Artist in Residence

How Art Influences Interiors

By: The Balance Design Team

When viewing art, it can sometimes be easy to see how one movement influences the next. But what about across mediums? Does sculpture influence graphic design? Does painting influence woodworking? Yes, yes, and more yes. As designers, we draw inspiration not just from our colleagues and predecessors in our own field, but also from the talented artists and makers in other areas.

Alex Calder and the modern mobile

Photo courtesy of Artsy.

Alexander Calder’s mobiles are sculptural embodiments of the passage of time and the movement of air. Simple geometric shapes combine with visual and kinetic movement to create inspiring art in motion.

Photo courtesy of ATY Home Decor.

Modern mobiles have taken many forms, from sophisticated nursery decor to innovative lighting. The impact, however, remains the same: an intriguing fixture of tranquil movement.

Georgia O’Keeffe and the beauty of simplicity

Photo courtesy of Widewalls.

Her flower paintings are iconic, but Georgia O’Keeffe did more than just magnify a part of nature — she took things we see every day (but may not stop to really look at) and gave them a powerful presence.

Photo courtesy of Lekker Home.

In design, it’s our job to bring out the potential in a room. Looking at a simple piece of furniture, we see not only its practical use, but also the way it relates to the environment around it. As Georgia O’Keeffe said, “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way — things I had no words for.”

Giulio Aristide Sartorio and imaginative color

Photo courtesy of Arte Liberty.

Sartorio, an Italian symbolist, drew inspiration for his paintings from dreams and visions. In a time when depicting your subject as realistically as possible was the standard, he instead focused on his own imagination.

Photo courtesy of Elle.

We channel our inner Giulio Aristide Sartorio in each design by challenging the status quo, often through color choices. An updated color palette can revamp an entire room and create an entirely new mood, like a stately deep green built-in bookshelf, or invigorating deep blue dining room walls.

Betty Anglin Smith and mixed genres

Photo courtesy of Betty Anglin Smith.

Anglin’s expressionist brushwork and vibrant color create a modern interpretation of the the French impressionists’ landscape paintings. Looser strokes and bolder hues capture the essence of her native Charleston’s coastal light patterns.

Photo courtesy of Katie Considers.

Similarly, in interior design you don’t have to start from scratch to modernize a classic piece. Showcase your beloved antique by updating it with bold new fabric, pops of color, or both! This mix of old and new keeps the vibe relaxed and fun, yet elegant and elevated.

All of your tastes are interconnected and influence one another. For some, this means your style is cohesive and streamlined. For others, things can get a little more eclectic. Regardless of where you fall, embrace it! Get curious about why you’re drawn to something, and look at it in the larger context of your likes and dislikes. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of your overall sense of self and maybe find that there’s a common thread linking everything together.

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