Think the only people “going green” are tree huggers and vegetarians? Well, think again. As sustainable design becomes more and more popular, I’m frequently asked by friends and clients, “How can the art I choose be environmentally friendly?”
Although it may seem an overly simple notion, original artwork rarely gets thrown away. Instead, it gets passed down from generation to generation as a prized family heirloom. You can’t get any more eco-friendly than that! Recycling artwork—even if only for nostalgia’s sake—is still thinking ‘green.’
When designing green, don’t just design ‘eco’— design ‘eco chic!” There is no need to compromise quality artwork for sustainable artwork. Get the best of both worlds! One of my favorite artists, Ursula Brenner, uses “green” materials such as beeswax and recycled birch or maple wood panels to create her encaustics. The outcome is not only beautiful, richly textured artwork, but you can feel good knowing her choice of materials have been chosen carefully and are environmentally friendly.
As a kid, it was always so exciting to discover a shiny copper penny lying in the street. (“Find a penny pick it up, then all day you’ll have good luck!”) Lately, I have been completely infatuated with copper artwork, just like a kid with a penny. Copper artwork works gorgeously in both indoor and outdoor spaces (and in my personal opinion will bring you much more than just a day’s worth of luck). Imagine my excitement when I learn that copper is one of earth’s most sustainable materials—100% recyclable!
Copper work by this artist, Ken Rausch, has an “earthy” appeal, yet is rich in color.
Fotiou Frames, one of our favorite manufacturers, creates beautiful and classic frames made in Italy and Spain. Beyond being incredibly rich in color and quality, they are also (drum roll please) eco friendly! Their factory works with wood such as bamboo, exotic limber veneer, cherry, olive and maple.
Above all, what I will never fail to express to friends and clients determined to go green is that you do not (I repeat, you do not) have to compromise style to be kind to the environment. So go—be green. Be chic. Lastly, after your design is complete and you’re head over heels in love with the final look, if you feel so inclined as to thank Mother Nature, go ahead and hug a tree.
I love artwork to fill every space that it can in a house, and more often than not the kitchen is the most overlooked when placing fine art. With many homeowners opting for open floor plans and floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, it seems like you wouldn’t be able to find space for much else. But there is always room for art!
Selecting artwork for the kitchen and dining area is always my favorite, because it’s a place for family to come together, share in conversation and take delight in creating a dish, and for you at-home chefs a place for inspiration and creativity! Large, stainless steel appliances can often make the kitchen feel sterile and unwelcoming, but adding pops of color and sentimentality with art instantly warms the space!
For kitchens, I always try selecting artwork that will be framed and behind glass, so it’s protected from potential kitchen spills!
Kitchens are a high-traffic areas, which makes them great environments to highlight a piece of significant value or sentimentality.
Placing artwork on or above kitchen shelving brings color upwards onto bland walls.
For those kitchens that don’t have a window above a sink place a large artwork that offers depth and a unique perspective.
Winter is perfect for spending time in the kitchen with friends and family testing out new recipes and catching up, so create a warm and welcoming space by adding color and spice with art!
Artwork is powerful and impactful. It can influence human emotion, mindset and mood. When others need encouragement, a beautiful environment can make arduous times less stressful; bringing forth feelings of optimism and hope. Where is this power put to better use than in healthcare facilities where the space impacts the patients, their families, and staff alike? As new hospitals go up, and current ones renovate, both design and fine art are changing people’s first impression of healthcare environments.
An inviting and comforting design can redirect focus; reminding those who enter that a hospital is a place to receive help and rest. This is a place to see improvement, and begin to feel well again.
Bright works add cheer and whimsy.
Soft colors and horizontal lines sooth and ease worried minds.
While waiting rooms begin to quell feelings of anxiety, the most important person to influence with artwork is the patient. In patients’ rooms it is critical to keep the appropriate colors and textures in mind. Colors that sooth, like blues and greens, not only help the patients relax, but also brings the beauty of the outdoors inside to them.
Textured and colorful works are playful and engaging in children’s rooms.
Works on canvas with a linen liner are light and welcoming.
Large photographic murals instantly pique interest and engage patients in a new perspective, allowing them to take their mind off of the visit at hand.
It’s not just the patients that desperately need positive energy. Hardworking hospital staff are often weighed down by the number of hours they work and the lingering thoughts of each patient’s progress. By bringing color and softness to the staff’s space you’ll lighten their mind and mood when it’s needed most.
So whether you’re selecting artwork for a doctor’s office or for an entire hospital wing, keep these tips in mind to make the space uplifting and restorative.