Don’t Be Afraid To Mix Art Styles

Rooms outfitted with exclusively modern furniture and accessories can often feel sterile and uninspired, lacking a personality. A great way to make a statement while adding character, history and visual interest to a contemporary space is through the introduction of traditional artwork.

Whether you choose to anchor your modern space with a gilt-framed painting or accessorize it with an antiquity sculpture, a touch of tradition can give flare to a contemporary home. Considering all the traditional mediums you have to choose from, including painting, drawing and sculpture, plus all the cultures and eras they come from, you will likely find an artwork at some point in time that resonates with you. Go ahead and feel free to fill your home with objects that reflect your passions.

Here are the key points to take into consideration when mixing art styles:

Subject Matter
The subject matter of the artwork is important both in selecting and grouping art together.  Select pieces that speak to you and are relevant in your life. Different styles of art can mix beautifully together, but it is more important to choose subject matter that corresponds with your personal experiences and/or interests. Such pieces will not only give you pride of ownership but will also make you happy whenever you see them.

Style
Don’t be afraid to mix styles in your home.  Art works best when juxtaposed next to things that bring something new to the table. If you have a modern monochrome piece, contrast it with a brightly colored portrait or tapestry. View art as another layer of expression in your home. If you like a particular piece then it should also feel right in your space and easily foot with other design elements in your home.  When it comes to style it is best to go with your gut.

Medium
You can achieve great visual interest and give your art that collected look by mixing mediums. A pastel can add appealing variation to a grouping that includes a brightly colored oil or contemporary watercolor.

Texture
Artwork with dimension can really add interest to your collection. Such pieces can frequently be displayed with or without a frame, and works of art of this type are typically the best conversation starters.

Color
Keep the primary colors in pieces you are mixing together in mind at all times. Pairing a classic oil painting with a beautiful watercolor will work, but select varying color palettes since both pieces are paintings with distinct expression. On the other hand, it does help to create some continuity by choosing similar color palettes when you have multiple pieces of art of different styles or time periods. This will help create cohesiveness and unify all the different styles.

Scale/Detail
A room should have visual interest, but not to the point where it is overwhelming to the eye. Artwork with intricate detail, such as architectural prints and botanicals, look best in groups. The eye will take such a display in as one large piece and not 4 to 6 individual elements. This approach will help to tone down the intense complexity of the subject matter and create a more simplified visual.