Wonder wall: a stylist’s expert tips for decorating with art

We asked super stylist Julia Green, founder of online treasure-trove Greenhouse Interiors, for a few pro pointers on the fine art of adorning your walls.

Greenhouse Interiors Armelle Habib
Clockwise from top left: ‘Poolside’ limited-edition print by Georgie Wilson; ‘Blush’ illustration by Kimmy Hogan; ‘Dhyana’ limited-edition art print from Bibi Ana + Co, all available from greenhouseinteriors.com.au

Ever noticed how the success of a room can hinge on one incredible painting? Artwork is a true design hero, with the ability to anchor and inspire a space, but it’s often an afterthought when we’ve spent hours agonising over paint colours, fussing over side tables and sitting on sofas. Even the savviest shoppers admit to struggling with this highly personal acquisition. What to buy? Where to find it? How to hang it?

So, we asked local creative powerhouse Julia Green for her take on styling with art. When she’s not kicking career goals as one of Australia’s most published interior and editorial stylists, this multitasking mother of two is curating her personality-packed online design destination, Greenhouse Interiors – including gorgeous original and limited-edition artworks by some of Australia’s hottest artists. Allow us to paint you a picture…

Work the room

Julia says she’s often asked if there is a secret formula to styling a beautiful room. “For me, it almost always starts with the artwork,” she reveals. “I often let the colour and subject matter of the work dictate the palette and inform other decisions in the room. For example, I recently styled some tropical-inspired works that had bold, punchy accents of colour. We worked to a French colonial theme that embraced the tropical elements in linen, cushions and even the furniture to create a cohesive look.” Channel Julia and allow the artwork to “lead the space with its cues in colour and style.”

Related article: A bold take on botanical-inspired interior design

Get smart about art

Trying to nail it as an art-loving novice can seem daunting. But relax, there’s no right or wrong! “The best news about art is that it doesn’t matter one iota what anyone else thinks of it,” Julia says. “All that matters is that you love it and form a connection with it. If you do love a piece, you will find it naturally sits in place and feels right.”

While a heartfelt decision is always the right one, there is one thing you can’t overlook: scale. “Ensuring the piece fits spatially in the room is crucial,” Julia says. “As is having it hung at the right height.”

Greenhouse Interiors Armelle Habib
‘Bush Griddle’ original artwork by Marinka Parnham, from Greenhouse Interiors.

Trend watch

There was a time when art could seem a little, well, out of reach. But no more. “Art is being seen as more accessible, less high-brow, and achievable for all to collect which is very refreshing,” says Julia. And sourcing artworks has never been easier. There’s a thrill in doing the gallery rounds, while curated online sites offer a relaxed, add-to-cart convenience.

“There has been quite a swing back to buying original artworks of late, which sings volumes that people are wanting their own unique look rather than something that can be found everywhere,” says Julia, adding that “floral and botanical-inspired works continue to power on.”

Ready to start hanging your own art treasures? Julia has three ways to make your artworks feel right at home. Time to dig out that spirit level!

1. The curated corridor

“I love a corridor that shares a horizon line
for hanging. It means despite the different sizes and styles, they feel unified.”

2. The gallery hang

“The gallery hang (where multiple pieces are hung together in a pleasing configuration) takes time to get right, and should ideally be done on the floor first… that way, you will see how the ‘jigsaw’ fits together before putting holes in the wall!”

3. The lovely lean

“Not everything needs to hang. A small piece leaning on a shelf can be very impactful, as can a large piece sitting on the floor and leaning against the wall in a lofty space.”

Browse a glorious selection of original art, textiles, homewares and other treasures at greenhouseinteriors.com.au and look out for the site’s innovative 3D Art-App that allows you to virtually view the artwork on your own walls, to scale and depth.

Related article: Coastal styling and furniture perfect for Queensland homes

Greenhouse Interiors Armelle Habib
‘Drift’ illustration by Kimmy Hogan, from Greenhouse Interiors.

Words: Nicole Deuble |  Styling: Greenhouse Interiors | Photography: Armelle Habib