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The joy of sculptures for your home and garden

Inspired by their visits to Masterpiece London Art Fair, our interior design partner, J&D Design, share tips and ideas for positioning your sculptures in your home or your garden.

Selecting and buying works of art is both personal and expressive. The varieties of art forms that we choose to surround ourselves with contribute to the atmosphere that we want to live in, which is personable to us. This month to help you get inspired we have chosen a range of sculptures available from high street stores to artist commissioned pieces.


 

Mood board 1
From left: Earth Sculpture, Nordic Nest £102.00; Tooarts Table Sculpture, Amazon £39.95; Cloudy Marble Disc, LuxDeco £175.00.


Sculptures in the home

Which room, and where?
A sculpture is a three-dimensional art form, so ideally, the work should be viewable from multiple angles. Placing a piece in the centre of the living room might seem like the easy answer, but if doing so obstructs the room’s natural flow, you may want to choose a different spot.

Generally, displaying at eye level is recommended for optimal viewing. These eye lines may help determine where in the room a sculpture can be positioned without interfering with the room’s functionality.

Shelves and recessed spaces in walls or within bookcases can work well. Side tables in bedrooms and living rooms are also great locations. Lamps positioned on these tables can then serve a dual purpose – lighting the room and lighting the artwork.

Lighting
As with other works of art, lighting plays an important role in displaying sculptures. Too much light will wash out the details, while not enough hides them. Sculptures should be well-lit by diffused light sources, which can include daylight from windows.

Pedestals
Smaller sculptures may be ideal on shelves and tables, but a larger work will benefit from a pedestal. Choose a design that will not draw attention away from the sculpture and compliments the room. Most importantly, a pedestal should be sturdy enough to hold the sculpture.


 

Mood board 2
From left: Carnoy Xavier Small Fish Sculpture – orange/pink, Amara £307; Lino / Venetian, Chuck Elliott £2,950.00; Fiora Tall Elephant Figurine with Raised Trunk, Wayfair £23.99; “I Love Pigs”, by Shona Kinloch (details on request) £2,823.00.


Sculptures in the garden

When chosen carefully and sited sympathetically, a garden sculpture can give emphasis to the garden design and plantings throughout the year. In the right position it can create a dramatic focus or provide a subtle enhancement depending on the desired environment.

Whether you chose a statement art feature or a combination, plan what you would like to achieve and how best to implement you vision – even if just in your head.  Art can be created using most materials, so look around the garden for any stone, wood, glass etc that you can use should inspiration hit. Remember to ensure the material is weather protected to ensure longevity.


 

Mood board 3
Clockwise from left: Copper Fluted Arum Lily Sculpture, Not On The High Street £29.95; Contemporary Metal Garden Sculpture, Garden Ornaments Direct £289.95; Garden Sculpture Poppies, Not On The High Street £54.95; Garden Armillary Sphere, Not On The High Street £41.60.


Style
The first thing to consider when selecting a garden sculpture is do you really like it?  Choose forms and colours you are drawn to – shapes and textures that make you feel positive.   Spend time looking at different styles. Do you prefer contemporary or traditional?

Perspective
This depends on the size and shape of your garden.  Do you want your sculpture to be seen from the house, or even a specific room? Would you prefer to create an element of surprise as you come across it in a secluded area?  A sculpture placed at the end of a path can have a dramatic effect. Equally, small pieces set amongst foliage can add interest and provide a subtle and surprising element to the garden design.

Scale
The size and shape of a sculpture is also very important. A large artwork might overpower a small patio or roof terrace, and a small piece could get visually lost in a large space.  The best way of judging scale is to try it in situ.  If the height is not quite right, try raising your sculpture on a plinth or pedestal. This can be particularly helpful if your sculpture is to be positioned amongst dense foliage.

Materials
Traditional materials for garden sculpture in the past were stone and bronze and these are beautiful and hard-wearing.  If you are choosing stone, make sure the stone used is suitable for exterior use.

Other materials include metal, wood and glass. Many sculptors work in sheet metal, such as corten and stainless steel or aluminium particularly for contemporary abstract forms. Although wood is a material beloved by many people, it is generally not very durable unless treated and may weather badly after a few years.   Small sculptures, which are mainly suitable for placing in garden beds, can provide inexpensive inspiration and add colour and interest. Try experimenting with coloured glass balls or Led illuminated sculptures and contemporary seating.  Mirrors are a marvellous way to open up a small garden by expanding the perspective of the surrounding vegetation.  Mirrors often work well combined with a water feature.


 

Mood board 4
Clockwise from left: Original Dandelion Copper Sculpture, Not On The High Street £64.95; Ikra Slate Vase, Foras £115.00; Ralph Wind Spinner, Wayfair £67.99; Stone Sculpture “Soft/Hard”, IntegratedArtists £1,258.39.


Keep these tips in mind when displaying your sculptures which will certainly add a new dynamic to your home and garden. If you’re not sure where to start, why not get in touch with J&D Design for a free initial consultation.


J&D Design specialises in the application of colour and design, and provides clients with personalised design services, including interior design, commissioning artworks, lighting schemes and garden landscaping.

In addition to their range of personalised design services, J&D Design offers a remote E-Design service and gift vouchers, with exclusive discounts for Marsh & Parsons’ clients. Find out more here.

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