Decorative items are an essential part of every home and not mere accessories. Even the ice age man could not escape the necessity of decorating their massive caves with beautiful works of art. Three years back a groundbreaking exhibition in the British Museum showed the strength of their artistic abilities. Beautiful pieces of sculpture, recreation of murals and basic ceramics adorned with various motifs were shown in the exhibition. This further asserted that how important it was for people to surround themselves with beautiful objects of art even 40,000 years ago.
William Morris, one of the most eminent designers of all time, considered the “the birth of popular or ornamental art” as “the birth of man’s intelligence.” In fact, for the primitive man the concept of ornamental art was alien. Their households possessed items that are as much beautiful as useful. Art was an integral part of their lives. It is only in modern time that we have created this schism between fine and decorative art. But in having attractive decorative pieces in our home we tend to combine the two in more ways than one. So let us see how best can we surround ourselves with beautiful works of decorative arts.
In essence, there cannot be any “good” and “not so good” space for art. It pervades everything and everywhere. But most of our homes are not built according to the proportions of ancient time. Modern apartments are even worse off. So we need to be selective about buying decorative objects so that we do not cramp our small living spaces even further. It also does not look good if a lot of objects vie for attention.
If you do have a lot of decorative pieces or fine art paintings to show off, it is better to create a separate gallery for them rather than crowding your living quarters with these items. But you can have ornamental art placed almost anywhere you would like to. Skilfully showcasing them in various parts of your building, from hallway to terrace, helps you showcase your home in the best possible light.
Lighting fixtures can be a great decorative accessory for your home. You need to have them anyway, so why not invest in such styles suited for the interior of your abode. If your house is decorated in modern style you may prefer to bring home designs inspired by Louis Kahn, Alvar Aalto and Luis Barragán. For connoisseurs of classical décor, stylish chandeliers and table lamps from neoclassical to art nouveau are the best bet.
Though not technically a lighting fixture, do not exclude candles, earthen lights and oriental lanterns from your considerations. They too have an evergreen appeal and would be an irresistible decorative choice for any home.
Strikingly beautiful traditional or modern area rugs strategically placed at different locations within a building would instantly transform the interior of your home. They are available in a wide range of colours, patterns, shapes and sizes to suit every purpose. The living room of Walters Residence, planned by Jodie Cooper Design, boasts of many advantages, but had it not been for the grand presence of an area rug all the other elements of the room would have failed to shine so brilliantly.
Living room is hardly the only place where you can make use of an area rug. You can embellish your hallway, bedroom, dining space, kitchen, bathroom and even terraces with suitable rugs. You can have wall to wall carpets to create an inviting ambience in your rooms as well. Read these tips and find out how to choose the appropriate rugs for your home.
Consider the Palaeolithic cave paintings of Altamira or the fascinating murals of Ajanta. Think how amply they illustrate the priceless values of paintings for any type of home irrespective of time and situation. In many parts of Asia, rural tradition requires rustic homes to be decorated with wall arts created by the inhabitants of a house. Finely ground rice flower, chalk etc are used to create beautiful motifs inspired by some mythological tales or life itself.
If you can practice such craft by painting murals, trompe-l’œil or patterns on your wall. You will manage to give such remarkable makeover to your home. You can create figurative or abstract works of art on canvas too. Putting your photography skills to use is another fine idea. Any of your family member or close friends can also give your walls a striking facelift. If none of these are possible, then invest in some attractive paintings or fine art photographs for your home. Hang them in entrance hall, living room, dining parlours and bedroom to enjoy their lively presence.
Like paintings, sculptures too must have a prominent presence in your home. By sculpture I do not mean only those created by such masters as Auguste Rodin, Amedeo Modigliani or Jocho Bushi. Those are seldom available in the market and can be afforded by very few buyers. Less expensive but beautiful objects created by local artists and artisans have immense capabilities of taking the interiors to an altogether new height.
A curious looking twig collected from your own backyard and mounted on a stand can create an immediate impact in the minds of the onlookers. A few pine cones gracefully assorted in a bowl can result in a similarly powerful impression too. You just need to choose carefully and place them intelligently in different parts of your house or apartment.
Though this does not seem plausible, but tastefully decorated and neatly arranged shelves do have a great ornamental value for any home. Firstly, it creates a positive impression about the good habits of the inhabitants of the house. Secondly, it makes the space more livable and welcoming. Thirdly, it eliminates any scope of dust accumulation or harnessing of negative energy. I can really go on elaborating the benefits of having well organised shelves.
The most important thing is they make our rooms look so stunning without any remodelling at all. So organise your shelves in a manner useful to you and suitable to the décor of your room. If need be, give it a fresh coat of paint. Painting it in more than one shade – such as lighter for the inside walls and darker for the outer surface or vice versa – would also be a good idea.
A touch of natural green can create wonders for the interior of your home. Keep potted plants and fresh flowers in various parts of your house. If you can afford the hassle and manage a space consider interior landscaping. Though you will have to learn to take good care of your green friends but they will prove to be most worthy companions for you.
You do not always need to have elaborate flower arrangements for every part of your home. Take inspirations from traditional ikebana and learn how to make such simple arrangements. More often than not such deceptively simple arrangements can create a charming ambience.
Beautifully framed mirrors and mirrored surfaces also act as fine ornaments for your home. Additionally, they have the capabilities of making your apartment look roomier than it actually is. Hang them on top of a pretty console table in your hallway or mantelpiece of your living room and see how remarkably they help to create a chic living space. Mirrors already enjoy a prominent position in the bathroom and dressing room.
Place a few seasonal flowers in a glass jar and keep them in front of the mirror. For dining parlours and lounges, you can use candles to decorate the area in front of the mirror. Let beauty and cheerfulness light up the whole place and make your home a truly worthy space to live in.