Displays of art and favourite photos can help make a house feel more like a home
Choosing which part of the house to put your art work is important too, and a stunning painting hung in the entrance lifts the spirits of everyone as they walk in the door
In case it’s escaped your attention, Hong Kong is having an art moment.
An art month, to be precise, with the 44th Hong Kong Arts Festival, Art Basel, the M+Sigg Collection and Art Central all taking place in March. Which turns one’s attention, as it would, to artwork in the home.
Displays of art and favourite photos can help make a house feel more like a home. When living space is tight though, and walls are few you’ll want to be judicious about how it’s hanging.
Designer Clifton Leung, of Clifton Leung Design Workshop, offers some tips.
If contemporary artwork is your thing, it’s best suited to a minimalist décor. “Let your art piece take centre stage, and be the conversation starter,” he says.
Choosing which part of the house to put your art work is important too, Leung adds. Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans, one of the most popular pop art pieces, can add a fun element to a kitchen as a “feast for the eyes”. For a more cohesive design, pick a colour from the art piece and add it to a piece of furniture.
“If you have a complex art piece, we recommend keeping the layout open and furniture simple,” Leung said. “The sophisticated lines and movements of the artwork can come through and not become too overbearing.”
A stunning painting hung in the entrance lifts the spirits of everyone as they walk in the door. A statement lamp makes a perfect companion. If a classic or traditional art piece is the anchor, make sure the décor goes with them, “even their frames”, Leung says. So with Chinese artwork, for example, oriental accents such as floral and bamboo displays, vases or an intricately designed tea set will complement the theme.
A photograph in sepia works well in an industrial-inspired black and grey monotone, again accented by a statement lamp. Or consider finishing a whole section of a room as “wallpaper art” – hand-painted wallpaper behind a bedhead, for instance.
To care for your artwork, says Lee Wah Art & Frames in Central, avoid putting it in the path of direct sunlight, and keep humidity in check. Dampness can cause pictures to ripple and stick to the glass, which is difficult to remove. It will also encourage fungal growth, leaving brown stains or mould. The solution is to keep the room well-ventilated, and use a dehumidifier in summer.
Don’t hang them too close to fans or air conditioners, as extreme or rapid changes in temperature can cause paper and wood to dry out, and adhesives to fail. This will also create moisture within the glass that could damage the painting.
Always hang securely, making sure the screws or hooks can support the painting’s weight. Dust frames with a soft brush, rather than risk applying water or cleaning fluids.
Smart technology can be integrated into interior decoration. For example, when the ‘mirror TV’ from German tech company ad notam is switched off, it looks just like a mirror on the wall. Ultralift Australia’s technology can also hide a TV screen behind a canvas artwork.
But, watch this space. A wave of kickstarter campaigns promises access, for a small sum, to digital versions of museum-held masterpieces. Masters for the masses, if you will. Now that’s a smart home idea worth hanging your hat on.