Whether you are an educated collector or just beginning, you may be wondering about the impact art has on your interiors. Our clients often request that we design interiors around their art collections, and we do so eagerly. We have been lucky enough to design rooms around Damien Hirst, Roy Lichtenstein, Marc Chagall, and several Houston artists that we have fallen in love with ourselves.

Art is incredibly powerful and essential to great design. Large-scale, statement-making art deserves a room that honors its arresting power. Whenever we have worked with larger pieces, we design around the art, finding inspiration in its themes, colors, shapes, and patterns.

Today on the journal, we sat down with our design team to explore how they would decorate a room around 3 very famous works:

Gustav Klimt’s The Woman in Gold

Piet Mondrian’s Composition with Large Red Plane Yellow Black Gray and Blue

Rene Magritte’s Not to be Reproduced

But First – How to Hang Art

Once you’ve found the perfect piece of artwork for your space, it’s time for the sometimes stressful activity of hanging the art. Many people worry about how high to hang the piece and what materials to use. Here are a few tips on how to hang art like a professional!

  1. Most galleries use the 57” on center rule when hanging art. This means that the middle of the picture is at 57” on the wall (the average human eye height). If you stick to this rule, all of your art will hang in proportion to one another.
  2. Use picture-hanging hooks instead of nails or screws. Buy the right size hook for your piece’s weight and use two hooks per piece. This will add security and keep the artwork level over time.
  3. Install two D-rings instead of a wire on the backs of frames. This will prevent the picture from swinging on a wire.
  4. Use a level and ruler to ensure that both hooks are aligned when installed.

An art advisor will assist you in selecting the perfect piece for your home. Be sure to ask if they assist with hanging as well, as most do!

Blair, who are some of your favorite artists?

A few of my favorite artists include Sally King Benedict, Karen Hawkins, and Rodney Smith.

How do you source art and where do you like to source?

I love sourcing art online. It’s a fabulous way to discover new big paintings for a living room by independent artists. I don’t think you can go wrong by visiting local galleries either. Experiencing artwork in person gives you a different perspective. It helps create an emotional connection. Two of my favorite local art galleries are Laura Rathe Fine Art and Dimmitt Contemporary Art.

How do you determine what type of piece to incorporate in the room?

My design process starts by determining what the space calls for. When selecting big paintings for a living room, scale and available wall space are two important factors to consider. Once I know how much space I have, I consider what additional layers or dimensions would positively contribute to the space and design.

What two furnishings and/or accessories would you put in a room inspired by Gustav Klimt’s “The Woman in Gold” and why?

The brilliant gold background in the painting caught my eye. I love the combination of shiny and brushed gold. It gives the painting a luxurious and glamorous feel. This monogold table is the perfect way to pull the brighter gold tones through the design. To bring in visual texture, I would incorporate this Armato small table lamp. The rough base with the smooth lamp shade is an beautiful juxtaposition.

What two furnishings and/or accessories would you put in a room inspired by Piet Mondrian and why?

Bright red, blue, and yellow are colors Piet Mondrian used in some of his most famous works. This true blue table lamp is a stunning way to pull the colors of the painting through the room. Because the painting uses such bold colors, it’s important to add a neutral color to ground the design. The neutral gray Babs chair adds visual depth and dimension without competing for attention.

What two furnishings and/or accessories would you put in a room inspired by Rene Magritte and why?

The statement art pieces by Rene Magritte are thought provoking and whimsical. I love the playful design of this Holly Hunt spectacle table. It’s the perfect match for his paintings. From the side, it tricks your eye into seeing two almost identical tables. It’s only after you move closer that you see the table shape mimics a pair of spectacles.

The profile of a head, neck, and shoulders is common in Magritte’s paintings. When I saw the profile of the Canard side table, it reminded me of that profile in a more abstract way.

Lexie, who are some of your favorite artists?

I have a lot! Willem de Kooning, Yayoi Kusama, Franz Kline, Judith Foosaner, and Donald Martiny are some of my favorites.

How do you source art and where do you source from?

If our client is looking for are that’s not considered fine art, I’ll source from places like Anthropologie and Serena & Lily. This kind of art works beautifully in a playroom or bedroom, for example. If I’m sourcing fine art for a client’s home, I’ll visit local art galleries.

How do you determine what type of piece to incorporate in the room?

Art is an investment. It’s very personal. I want to make sure the art incorporates the client’s personality and energy. It should be a piece they’ll love looking at for years to come and that they can pass onto future generations.

What two furnishings and/or accessories would you put in a room inspired by Gustav Klimt’s “The Woman in Gold” and why?

For an interior design inspired by “The Woman in Gold”, I would incorporate a brass and marble accent table and a gorgeous area rug. I love the unique lines of sight the suspended table tops create. The table top’s geometric shape adds visual interest and texture. This area rug has an understated elegance to it. The gold border brings the bold metallics in the painting to the floor in a subtle way.

What two furnishings and/or accessories would you put in a room inspired by Piet Mondrian and why?

Geometric shapes created by lines are characteristic of Piet Mondrian’s statement art pieces. This luxurious throw blanket is a modern twist on the traditional primary colors and geometric shapes he used. This standing circles mobile adds visual contrast in a beautiful way. The delicate circles soften the bold lines in the painting and create a bit of movement.

What two furnishings and/or accessories would you put in a room inspired by Rene Magritte and why?

Magritte’s statement art pieces interpret everyday items in an imaginative way and focus on unique perspectives. I love how the Opalescent I rug pays homage to the perspective of his False Miror painting. Many of Magritte’s paintings focus on the human face. This Jonathan Adler vase with Muses’ faces brings human form into the design in a playful way.

Shannon, who are some of your favorite artists?

Donald Robertson and Robert Mars are two of my favorite artists.

How do you source art and where do you source from?

Going to local art galleries like McClain Gallery allows you to experience the art first hand. Making a personal connection with the art is an important step in the selection process. And it’s great when art galleries like, Laura Rathe Fine Art, allow clients to see the artwork installed in their home. Seeing the art in your home can make a world of difference!

How do you determine what type of piece to incorporate in the room?

The client’s personality, passions, and the room’s color palette dictate the type of art in the design. You want the other design elements to complement the art. They shouldn’t compete for attention.

What two furnishings and/or accessories would you put in a room inspired by Gustav Klimt’s “The Woman in Gold” and why?

I would pair the painting with a modern sofa and iconic table. The clean lines of a sofa like the Minotti Alexander, provide a beautiful juxtaposition to the decorative Art Nouveau style of the artwork. A piece like the Yves Klein Table ‘Bleu’ is a great way to add a contrasting pop of color.

What two furnishings or accessories would you put in a room inspired by Piet Mondrian?

Piet Mondrian’s statement art pieces are characterized by crisp lines. I’d keep the furnishings modern and introduce some curves. The Holly Hunt Mesa Occasional Chair has a minimalist feel, but the gentle back curve adds softness and warmth. I love the contrast the Kelly Wearstler Roxbury Etagere shelving piece creates with the painting. The scale and modern interpretation of a classic architectural element is bold, but understated.

What two furnishings and/or accessories would you put in a room inspired by Rene Magritte and why?

You never know if Magritte’s painting are what they appear to be. To complement his unique style, I would incorporate edgier pieces that can be seen in different ways. This Brabbu Adara Modern Console can serve as a table, but it also works as a piece of sculptural art. And I love how this decanter with a malachite stopper resembles the man with a bowler hat in many of Magritte’s paintings.

Big Paintings for a Living Room

Your art collection is a meaningful part of your family’s legacy. It adds life to your home and helps tell your story. That’s why I love walking through my home and seeing the art that Michael and I selected together hanging on the walls. Incorporating art into your interior is a beautiful way to honor what you love.