Bristol themed artwork vintage railway style whimsical prints

How to add art to your home

As you may know by now if you’ve read latest post I will shortly be moving to my very own flat, all on my little lonesome (don’t worry it’s all good). Home decor is kind of a big deal to me and I absolutely love filling my home with artwork to help it reflect my personality. Currently all of my artwork is boxed up waiting for the move and as I will soon be renting privately I will have to think of creative ways to hang all my treasures without banging countless holes in the walls. I’m really excited to mix things up with the artwork in my new home and it got me thinking of how daunting it can be to know where to start when buying art. 

As a reminder here are a few snaps of some of my favourite artworks and the gallery wall from my old flat. (I wish I had more, oh foresight ha!)

Gallery wall complete with local art, marble print and inspirational phrase Gallery Wall with local Bristol themed artwork from Yellow Feather Blog Local art haul, bicycle hot air balloons over the Clifton Suspension Bridge Bristol themed artwork vintage railway style whimsical prints

As you can tell from the above I like to mix pricier pieces (such as the Vivienne Westwood portrait) with postcard prints and scrapbook papers that I frame. I am a firm believer that it doesn’t have to cost much to decorate your home and that art should be accessible to all. That is why I am so excited that the Affordable Art Fair is coming to Bristol next week. 

In my old flat I used the gallery wall as my main way of showing of my art, within that I tried to use a couple of key colours that tied the whole thing together and made it less busy on the eye. You may remember from my mood board that for me the accent colours were yellow and blue. I’m excited to re-think how I use my art in my new flat, it’s a smaller space so I don’t want to overwhelm it with colour but equally it wouldn’t be my home without something bright and cheerful. To help me get planning the team behind the Affordable Art Fair gave me some top tips which I wanted to share with you all.

Let’s talk about space, baby

Art is a great way to make a statement with your decor, however it’s important to make sure it looks its best. Don’t just think about the obvious places to hang art (I’m looking at you wall above the fireplace!) think about interesting spots to put it that would brighten up otherwise overlooked spaces. Hallways are a great place to hang art especially if you are planning on starting a collection. They are the first place you see when you walk into your home and a great way to immediately make an impression on guests.

Colourful art hung in a hallway - How to add art to your home

Sam Gare, Affordable Art Fair Bristol Director, advises that you think about your space when budgeting for art too, whilst a big piece can make a big statement, if your budget can’t stretch to that then grouping small pieces together is a great way to make an impact.

Also by creating a grouping of pieces you can pad the space out with framed photos and postcards to make a huge art wall without spending a fortune on pieces.

Example of gallery wall with mix of sizes and styles of artwork - How to add art to your home

Don’t just stick to safe colours

It’s important to remember that art doesn’t have to strictly adhere to your colour scheme, however, if you want it to add a finishing touch to a room then it’s a good idea to have a piece that either compliments the colour scheme or stands out as an accent. I find Pinterest is a great port of call when looking for colour palettes and interesting accent colours.

Jo Thornhill and Rebecca Nee, Interior Stylists, gave me some great advice on incorporating art whatever your colour scheme, don’t be too literal. 

So if you have a grey living room you don’t have to have a grey or monotone artwork however, maybe incorporate a contrasting colour in the artwork to really make it pop – such as pink. I loved how the yellow and blue art popped against my pale grey walls in my old flat. If you have white walls then you can go wild with colour as anything will stand out but equally a more graphic abstract black and white piece would look really striking.

Monotone gallery wall on black background - How to add art to your home

Striking abstract yellow art against white wall - How to add art to your home

A bright piece can work really well against a more neutral background and equally monochrome pieces really stand out against bright wall colours. However, you don’t have to commit to painting the whole room, creating a feature wall or even just painting a vertical stripe where your piece hangs can be an easy way to bring colour to the space without overdoing it.

Black striped feature wall with abstract art - How to add art to your home

Most importantly make sure you love the artwork, after all interior design trends change and you’re likely to change up your decor and even home more than once, so the piece has to be something you love and will treasure for years to come not necessarily something just bought for the room. If it makes you feel happy, or brings back good memories then it’s worth investing in. Even if it won’t go with your current interiors it’s always worth investing in art for the future.

Here are the pieces at the fair that I’m currently most excited about:

Sophie Derrick mixed media print and acrylic paint portraits Sophie Derrick YellowPink #2

I’m in love with these amazing prints by Sophie Derrick a London Based Artist. She combines digital prints which are mounted on perspex with further layers of acrylic paint. Creating an amazingly textured mix of print and painting. She paints either herself or her subjects skin, photographs them, then prints the image and paints on top of it building up the layers of colourful brushstrokes. This is a piece that would look great against a neutral backdrop.

Dan Parry Jones' unique mixed media process blends photography, screen-printing and drawing in the beautiful 'Balconies, Seville'

Again with the colourful pieces, I think it’s safe to say my new home will not be monochrome! I love this print by Dan Parry Jones. He blends photography screen-printing and drawing in this study of Seville. 

Jane Emberson - Ophelia

This piece by Jane Emberson is great if you are a fan of more subtle, less colourful abstract works. I absolutely adore the blush and gold tones in this piece, it would look perfect on its own as a statement piece. 

So there you have it, those are the pieces I’ll be keeping an eye out for, as well as new prints from some of my local faves. 

Prices at the fair range from £100 – £5000 so it’s the perfect way to start or develop a collection without making serious investments. This is because the Affordable Art Fair takes an accessible approach to offering first time buyers and serious collectors the opportunity to browse and buy a huge variety of art under one roof. 

There’s also the opportunity to have your portrait created by local mixed media artist Harriet Riddell who is  the fair’s official Artist in Residence. If that’s not tempting enough the always amazing Bristol Folk House will be there hosting a variety of inspiring workshops to get people into art.

Bristol’s Affordable Art Fair opens its doors to the public on Friday September 9 and runs until Sunday September 11.

This post is in partnership with The Affordable Art Fair however, all opinions and words are my own unless otherwise stated.