Leighton House reopened in April 2010 after a £1.6 million refurbishment which has uncovered and restored many of the decorative schemes and features of the house, as well as a previously unseen staircase. In the 1860s the artist Frederic Leighton commissioned his friend, the architect George Aitcheson, to build him a showpiece house in Holland Park, which he filled with classical treasures from all over the world, as well as his own works and those of his contemporaries. The house was a work of art in itself, with every inch decorated in high style inspired by the studios Leighton had seen on his extensive European travels. There were magnificent reception rooms downstairs designed for lavish entertaining, and a dramatic staircase leading to a huge light-filled studio taking up most of the first floor. Four extensions were added over the years, the most striking addition the ‘Arab Hall’, designed to showcase Leighton’s huge collection of sixteenth-century Middle Eastern glazed tiles. The house was created as a stage on which Leighton could play out his role as a great artist, contrasting withthe tiny single bedroom, the only private space in the whole house. Today, the house is still an architectural treasure trove which belies its somewhat dour exterior and the museum holds, or has on loan, some fine paintings as well as drawings and sketches.
We love DIY art as it’s personal and unique to home. You can adjust colours to your interior, use letters, names or words to personalise or simple enjoy using your own creativity and have fun.
Brit + Co blog have excelled in curating a fantastic collection of links to so many incredible projects and ideas. There’s so many to choose from with varying levels of difficulty. Many just involving materials you may have lying around the house – paint (tester pots are very useful), masking tape, coloured paper, sequins, old books, all sorts!
Have a browse through their blog and find the right tutorial for you!
Take a romantic journey with print and patterns this Summer when watercolours take centre stage. Look out for bed linen, rugs, soft furnishings and art prints in gorgeous blended colours.
Structured and modern art is replaced by the relaxing fluidity of watercolour. Mix in framed prints to a picture wall to update a room, or add a rug to a living room to bring a subtle statement.
This trend is great for everyone, go bold with vibrant colours of red, blues, yellows and greens. Keep it more muted with soft tones; a popular choice now is blue and green with everything in between. And even if you are a monochrome fan, you can still have a bit of watercolour in your home.
Letter accessories are a great way to personalise your home with new and old type styles, available online, in stores and from markets. It’s a unique alternative to home accessories – looking good wall mounted, hanging on doors or standing on sideboards or shelving.
We love these ‘individual black letters and numbers screened onto clear perspex with geometric detailing‘ sourced by Respect Your Elders and sold through Pedlars World (online) – £12 each.
Explore vintage shops and antiques fairs to find discarded vintage fonts previously used for signage in pubs, shops, and other businesses. Ebay is also a great source for these.
Spell out motivational words, names or statements or just choose single initials.
We love Desenio for its amazingly priced prints and frames. Their collection is always evolving and there is so much to choose from.
Their latest new arrivals is a gorgeous collection of digital art including portraits, architecture, plants and more. Everything is fresh and brightly coloured with emphesis on green and pink; great colours to invest in this year.
2017 sees a move towards big and bold in wall art in the home. To create an impact and a statement in a room, abstract art has a powerful wow-factor and can bring colours together from a scheme, introduce pattern and be a visual talking point.
Abstract art uses a visual language of shape, form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world.
Abstract art can also translate into soft furnishings and fabrics; for curtains, cushions and bedding. It is a good way to bring bold pattern into design and be the starting point for the styling and use of colour in a room. Work of famous and amateur artists is often translated into fabric design. Head to ZaidaUk or Zazzle for Abstract art on cushions or visit museum shops for great examples. We love these Henri Matisse cushions from HomeLava (below) at just £10.
One of the most renowned abstract artists was Jackson Pollock and his work is famously shown world wide in galleries as well as designed into many homeware pieces both from the original works as well as inspired designs from his work.
Paul Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956), known professionally as Jackson Pollock, was an American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement. He was well known for his unique style of drip painting.
This new exhibition at the British Museum explores 1960’s art in America and the iconic pieces that look at society and divisions around at the time.
‘Starting with the ezplosion of pop arr in the 1960, the exhibition includes worka by the most celebrated American artists. From Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauuschenberg to Ed Ruscha, Kara Walker and Julie Mehretu – all boldly experimented with printmaking. Experience this extraordinary history through their eyes’
An insightful and inspiring exhibition well worth a visit. [ Tickets cost £16.50 ]