Styling Your Space: Themes vs Balanced Mixture

When our team begins work with a client, the process always begins in a similar fashion: in-depth conversations about the goals of the space, who will be utilizing the space, and what the final look and feel of the space will be. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small medical clinic, a large health care facility or a corporate office – inevitably the question we get from our clients is: “What theme are we going to incorporate?”

It’s an important question, but doesn’t always have an easy answer!

When we talk about the theme of a space, there are a variety of factors and variables that need strong consideration; a theme goes well beyond simple nature-based photography or abstract pieces that incorporate pleasing colors.

For example, research in Evidence-Based Design (EBD) shows that nature-based art placed throughout medical facilities can aid in the healing process. However, if you fill a hospital with only realistic nature-based photographs, the pieces will eventually blend into the wall and nobody will “see” them. As a result, the benefits that art provides can be diminished.

However, if you build a theme around medical disciplines, such as pediatrics, oncology or a women’s center, you can address the space without using cliché themes.  For example, instead of using pastel shades of floral images in a women’s center, you can assemble a collection of art by women artists. Using elements of nature throughout a space – in sculptures, photos, painting, mixed media and textiles – you create a dynamic, interesting and engaging space that incorporates a balanced mixture of pieces that share a common bond under the theme of nature-based design.

When done right, the theme of a space needs to take into account the art collection as a whole, and the “theme” becomes about a balanced mixture of styles and pieces that share a common, cohesive message.  It incorporates a combination of mediums and a variety of artwork types under a single theme. It’s about being conscious of different areas of the space; placing art pieces that are appropriate in size, style color and imagery. Timeless art will stimulate, engage, and elicit a response from viewers.

Our philosophy at Integrated Art Group has always been to incorporate diversity of styles, media and subject matter in all the projects we coordinate. Art is subjective. In a public environment all walks of life are exposed to it. However, because we understand that people with different experiences and backgrounds will be part of our clients’ spaces, we have a unique and exciting opportunity to raise the bar through a balanced mixture of styles within the themes we develop.  We can provide a truly meaningful experience within the spaces we create.


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