Welcome to ART IN THE WORLD OF INTERIORS - a cycle of short features where we will be visiting fabulous homes around the world and their owners who are passionate about art . Each home which we will visit is unique, with it’s own style & character. From castles, through to period homes, cottages, flats, new-builds, terrace houses to semis, from cities, towns, villages and country sides across the globe… I would like to invite you to join me in this inspirational journey where we will explore different ideas and styles in interior design and we will explore various ways of styling art in your home.
The sumptuous art of glam-cycling – home of Sarah aka @relovedmcr
On today’s visit I’m taking you to a leafy suburb of Bolton, just a few miles outside Manchester. Here in a woodland enclave and surrounded by the Lancashire hills lives Sarah – the furniture artist behind @relovedmcr.
I’ve been admiring Sarah’s creativity, style & character for a few years now and I’m very excited to show you around her extraordinary & sumptuous house.
In Sarah’s own words:
My home is a three story new-build town house, only about 12 yeas old. I bought it 6 years ago, the first house I bought post-divorce! First time I have ever lived in a new build home, so I have tried hard to inject it with character and soul in the absence of pretty period features.
I live here with my two sons, although my partner of ten years also stays here part time when he is not looking after his own kids!
- What inspires you when decorating your home and what has drawn you to your style?
I’m inspired by so many things…fashion, travel, art, my partner, my kids….I worked for many years in fashion and beauty PR, and spent hours backstage at international runway shows watching the make up artists, stylists and designers creating magical art close up. It’s perhaps one of the reasons I’m not afraid to experiment or play with colour and texture in my home.
I’m drawn to vibrant colour and texture, as a means to imbue my home with character and glamour. The house doesn’t have great bones, in that there are no elegant windows, high ceilings or mouldings etc, so I always plan my décor with an eye on elevating the space with vintage and found items. I often decorate around one or two very special items, particularly furniture or accessories that I have had for a long time and that mean something to me.
As as an avid glam-cycler, I love taking charity shop finds and transforming them into pieces that suit my own aesthetic. It might be through hand-painting, gilding, gold leafing, or recovering with fabric or wallpaper. Customisation is the key to creating my interior. I rarely buy off the high street, and when I do, I mix it in with all my one-off eclectic pieces. I dislike the idea of my home looking like others’ – even the ones I truly covet and admire! Individuality is hugely important to me.
- Would you like to share few tips on how you choose art for your home?
Ah! That’s easy! I’ll list my criteria:
1.I utilise original art which has been handed down or gifted to me by family. I’m fortunate to own several paintings which belonged to my grandparents, which are very old-fashioned pastoral oil paintings in their original gilt frames. I adore them.
2.My gorgeous partner is a talented artist and designer, although he only paints as a hobby. I have bits of his large acrylic on canvas works dotted all over the house.
3. I only buy “new” art or prints from independent artists who I admire, such as yourself Marta! Over the last 20 years, I’ve bought several original paintings and sketches from friends of friends and more recently from artists I’ve got to know through Instagram.
4. I occasionally buy vintage art found in charity shops – although mostly I buy for the frames alone!!!
5. I buy stuff that resonates with me, evokes a memory or that simply I enjoy looking at. I don’t care what the monetary value is, or what others think of it. If I like it, and it’s within my budget….I might well buy it.
6. Black and white photos of your loved ones always works for me. If you enjoy faffing around with a camera or phone, you can create your very own photographic artworks on a minimal budget.
7. I don’t buy mass produced artwork from the high street. I’m not a snob about it, but I just don’t feel the need to when there is such a rich source of art to be found in all of the above ways!
- Do you choose art to go with your home décor or other way round?
Both! Sometimes the art can dictate the room décor, and other times, vice versa.
I don’t necessarily view “art” as a painting or drawing. I see certain items as art on their own right. For example, I bought a 1920s lace dress in London about 15 years ago, which I’ve never worn. I think it’s so beautiful, I just have it hanging on my bedroom wall draped with feathers and a pearl necklace. To me, it’s art!!! I stare at it often from my bed and get so much pleasure from looking at it.
- How do you arrange your wall galleries?
I don’t have any gallery walls as such…I don’t think I know how to put one together! Instead, I hang art as a singular piece on a wall, which I think probably makes a bolder statement, or perhaps group three together.
- How do you chose a frame for the art and where you get your frames ?
I gravitate towards gilt, baroque style frames for most of the art I own, but some canvases I have left without frames, just because I think they work better without. My partner’s work is quite urban and gritty, so in the main, I use simple wood frames that he makes himself.
- Any other tips when it comes to styling art in interiors?
My main tip would be to choose whatever you love, and not worry about whether it can be perfectly curated into your scheme. If you only take home what you really covet, you will find a place for it!
- Can you tell us more about the furniture pieces which you create?
I started revamping vintage furniture many years ago as a hobby, and it wasn’t until I left my PR agency role in 2016 to go freelance that I had time and head space to develop it as a business. I don’t feel there is any great technical expertise to what I do....but I do think there is a skill in selecting the colours, patterns and finishes with particular pieces perhaps. I get a lot of pleasure interpreting my customers’ aesthetic aspirations, helping them to arrive at pretty pieces which will work with their unique décor. Always with my own stamp on of course!! I never compromise....I would rather not work on a piece if the brief is not in sync with my style.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed your 9th visit with Lush Eclectic Art into the world of interiors and that you found the above tips and ideas inspiring.
For more home décor inspiration follow Sarah on Instagram here:
Next time… the clues of where I’m taking you are: hot springs, Roman baths dating to ancient times, medieval heritage and stately Georgian architecture…
Have a lovely day x