Choosing the Perfect Painting for the Bedroom

by Aileen Mitchell 31. May 2017 11:37

Homes are our modern sanctuaries and the room that should most reflect this is, of course the bedroom. It is the most intimate household space, a place where one should feel relaxed, inspired and safe. Whether your bedroom is a spacious and light minimalist affair, filled with Moroccan fabrics and incense, or a lavish velvet boudoir, choosing art for the bedroom is a detail ridden journey in terms of matching the mood of the room and promoting a harmonious night’s sleep.

Psychology

Psychology suggests that imagery has a healing effect on mood. According to Elaine Poggi, founder of The Foundation for Photo/Art in Hospitals

The mood changes when our beautiful nature photos are placed on the walls, providing colour, comfort, and hope to patients, caregivers, and loved ones.

It stands to reason, that surrounding ourselves with positive imagery will encourage mental wellbeing. A solitary figure depicting closed-off body language may consciously or unconsciously evoke feelings of loneliness, vulnerability or sadness. Your bedroom is your private sanctuary, and you deserve to feel safe and at peace.

Lost Within Oneself 3  by Paul Turner
Lost Within Oneself 3 by Paul Turner

Though the bedroom is an ideal spot for a nude, this painting carries the risk of amplifying feelings of vulnerability or loneliness.

Away from domestic distractions – loading the dishwasher, ensuring the kids have brushed their teeth, emptying the litter tray – the bedroom may be the only space to enjoy a few moments alone or with a partner. Therefore, it’s a good idea not to select a painting that will be too distracting or discordant (definitely no Where’s Wally!). Although art should make us think, we must also be able to switch off from it.

Finding harmony

The key to creating harmony in the bedroom is choosing a piece of art based on personal taste: what makes you feel relaxed?

If you’re a city slicker, chances are an image of the London rush hour won’t help shut out the stresses of the day. Likewise, though some may find views of the ocean soothing and calming, it may be prove stressful and lonely for others …

Depictions of nature are generally considered to evoke pleasant, relaxed feelings – wild flowers dancing in the breeze, fluffy clouds on a summer’s day, lambs prancing through open fields. Whilst a sunset will help prepare your brain for sleep, a sparkling sunrise will energise the mind and body for a brand new day with infinite possibilities. These natural images may be particularly tranquil, soothing, calming and beneficial to those who spend their days in busy environments with limited exposure to these evocative and atmospheric images.

Sunset Beach by Graeme Robb
Sunset Beach by Graeme Robb

A sunset can put the day’s events into perspective; we can always try again tomorrow. After all Pablo Picasso famously said,

 “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”

Placement

Humph Hack - artist, art expert and our Art Gallery Curator - gives some great advice not only on the style of art but making sure it has the best setting,

“The bedroom is a private place. Erotic art will be the choice of some. For others images which offer calmness will lower blood pressure and aid sleep.”

Thinking about the setting Humph adds,

“Works on canvas without frames are quite light, but framed works can be much heavier. Make sure your fixings are secure. Don’t hang works over radiators, canvases in particular don’t enjoy the heat. Similarly, direct sunlight is a no-no. Even the very best of materials will fade in time.”

According to the Feng Shui Society,

‘The idea is that we all respond to our environments… our response to the atmosphere of each room may influence our mood, thinking, energy levels and more.’

Influences can include colours, natural light, plants and images. Whether you believe in this ancient discipline or not, it can’t hurt to keep it in mind when planning and designing your bedroom.

If sharing your bedroom with a partner, feng shui suggests choosing multiple pieces of artwork which relate to each other. This conveys a message of a shared relationship, shared likes and complementing each other’s taste. Of course, it’s essential to communicate with a partner when buying art. What one person simply regards as an interesting piece may unwittingly create a conflict with their partner. 

Spring Equinox #2 Diptych by Lucy Moore
Spring Equinox #2 Diptych by Lucy Moore

This dual-part piece works as two standalone artworks, whilst also complementing each other as a pair.

We are most vulnerable in our own homes at the moments we wake up and fall asleep, so when considering feng shui you may find that your current art isn’t suitable for the bedroom. If you’re particularly attached to a particular piece, consider moving it to another part of the home where it won’t have such a detrimental effect on your subconscious.

According to Twyla Tharp, ‘Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.’ We believe everybody should have access to outstanding art. In addition to creating a harmonious haven in your bedroom, by choosing you art at Art Gallery you will be supporting independent artists - and may even end up acquiring a future auction piece! With over 33,000 works for sale and prices ranging from £50 to £5000, we’re confident you’ll find a painting you’ll love at a price you can afford.

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