How to Choose and Place Art Furnishings

Art furnishings are far more than mere decorative elements; they are the soul of a room. Every piece carries a story, an emotion, a sense of purpose. In the realm of interior design, these pieces don't just beautify the space but infuse it with personality, direction, and intent. They play a central role in determining ambiance and mood, guiding one's emotions as they navigate through different spaces. Moreover, they reflect the homeowner's personal taste, making the area not just any room but their room.

Understanding Different Types of Art Furnishings

a. Wall Art: Paintings, Prints, and More

The beauty of wall art lies in its versatility. From the intricate strokes of an oil painting capturing the raw emotion of its subject to the digital prints portraying modern day abstracts, each offers a distinct mood. Tapestries can narrate historical tales or folklore, while three-dimensional reliefs add depth and dynamism to plain walls. The selection is vast, making it vital to understand each type's potential in enhancing a room's character.

b. Sculptures: From Tabletop to Life-size

A sculpture can bring a space to life. Small tabletop pieces might offer delicate sophistication, while life-size sculptures demand attention, becoming instant conversation starters. Materials too, whether bronze, marble, or clay, can dramatically change a sculpture’s impact and the atmosphere it curates.

c. Artistic Furniture: Combining Functionality with Aesthetics

Artistic furniture stands at the intersection of utility and art. Imagine a table not just as a surface but as a masterpiece, crafted with designs that tell tales of its origin, its maker, and its intent. Such furniture pieces are not just to be used but to be appreciated, marveled at, and discussed.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Art Furnishings

a. Room Theme and Style

Harmony is the key. A contemporary steel sculpture might look out of place in a room with vintage wooden furniture. Similarly, an antique clock might not resonate with the minimalist vibes of a modern living room. It's essential to understand the room's theme and ensure that every art piece harmonizes with its spirit.

b. Color Coordination and Balance

Colors evoke emotions. The fiery reds instill passion, the calm blues tranquility, and the serene whites purity. When selecting art furnishings, it's crucial to ensure that the colors either complement or provide an appealing contrast to the room's overall color palette.

c. Personal Preferences and Emotional Connection

Art, in any form, should resonate on a personal level. Whether it's a painting that reminds you of a childhood memory, a sculpture that symbolizes your life journey, or a piece of furniture reminiscent of your ancestral home, personal connections to art furnishings deepen the bond and enhance the joy of ownership.

The Importance of Scale and Proportion

In the world of interior design, scale and proportion are two of the most vital elements that ensure a space feels harmonious, inviting, and aesthetically pleasing. They act as the unsung heroes, working silently in the background, but their impact is undeniable and can make or break the ambiance of a room.

To truly appreciate their importance, let's delve deeper into these concepts.

Scale refers to the size of an object in relation to the space it occupies. When we talk about a piece being to scale, we are implying that it fits comfortably in the space, neither too large that it overwhelms nor too small that it gets overshadowed. It's about ensuring that every element, from furniture to art pieces, feels 'right' in its surroundings. The grand chandelier in a tiny room scenario is a classic example of poor scaling. On the other hand, a sprawling lounge in a spacious living room would be an example of perfect scaling.

Proportion, on the other hand, is about the relative size and scale of the various elements in a room. It ensures a balanced relationship between pieces. Proportion considers not just the size but the visual weight and distribution of objects in a space. If you've ever felt that a room just 'feels' right, it's probably because the elements are proportioned correctly.

Missteps in proportion can lead to a room feeling chaotic or disjointed. For instance, imagine a room where one wall is adorned with a massive artwork, while the opposite wall features tiny framed photos scattered sporadically. The imbalance in proportion can make the room feel lopsided or jarring.

Getting scale and proportion right can be likened to composing a symphony. Each individual piece, whether it's a sofa, a table, or an artwork, is like a musical note. Alone, each note has its beauty, but when played together, they need to be in harmony. The room should be a symphony of these notes, each complementing the other, creating a cohesive and pleasing whole.

A practical way to maintain scale and proportion is to think of your space in layers. Begin with larger, foundational furniture pieces, ensuring they're to scale with the room. Next, introduce mid-sized items like smaller furniture pieces or large artworks. Finally, add the smaller accessories and décor items. At each layer, be mindful of proportion, ensuring that the elements balance each other out.

Tips on Positioning Wall Art

a. Ideal Height for Hanging

Art is meant to be appreciated effortlessly. A general rule of thumb is to hang artwork so its midpoint is 57-60 inches from the floor, aligning with the average human eye level.

b. Creating Focal Points

A room should have a visual anchor. It could be a grand painting, a collection of framed photographs, or a dynamic wall installation. This focal point draws attention and subtly guides the viewer's eyes, establishing a sense of hierarchy.

c. Grouping and Arrangement Strategies

Grouping artworks can be a delicate task. Whether they're symmetrically aligned for a formal look or asymmetrically placed for a more casual appeal, the arrangement should look purposeful and cohesive.

Showcasing Sculptures and Free-standing Art Pieces

a. Lighting and Shadow Play

Lighting is an unsung protagonist in the world of art display. When executed masterfully, it breathes life into sculptures, turning them from static pieces into dynamic narratives. Just as a director uses spotlight to focus on a lead actor, thoughtfully chosen and positioned lighting magnifies the intricacies and details of a sculpture. It not only highlights the evident contours but also creates intriguing interplays of light and shadow, adding layers of depth, texture, and emotion. 

These shadows, subtly cast, can transform a sculpture, making it more evocative and dramatic, while telling a tale that goes beyond the visible. In essence, with the right play of light and shadow, a sculpture transcends its physicality, becoming an immersive experience for the observer.

b. Safety and Stability Concerns

The majestic presence of sculptures, especially those that are tall or heavy, demands more than just aesthetic consideration; paramount to their display is the element of safety and stability. A sculpture's grandeur can quickly turn hazardous if not anchored securely, posing risks to both the art piece and those around it. Especially in areas frequented by people, the strategic placement becomes essential. 

Beyond just the pedestal or platform, the broader environment must be assessed to prevent toppling or accidental bumps. Employing robust mounting techniques, using non-slip bases, and occasionally even tethering for taller pieces are indispensable precautions. In essence, while the beauty of a sculpture is its foremost allure, its safe and stable positioning ensures that its magnificence can be admired without apprehension.

Incorporating Artistic Furniture into Your Space

Furniture is not merely utilitarian; it has the potential to be a work of art, embodying both form and function, and significantly influencing the aesthetic of a space.

a. Choosing the Right Piece for the Right Spot

Every nook and cranny of a room is a canvas waiting to be adorned. The magic lies in recognizing the potential of these spaces and matching them with the perfect artistic furniture piece. Visualize a handcrafted chair, not just as seating, but as a statement, finding its home by a sunlit window, creating a cozy reading nook. Or imagine a bespoke, sculpted table that doesn't just hold your coffee mugs, but also conversations, becoming the heart of your living room. It's about seeing beyond the obvious and imagining how an artistically designed piece of furniture can transform a spot, making it both functional and captivating.

b. Caring for Art Furniture: Maintenance and Preservation

Artistic furniture, a unique blend of practicality and artistry, merits a heightened level of care. This is not just furniture; it's a testament to craftsmanship and design. Direct sunlight, over time, can dull its vibrant colors and intricate patterns, robbing it of its original splendor. Hence, placing it strategically, away from harsh UV rays, becomes essential. Furthermore, the daily wear and tear, which might seem insignificant in the short term, can accumulate over time. Using coasters, for instance, can prevent unsightly stains or rings from marring its surface. Regular cleaning, suited to the material, not only maintains its aesthetics but also ensures longevity. By honoring its dual purpose and providing the necessary care, artistic furniture continues to serve its function while remaining a cherished piece of art.


Art furnishings are not mere objects; they're emotions, stories, and expressions. When chosen with care and displayed with intent, they transform spaces, making them extensions of one's personality and life journey.