Fine art is a fundamental element in any space, and it guarantees to elevate not only the room, but also your everyday life.
Bring the Artwork Higher
by Eryn Oruncak
“Art and Accessories” typically fall near the end of the list when designers set out on the beautiful journey of creating their spaces. Believe me, I’ve been guilty of this, myself. Even as a fine artist, I had this line item at the bottom just because that’s the way it’s usually done. I couldn’t believe I did this for so long, and then I would be frustrated with my clients for undervaluing the importance of such a fundamental element in a space. There’s no question that when we honor the artwork, the success of the space is practically guaranteed.
There's a lot of psychology that goes into designing a space. The basic premise of interior design is to elevate your life, your work, your experience in whatever you’re doing. When there is a piece of fine art to enjoy in that moment, there’s an added energy field, life a new living thing which presence is literally felt within your being. For me, I am fortunate to experience the magic of both quality interior design and quality fine art coinciding. It’s an obvious elevation of a space when the artwork is installed and added bonus when one of my commissions is installed. For every one of my clients who commissioned a new piece of original art in their space, we all stood there for a moment and not only admired the way it looked. But I was pleasantly surprised when more than one of them told me how special it was to have that piece or pieces on some cases in the space. Not only did I create the room, but I also created the artwork. It gave it a sense of whole-ness.
I've always believed that things hold energy, and I was someone who was very sensitive to that energy. Turns out, there’s a word for it, nunchi, and many people have that sensitivity to the energy field that things have. Interior Designers on the whole have this talent of walking into a space and knowing what it’s saying – and what it needs. The magnetism of a painting or a sculpture is unmistakable for art collectors and connoisseurs, and it turns out for our clients in general. The story it tells us with its mere presence is mesmerizing, enhancing the experience we’re having in that moment - in both experiences of the room and the artwork. When the two are combined, that’s when the feeling hits your soul like a wave of a warm hug.
When I design a space, I listen to it. The architecture has a language, the materials have a language and when put together they speak to each other and to you. One can sense good labor: the way in which the tile was set, the way in which a molding was installed either quickly just to get it done or with care and precision. The job of an interior designer is to recognize these cues, listen to the space, understand the people that will be living there, and ultimately bring together a multitude of elements that compliment both the structure of the house and the people. It’s no easy feat. But a good designer understands the global resources that are offered in this beautiful industry and uses them cohesively to shape a house into a home that feels incredible. An art form in and of itself.
I've always been attuned to quality. Unlike pieces that are mass produced, there is less of an impact they have on your well-being. The visual cues like how straight the stitches run along the trim, as well as tactile cues like the way velvet feels: rich and sturdy, yet soft and comforting. When you have the presence of that quality product in your room there's an inherent energy field that emanates from that collaboration of material and craft. The same for fine art. When there is a painting, a sculpture, fine photography, perhaps an antique tapestry, the message you receive from that piece brings a reaction to your being.
Usually with higher craftsmanship and higher quality is where the cost comes into play. The Soul of Money by Lynn Swift talks about the relationship that people have with their money. Some things hold value, and some things don't, and everyone has their own perspective on those things based on other variables. I've seen it a lot in interiors as a designer and I’m sure you have, too. I’ve encountered those that have made foolish decisions in the effort to save a dollar - literally $6. I say this because oftentimes there is a misunderstanding about the value of things. Some people are willing to pay extraordinary amounts of money for something below standard just because they believe that it’s good, or because their sister-in-law has that product. I once had a client that paid double for a sofa because that’s what her sister-in-law had. Even though the one I was offering her was of higher quality, completely customized and handmade in North Carolina. Oftentimes, people won't spend any money at all on good craftsmanship because they don't understand what's actually in front of them.
It pained me to think of a friend who is building a house in Jackson Hole, Wyoming as she said to me “the interiors are last.” I don’t know if she remembered who her audience was at the time to say this, but it’s a familiar mindset that we’ve all encountered. That's not really the way it works, and those are not our ideal clients. We know that the whole home is a product you create altogether. The whole thing. The homeowners, the architect, the builder, and the interior designer come together to produce the entire entity that is going to be this home. Putting the interiors “last” doesn't really make a lot of sense. The interiors are the way in which you experience the outside structure. What's the point of making a huge, glorious home with beautiful views if you cannot experience that moment in its entirety?
I relate this to the artwork. What’s the point of building this beautifully well-designed room if you’re looking at blank walls, or even cheap shit from Home Goods. The end of the project is not the time to speak to your clients about the “Artwork and Accessories” and often times, designers are left to just get something to fill the space. When someone buys a piece that is mass produced reprinted a thousand times, it reads very generic, which is not what you just spent three or four or five months creating. The details matter so much in a space – that’s what gives it the designer’s touch. If you are just putting something on the wall to fill space, is the way in which your clients conduct their everyday life just filling space? Or would you rather give them the visual cue to bring more substance to their way of being?
give your clients the visual cue to bring more substance to their way of being
It's easier than ever to purchase an original piece of art. Especially now with Instagram, we see fine art everywhere. And I believe that artists are pricing their pieces very fairly so it can be accessible to everyone. The cycle of art is that it brings joy to those who experience it. Then those who experience it, can bring joy to the rest of the world. I think artists as a whole understand this concept.
Interestingly enough, the same concept holds for interior designers. So, when we understand that the cost of these pieces brings an elevated result to our rooms, it’s good for business. To spend a little bit more money, and if your client’s investment allows a lot more money on a piece of art, it elevates not only in the room but the way in which your clients live… and therefore your standing in the Interior Design Industry. Have the artwork elevate how you bring forth your creative talent.
Don’t know where to begin? What makes artwork “good”? How much are we really talking? In my next article, I’ll delve more into these details, and help you learn how to incorporate fine art into your spaces. It’s so important for us as a whole to celebrate our creative genius, and work together to make a better way of life for as many as we can touch, and as many as those who understand and appreciate this same concept. I love when my clients say “I’m going out of town. Work your magic, Eryn.”
If selecting artwork is not a forte, I’ve got your back. Our signature offer is actually for you, our beloved brothers and sisters in Interior Design. As a fine artist and interior designer, I know what to look for. What will accentuate the space and work well with all of the other fundamental layers. We handle everything from selecting the art, to the framing, the lighting, and proper installation. More information for our Art Commission and Curation can be found on our website.
You now have an Art Team.