Three key steps to designing an interior around artworks
We’ve just photographed this recently-completed contemporary interior design project in Farringdon, London, where one of the key requirements of our clients’ brief was to be able to display their artwork to its best potential.
Just hanging pieces on the wall isn’t enough to get the most from them. In this central London project we based our interior design around making the most of the clients’ many interesting pictures.
There are several key design considerations in an interior like this:
The most important factor affecting the appearance of an artwork is what surrounds it – generally the finish and colour on the wall. This is what the eye sees in its peripheral vision, and it can distract from the focus of the centre of the eye if it’s not right.
In the entrance and hallway of this apartment a deep-coloured wallcovering achieves a number of things. The depth of colour reduces glare around the pictures, and it allows the illuminated works to pop-out from their backdrop, creating a dramatic effect and enhancing each individual piece.
As is often the case in a modern London apartment, the hallway doesn’t receive any natural light when the doors are closed, so the deep colour also makes the walls appear to recede – the space feels wider as a result.
Hanging – and rehanging – the artworks
Hanging artworks isn’t difficult in itself, although when fixed to the wall they can slowly become sort of ‘invisible’ over time, as we get used to their position in our homes. By moving them around we can refresh our view of them, and enjoy them in different ways. In this case the clients also had more pieces than space to hang them, so being able to make changes easily was very important.
To avoid forever drilling and repairing holes in the wall as pieces are moved we used a sleek hanging rail system. This runs along the junction between the wall and the ceiling and is hardly visible. Its slim rods from which the pictures are suspended enables the ‘hang’ to be altered easily and frequently. Here you can see a different arrangement to the previous shot.
Lighting design for art
As the hanging system allows the pictures to be moved around without fuss, so the interior lighting design must also be able to accommodate changes in the hanging.
Here we’ve used a track lighting system, so the number of lights and their position can be easily altered to suit. Any combination is possible, and the lights can even be switched by different circuits on the same track, if needed.
Many designs of light fittings are available for the system. Here we chose to make a feature of them by using the ‘projector’ design style.
The lighting is all low-energy LED, and special attention is paid to the colour temperature and also the colour rendering performance of the lamps – these affect how we perceive the colour of the light. It’s important for any interior design scheme but crucial for the appearance of things like artworks. Taking care here ensures that the artworks look natural and as the artists intended them.
These are three aspects which are considered for every interior of course. Here they’re brought together to create a dramatic and interesting design for the entrance and hallway to this London apartment, and to enhance the other rooms too.
The full photography from this project by Alan Ainsworth will be in our interior design portfolio soon.