Make a house a home with art

Art in the home

Whether it's a vintage print, an oil painting, pressed flowers in a frame, a child's drawing, a favourite photo, a ceramic plate (the list really is endless) we think art is fundamental in making a house a home.

It brings character to a space, colour and texture. It brings bare walls and surfaces to life. Anything can be considered art, yes you can buy an especially sourced oil painting for a specific area of your home but you can also buy a postcard from an exhibition for a couple of pounds. Both will bring joy to you and your home.

Perhaps Charleston is one of the best examples for an art filled home. Charleston and the Bloomsbury group is having a bit of a moment, and you can see why. Home to artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant as soon as they moved to Charleston in 1916 they began to paint every surface and object in sight. It became the home and gathering place of some of the most influential and radical artists, writers and designers in the 20th Century and so was formed the Bloomsbury group.

As well as visiting the house (a MUST if you are visiting Sussex) they host many talks, exhibitons and events too. Charleston are opening their sister space in the nearby town of Lewes (again, visit if you haven't, it is a haven for all things vintage and antique). Their new space will have a busy program of exhibitions, community projects, workshops and other activities.

Here in this rather meaty journal we look at arty inspiration in the form of galleries and artists, framers and plates. We have a selection of our vintage prints, beautifully framed online as well as a collection of oils, pressings and prints in all three of our shops. Just ask if there is something specific you are looking for, we are happy to help curate your impeneding gallery wall.


We’ve probably banged on about it before but plates hung on your wall as art is a BIG trend right now, and we are here for it. It’s an easy (and generally!) much for affordable way of covering a large expanse of wall with “art”.

Mix and match colours and styles or keep things simple and only hang plates with blue and cream tones perhaps, such as our Cornish ware plates. Here are a few favourite examples of plate walls done well. 

the swinging city

If you are able to, there's nothing quite as good as having a wander around a gallery (followed by a coffee and pastry, who do we think we are)?! There's something about the expansive spaces and of course the art that enables everyone to feel inspired, creative or not. Of course the openness of the turbine hall at the Tate Modern is a wonderful place to visit, partiuclarly with children. Who doesn't want to get lost in the wallpaper prints at The V&A and meander through Tate Britain on a slow Sunday afternoon?

Pick up a postcard or print of your favourite works too, frame it on your landing or stick it to your fridge.

the south west

As well the bigger galleries we are blessed here and around the Cotswolds to have various galleries and museums at our disposal to visit. Prema Arts is one such place, they host live music and theatre as well as art exhibitions and workshops for both adults and children. It's a cosy and unique space and well worth a visit if you haven't visited before.

We can't not mention SVA in Stroud. Home to 26 artists SVA supports and encourages local artists with affordable studio spaces. They open their studios once a year at the site festival for you to explore and be inspired by.

The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum based in Cheltenham is another gem that we at DS are keen to make more of. Again their program of events and exhibitions is extensive. We particularly like the look of PLAY an exhibition by artist Alice Humphreys who has taken inspiration from the Museum and galleries art collection to create a fun, colourful engaging experience for visitors young and old.

Finally (though there are many more places to visit) is Spike Island in Bristol. Again it is a home to many practicing artists completeing residences and fellowships but it also hosts many exhibitions, workshops and tours. A place that we need to visit more than we do.

It's fair to say many of us are trying our hand at some Bloomsbury esque painted patterns around the fireplace or on an old wooden chair picked up at a local boot sale but Decorative painter Tess Newall is something else. (She probably doesn't use her 5 year old's scrubby paint brushes for a start).

Tess hand paints bespoke murals, furniture and has just launched her own range of hand painted homewares. We can't wait to see what she does next.

Tess Newall

8 Holland Street is a design studio and collection of galleries which along with its various London locations also has a local Bath gallery and newly opened apartment The Townhouse which is situated above their Bath premises.

If you haven’t visited before, we recommend that you do. Even if it’s just to admire their bright yellow painted gloss floor. The artwork and objects that they showcase are beautifully curated. It’s a feast for the eyes.

As is The Townhouse, it's location is between the famous Circle and Royal Crescent in Bath and is an ideal place for a weekend escape. Be ready to splash some cash or just drool and take some inspiration from their collections, talks, displays and imagery like we do here at DS.

roll up, roll up prints for sale

Antique Van Houten Print dating from 1870 set within a bespoke handcrafted green bobbin frame.  

This delightful print features Bignonia Grandiflora, more commonly known as the Chinese trumpet vine in vivid shades of orange, yellow and green.

Loudon period colour floral print set within a bespoke handcrafted bobbin frame.

Mrs. Jane Webb Loudon gained fame as a pioneering female printmaker in the 19th century, producing hand coloured lithographs of English wildflowers.

Beautiful original vintage book plates of delicate speckled eggs.

These vintage book plate's date from around 1860's has been carefully mounted in an understated black frame and has the original corresponding page mounted on the back detailing more information about print.

Antique silk screen print dating dating from c.1900 set within a bespoke handcrafted blue bobbin frame.  

This print features the majestic Cambridge Calla Lily in tones of green and yellow.

to frame or not to frame that is the question

Perhaps there are two distinctive camps here, or perhaps like us you like dabble in a bit of both. Framing a piece of art can no doubt make it sing. It doesn't have to be a painting either, but perhaps a collection of shells or your dried wedding bouquet. Equally, it can be an expensive process and there is also something pleasantly casual about a non framed oil painting slung on the wall.

A local contemporary framer to us is RO Frames, some of us here at DS have used their framing service's before and some of us would very much like to. Clearly taking great care and detail their made to measure frames are a thing of beauty.

Land Messengers

Finally, Malmesbury based abstract artist Jane Joynson is having an exhibition at Amy Perry's Tetbury shop this September. Jane's work is full of colour, texture and layers. We think her work is truly captivating.

Hopefully you can stop by for a gawp and admire Amy's treasure filled shop amongst other Tetbury gems. (There's lots)!

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