Britain has finally begun to re-decorate its homes. After years of waiting on the property ladder, home owners have been asked, in the last three years, to re-consider their positions. Homes are no longer owned to be sold. Homes are owned to live in – and the resulting change in decorative fashions and standards has been quite noticeable. The new British home make a statement about its owners – who lives there, what they do, what they love. A lot of this statement has to do with originality: a reaction against all those years of sameness that the once booming housing market encouraged. Modern British house decoration is about finding and using art, for example, that no-one else has: genuine originals. Modern abstract art is a great way to do this in a decorative fashion.
Abstract art works in home decor schemes because it is deliberately not tied to the image of a recognisable object. That means that people looking at it get a much broader range of interpretations and emotions out of it: which means that it means more things to more people and so allows a very personal shine to be put on any room. With – and here’s the money shot – the personal preoccupations, feelings, or whatever of each individual person coming into that room forming the basis for their individual reaction to it. A room that has been decorated using a piece of original modern abstract art will give an intensely personal feeling to everyone who comes into it – and the feeling will be different depending who the person is.
Abstract art also works because it tends to be very colourful. Once you discard the idea of trying to depict a recognisable object, you are no longer tied to notions of realism or otherwise. You can use colours because they work, because they fit, or because you like them. You can use colours to provoke moods and emotional reactions. As a consequence abstract art can be chosen for its colour matching abilities as much as for its actual content.
If you want to go one step further, you can even commission your own completely original piece of modern abstract art from some places. You supply a brief, indicating how large you would like your picture to be, and what colours you want to predominate. If you want, you can also point your chosen painter in the direction of other pieces you like; or you can deliver a theme in terms of words, feelings, pieces of music – anything that is personal to you. Your artist will then create your very own original modern art painting, designed specifically to inhabit that room in this house.
In a world where everyone’s idea of decor used to start and stop with neutral colours and a few universally acceptable reproduction art prints, this has to be one of the most enjoyable consequences of the changes to our way of life. We are living again, in the homes we already have – living for today, and for the feelings of personal security our homes gives us, rather than the money they may accrue in a sale. The modern abstract art appearing on our walls is evidence that feeling is coming back into the British home.