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The undeniable value of art in architecture and interior design.

Art industry experts predict the inevitable sale of the first billion-dollar painting is just around the corner, following the recent jaw dropping and record-breaking AUS$591m sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi in November 2017. Whilst the majority of us will never have a budget of even $10,000 for art, we do know the importance of choosing enduring quality art that will be loved and enjoyed when added to both our current and future interiors. Yet I am confident when saying that most clients’ of architects and designers, will have historically only had a collection comprising of a few inherited paintings, possibly a commissioned piece, and a treasured finger painting completed by a bespoke frame crafted from diamante encrusted shells? (although, full disclosure, I have only researched this with my architectural and designer peers over a glass of wine). Fortunately times have changed and today quality art is affordable for all.

The use of art in our homes has long been recognised as an essential component of design, particularly for the modern home. For architects, designers and homemakers, art has increasingly taken on the vital and significant role of ‘key design element’ as our homes have changed over time to become simpler, open plan with fewer walls, and smaller for a vast majority! Fortunately, home and interiors brands have enthusiastically responded to the consumer’s urge to add personalisation and personality to their homes with art, by working closely with artists and galleries on collaborative ranges. Many quality online art sites have established themselves in partnership with branded artworks and by collaborating with established and emerging artists. This has created a healthy marketplace where unique affordable artworks in already curated ranges, are available at both ends of the financial spectrum, through reproduction, limited edition and original art.

One such range comes from the St James Whitting stable. The SJW interior design house has introduced a collection of exclusive original artworks to complement and supplement their curated range of homewares. Cleverly, a range of underlying pigments and tones that complement todays interiors, has been employed to run harmoniously through each of their home ranges. This growing home range includes the newly released SJW range of paint colours through ‘Resene’ paints, custom rugs through ‘Designer Rugs’, textiles through ‘Hemp Gallery’ and limited-edition art through ‘Curious Art Bar’ There have been many celebrated designers over the years, including 'Francis Bacon' who have taken their intimate knowledge of design and incorporated that skill into their personal art style. Becoming celebrated artists in their own right. The art and design industry has benefited greatly from their artist talent.

More recently, TV Home Shows including the Block and House Rules have equally responded and elevated the status of artworks in the interiors of all spaces, and consistently source higher quality pieces to transform and complete rooms. Following suit, Display Home Centres all around Australia invest more significantly in artworks that both finish the design of each room and showcase the home as unique and stylish. They include original works in this investment. Finally, you need to look no further than to the success of the Art Series hotels in Melbourne honouring Australian artists, or the Hotel Vernet Paris’s ceiling frescos celebrating the Miro-esque artwork of Jean-Michel Alberola to confirm, that art in interiors continues to create complex emotional and aesthetic responses for architects, designers and homemakers. This is true testament to the value of well-chosen art in situation.

Barbara Hamilton

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