How to curate and display your own artwork collection

Artwork is more than just a finishing touch to a room. It can inspire the design concept of an entire home and the best pieces can stay with you through countless house moves. But when staring at your blank, empty walls, filling them can feel like a daunting task. 

That's why we went on a trip to visit Director of Abstract House, Summer Obaid at their warehouse in west London. Abstract House is a small independent design studio based in the UK and founded by a best selling abstract artist. They are passionate about bringing your walls to life, making it as easy as possible!

We learnt how they curate their collections and what inspires them. We also grilled them on how to choose art for specific rooms and when to splurge or save. Watch the video below to soak up Summer's top tips:

 

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Want more? Watch as Summer and Lucy share their top tips on how to create the perfect gallery wall:

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Abstract House Q&A:

Lucy: "It would be lovely to start with the story of Abstract House."

Summer: "Abstract House was founded in 2017. The CEO and founder of our business is actually a bestselling abstract artist himself. There was really a gap in the market for affordable, high quality art prints."

Lucy: "We ask our clients how much they want to spend on artwork and they often say 'I don't know! How much should I spend?' Do you have any advise on that?"

Summer: "Absolutely. I think nowadays you have such a vast choice of art. At Abstract House, we're here to make art affordable and accessible for everyone.

For example, our lowest priced framed print is £40 which is very, very affordable for a handmade frame and print.

Let's say you want an original painting, you can look at pieces upwards of £1,000. If you're looking to make that investment and you've found a piece you really love, I'd say definitely splurge."

Lucy: "So how do you create your curated collection?"

Summer: "Well about 90% of the work is created by us. By our in house team and designers. You can see a couple of the pieces are Omar's prints, which are quite recognisable. We've created a few different pieces in house and we're looking to grow that collection so that Abstract House is the designer destination for art."

 

Want to learn from the pros how to create a gallery wall? Watch as Summer and Lucy share their top tips:

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Lucy: "Where do you go for inspiration?"

Summer: "Inspiration is all around us. You see inspiration from daily life. We also look at what's trending at the moment - is it line art, is it botanicals? Obviously summer's coming up so you're looking for lots of colour. 

Lucy: "For someone who wants to start buying art where would you suggest they start to find inspiration and build a collection?"

Summer: "So if you're looking to buy art for the first time, it's a really fun experience and you should find that piece that speaks to you. Because art is all about expression - it should be a reflection of your personality and something you love to see everyday.

Lucy: "Do you notice people buying different styles of artwork for different rooms in their home?"

Summer: "Definitely. Traditional you might find, if someone's looking to buy a piece for above their sofa they'll tend to go for a large expansive painting or a set of three prints. I think modern day though, in terms of design - you don't have to follow the trends. That's the whole nature of design in general. People have such a great choice that you can choose something you love. I think that's more important than following trends.

You can set the aesthetic with art. So you mentioned in your bathroom or a bedroom, you want it to be serene. You can do all that with art."

Lucy: "So what art might you choose for a bedroom for example?"

Summer: "I think bedrooms are the serene space. You want to wake up in the morning and feel refreshed. So simplistic blue, seascapes, softer colours that resonate with the room tend to be very popular. 

Lucy: "People don't tend to think about putting art up in bathrooms. I think people worry about moisture. The way your prints are framed - are they suitable to hang in bathrooms?"

 

Struggling to create the perfect gallery wall in your home? Watch as Summer and Lucy share their top tips:

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Summer: "Because all of our frames are made with real glass it shouldn't be an issue. As long as you properly ventilate the room, your artwork will be fine. 

Lucy: "All your frames are made here too aren't they?"

Summer: "Yes, we proudly make all our frames from cutting to joining them to finishing them, right here in Abstract House's studio. 

We stopped using any Perspex last year and we want to continue that sustainable trend. We use FSC certified materials for example. It all makes a difference - it's all sourced from sustainable forests. We just want to reduce the impact of what we're doing here.

Lucy: "I'd be really interested to hear what your best sellers are!"

Summer: "We have a set of three prints which is actually from Omar's original paintings. They're quite different, people often choose them to go above a sofa in a living room or above a dining table. 

The beauty of it - is if you buy them in the 50x70 size, which is one of the largest sizes we offer for a set, it just looks stunning."

Lucy: "Thank you so much for having us here today. What a set up you've got! It's so lovely to come here and see where all the magic happens!"

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