Experts Agree: Fill Your Kitchen With Art
I live in a small apartment with a lot of artwork, so my entire living space has become a sort of well-curated (I hope) gallery. It’s therefore not a surprise that I like to think of kitchen walls as an ideal place to showcase interesting works of art. Here are some designers who seem to agree with my philosophy.
Fill in the blanks. “My clients have a large and eclectic art collection, and I selected this piece from another room in their home for its color, content and light wood frame. I felt it really complemented the kitchen,” explains Andre Rothblatt of Andre Rothblatt Architecture.
“Another design decision I made was to not place cabinets on either side of the exhaust hood. I wanted to inject some negative space there and give more prominence and visual focus to the stove. So it just followed that artwork should be hung on those purposefully blank walls.”
Use art as your inspiration. This oil painting by artist Barbra Edwards was the initial inspiration for the colors and textures throughout the kitchen in her own home. “The house is located on a small island in British Columbia overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and it’s surrounded by evergreens and arbutus trees,” says Ines Hanl of The Sky is the Limit Design.
“When we selected the materials, I was very mindful of her preferred color scheme: golds and browns, with flecks of moss. Rift-cut oak stained in three different earthy hues was used for a variety of cabinetry, which is offset by a lacquered soft gray-green specialty cabinet. The custom-made concrete bar relates to the rocks and mountains outside, as does the oyster slate we used on the floor.”
Add warmth to a cool room. For this all-white kitchen, “we chose the artwork to bring some well-deserved color into the design,” says Andre Laurent, of Creative Space Architectural Design in New Zealand. “The three pieces break the image up into a more interesting format.”
Complement the design. “This space was designed to allow for art, and we wanted something that was a singular piece, says Nadia N. Subaran of Aidan Design. “The palette for the home’s pool kitchen was inspired by the exterior stone, and we wanted the transition from outside to inside to be as seamless as possible.
When I saw the painting of this horse, I knew it was perfect. I loved the scale, texture, colors and also the fact that it’s unframed. It brings a simplicity to the piece that works with the kitchen’s modern and minimal details.”
Add interest and flexibility. “I find bringing in bright artwork is a simple and effective way to add interest to a neutral color scheme,” says Natalie Du Bois of Du Bois Design. “It affords a level of flexibility not possible with the other more permanent and fixed elements in a kitchen. A painting can quite easily be swapped out from time to time to give the kitchen a completely different look. I noticed this particular work elsewhere in the house and thought it would be a fantastic way to introduce some extra warmth and color to the kitchen.”
Inspire your cooking. This is another kitchen designed by Natalie Du Bois. “Because of the central position of the slim, elongated island, we had a large white wall for hanging art,” she says. “It serves as a perfect canvas for this striking piece that creates a bold backdrop for the owners to enjoy while they’re preparing meals.”
Juxtapose modern and traditional elements. “The kitchen in this house doubles as the dining room, so we made a deliberate attempt to downplay the kitchen aspects of the space,” explains Pi Smith of Smith & Vansant Architects. “There are no upper cabinets, lots of windows, and storage is handled with a built-in hutch that’s tucked away under the stairs.
The art reflects my client’s diverse collection of works. I don’t think she viewed the kitchen as needing to be handled in a special way. Rather she selected pieces she liked and wanted to live with that both fit the available space and added a rich, modern counterpoint to the charm and historical quality of the building. Her art and lighting selections, in particular, speak to the fact that this project is not locked in time, but very much a product of contemporary life.”
Showcase local artists. This Vermont cabin owned and designed by Joan Heaton of Joan Heaton Architects formerly belonged to artist Janet Chill. “I thought it fitting to showcase her art,” says Heaton. “The painting, acrylic on oaktag, depicts a closeup of hosta and other plants. I thought that the horizontal aspect, scale and colors of the work looked great in the kitchen.”