9 years ago
4 minutes

Roger Saddington from Printism offers tips about how to decorate your apartment with the right piece of affordable art.

So you’ve moved into your beautiful new apartment and now you’re staring at all those large, empty white walls.  A new home often means a fresh new look, ditching the old furniture and pictures which just won’t cut it anymore.

Start with the art

Most people decorate their home – paint feature walls, install lighting and buy rugs and other furnishings – then go looking for art. But by this stage, there’s no room left to move, as the art must match the existing scheme. Try doing it the other way around. Find the artwork of your dreams, then decorate around it, as shown in the spectacular set piece ‘Autumn’.

Notice how strongly the cushions and curtains mimic the vibrant orange of the artwork, with subtler tones being echoed through timber and upholstery. The art print has inspired a sophisticated and memorable colour harmony throughout the entire room. Follow the lead of this canny designer and decorate around a spectacular art piece from the very start.

Think about your lighting

All artwork can benefit from spot lighting. It really brings out the colour and helps the work to stand out from the background. You don’t have to spend a fortune on lighting, but you do need to think ahead a bit.

Even if your room is brightly lit by daylight, some walls are bound to need a little lift, particularly on a cloudy day. You also need to consider what will happen at night. Will your ‘pride and joy’ artwork languish in the shadows just when you want to show it off to dinner guests, family and friends?

Here’s a great example of moody evening lighting, perfect for a romantic rendezvous or sophisticated night in. ‘Sirene’.  Many apartments have downlights these days. Instead of the standard ones, ask your electrician or builder to install swivelling ‘gimballed’ downlights close to your most important art walls. The beam of these can be pointed toward the art, and in most cases, some light will still spill into the surrounding space, killing two birds with one stone. Notice how the resulting light makes the art ‘glow’, leaving the rest of the room looking like a secluded corner of a posh bar or restaurant!  A couple of well-chosen pendant and floor lights placed away from the wall complete the scene.

The meaning of life

Art need not be solely decoration. When we go to an art gallery, we expect to be challenged, inspired and perhaps even a little shocked!  In your home apartment, you can use art to please not only the eye, but also the mind. Look for images that communicate a special meaning to you – perhaps an ideal that you live by, an inspirational place, a reminder of a memorable experience or even a mysterious and intriguing scenario.

This type of art will give you years of pleasure, even as the decor and function of your home changes through the different stages of life. In this design ‘Silent Night’, the home owner has chosen a whimsical work whose mystery adds a romantic touch to the bedroom. It may take the owner years of enjoyable speculation to decide on the meaning of this piece…

Once again, the designer has taken a valuable cue from the art, choosing soft furnishings to complement the warm and cool greys in the print.

Using the ‘start with the art’ method, you can have the best of both worlds in your apartment – a meaningful art print and stylish matching decor.  Not to mention a ‘wow factor’ no-one else will have!

Roger Saddington is the Senior Art Curator at

Printism – Real Art in Print -  is a new online store offering unique gallery-quality art at the price of a print.  Printism offers the ability to tailor artworks to fit any size space by selecting the size and finish – from wall-sized canvases to small-framed prints.  Prints start at just $60.