Art+Interior = True Love

Author: Henriette Roka-Aardal, artist and restorer from Norway
Having art on the wall does not affect the interior only, it also affects you as a person (or the ones who come and visit): you pause and have a look. And look again. It is almost impossible to recall the stresses and strains of everyday life in an «art moment». If you haven’t done it before, I sure can recommend for you to try. I call it a “colorful antistress prescription”. – Henriette Roka-Aardal


After eighteen years as a gilder and a salesman in the interior- and textile industry, it is only now when I’ve found the job of my dreams. The fact that I am now continuing my grandfather’s legacy and creating my own art makes me both proud and humble. Meanwhile, I would like to use my knowledge and creativity, and also share my experience and interest for the interaction between art and interior, to show and guide people how art can create a personal atmosphere and lifting the entire interior in a room. I also want as many people as possible to have their eyes opened to art and the pleasure it brings to surround themselves with art in their homes.

Many people are often reluctant to buy art because they do not know what to choose, where to buy , or they might have a notion that it is so expensive so they rather let it be.

But it is not so difficult to choose art as you might think, and it doesn´t need to cost a fortune to put a really good artwork on the wall. If, at your friends’ homes, you’ve seen the art you liked  then ask them who the artist is and where they bought the work. You can buy an artwork from a gallery or directly from the artist. Today art lovers have a much easier access to finding art which they really like, since many artists show their artworks through social media  – Facebook or Instagram, or on their websites. The possibilities are various. Just as the art itself.

Go on an ‘art trip’ to the galleries in the city and familiarize yourself with what the different galleries are selling. You can also stop by any local gallery: you may be lucky enough to find one or more artists who have their studios in the area where you live and work. You can pay them a visit and see more of their work. Perhaps it is exactly there, in an artist’s studio, where you’ll find your favorite art piece, with a capital “P”.

The capital letter “P” can stand for many things, such as a classic from Picasso (if you’re really, really lucky). Or the word “Pretty”. Or “Passion”, because you just fell in love with a piece of art. The latter, I believe, is the essence and should be the main reason why you buy art. If you purchase a piece of art because you love it and the motive touches you and evoke emotions in you, you will rarely regret the buying. Probably you will know exactly the same good feeling every time you look at the painting as the first time you fell for it.


Most people are not serious art collectors , but has a desire to adorn and decorate the walls with real artwork instead of mass-produced images from big department stores, because real art on a wall creates a personal style. Interest in art is also increasing among the young people. For instance, in Norway we see more people also want art in their cottages. More and more people are starting to become aware of the value of art, and I’m not talking of the actual financial investment in art – rather about the fact that art does something special to us. It can provoke, inspire, frustrate, and delight us. Sometimes it can just be nice to rest your eyes on a painting and be in “the nothing box” as my brother-in-law tend to say when he’s not thinking of anything.

Who usually buys what? Younger people often do not have much stuff on the walls, so they often prefer to buy larger artworks. On the opposite, adults and older people who have been collecting art for many years usually have less space on the walls, and tend to choose smaller paintings. When people move in and out it’s also natural they want a change both, interior and style. Many people say they want to replace what has been on the walls in connection with the move. They simply want something new to enjoy.

Not everyone can afford to spend money on new art. How not to get bored with what you already have? Think creatively, just as a client of mine did. She didn’t have room for all the artworks she and her family owned. Thus their art collection was divided into a «spring and autumn collection», as she called it. Twice a year she switched from one collection to the other, so she got something new to behold, -and she was happy every time she changed her seasonal art displays.

How to work with the interior to accommodate your art collection? Often, there is no need for major changes to thrive better in your own home whether you’re getting a finer living room or appreciating what you’ve already got. Sometimes all you should do is move things and switch places for your art and decorative items in order to see them in a new light. Another solution – you may want to paint the wall to be satisfied even more.

Are there more affordable options than purchasing an expensive painting? Sure, yes. If you want a cheaper option than buying a real painting, why not buy an art print directly from the artists or a gallery? It is significantly cheaper. Artists often select some of their paintings to make art prints: they can sign and sell them in limited editions. Also, you can buy art prints without framing, and it will be even cheaper, so then it is up to you if you want to frame it or not.

Should a piece of art be framed or not? When customers buy a painting from me, I always advise them first to hang the artwork up and let it “mature” a bit before they decide to have a frame. Sometimes a painting manages excellently, unframed. But sometimes it is screaming for a frame which can “hold the motive in place”. Framing can also provide a nice finish and a contrast to the colors in both, the artwork and the wall.

How to choose a frame? I recommend choosing a color that is already in several of the elements in the room. For example, if your door handles, candlesticks, lamps, and other frames are silver, then opt for a silver frame for your new artwork. When in doubt, the good idea is to photograph the room and show the picture at the framing workshop. Professionals will quickly see what frame would be the best for the both: your painting and your interior. Remember: when you add a painting to your room, and the color scheme of the painting and your interior do not match, it still looks good. But if you hang up a framed painting, with a frame that does not match any of the interior, it can create a messy look.


Art helps you personalize your home and show who you are. Decorating with art in the same color and style as the interior creates a peaceful and harmonious expression. If you like and want contrasts, choose an artwork that stands out in your room interior, both in style, design and colors. Everything depends on how daring you want to be and what you like. It is indeed an art in itself to decorate a house. With or without art.

About the author, Henriette Roka-Aardal: Currently Henriette working with one of the largest residential builders in Norway, Block Watne, where she decorates show houses with her artwork. On April 14th, an exhibit “Art in a House” opens. It takes place in one of Block Watne’s show houses, just outside of Oslo. On the contrary with gallery exhibits, the audience will see the artworks shown in a private, intimate, home-style atmosphere. Henriette Roka-Aardal says: “It will be very exciting to see how people respond to this show. When you look at art in a decorated real house you truly see how beautifully art and interior are connected and highlight each other.”



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