out another one of our blogs: The impact of colour on mood.



Find what works for you

There are plenty of tips on the internet about how to decorate, but it still boils down to an individual choice about recognizing what brings you joy.


Ask yourself some questions:

  • What do I want to feel in this room?

  • Does the art remind me of something, a connection to memory or an interest?

  • While reading the artist's title and/or description of the piece, ask if it resonates with you.

  • Does it involve different textures or other senses (i.e. touch)?

Of course, the furniture and design of a house in combination with the artwork will create an overall aesthetic. Whatever you choose, be confident because it affirms you and it's your home. It should make you feel great.


Written by Wendy Cooper