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An artistic escape

When it comes to choosing artwork for your walls, sometimes making a decision and actually committing to a particular piece can feel utterly overwhelming!

For many years, in my previous rented flats, I’ve avoided making a commitment by invoking the ‘do not damage the walls’ clause in my contact, and opted to simply lean layered pieces of framed artwork against the wall instead. At first it felt like a ‘style statement’, but over time I realised it was simply a cop out. In our new home however, I have no such option. Luis is adamant our artwork is hung, not simply propped. And whilst I haven’t quite finished hanging everything just yet – you’ll still see a few pieces waiting to find their ‘forever homes’ on our walls – we have now hung two beautiful pieces in our lounge, and I am so happy with how they help to pull the room together! I hadn’t quite realised just how much propped artwork makes a space feel constantly ‘in progress’. Making that commitment and actually hanging a piece of art, not only helps the pieces itself to breathe, but also makes it a focal point in a space too.

Our stunning framed canvas that now hangs behind our sofa is from Sheffield-based wall art company, Green Lili. When founder Michelle got in touch recently, I was so impressed with the selection of simple, stylish designs and range of nature and architectural-inspired themes. There are plenty of poster companies out there with hundreds of scrolling pages to work through, but often this just leaves me feeling confused and uninspired. What I loved about Green Lili was the coherant edit of choice pieces that work harmoniously together, helping to make the decision process a whole lot easier!

I also loved the fact that all of their designs are produced in their Sheffield studio, and printed locally using high-quality materials, with sustainability in mind. I’ve made it my mission to support as many independent Northern businesses as possible whilst furnishing our new home, so it was great to be able to tick that box too. You can also tell that Michelle really believes in the power of art to help lift the mood and spirit; so many of the pieces in the collection feature bold, vibrant patterns and colours. Since we’re spending so much time indoors nowadays, it was important to me that our lounge – whilst remaining true to my minimalist tendencies – also embraced a soft, warm and escapist vibe too. Since we’re unable to travel at the moment, the idea of being able to escape into literature, TV and film in this room was central to our decor plans for the space. Of course, art plays a huge role in creating that atmosphere too. 

There were definitely plenty of pieces we could have opted for in this space, but tying into both of our desires to escape to the beach as soon as we possibly can, there were two stand-out options from the Green Lili collection: the large Beach Days framed canvas, and the monochrome Palm Springs print. Our lounge has a large window along one full side of the room, letting in plenty of natural daylight in and affording us an uninterrupted view of the enclosed bowling green behind our house. Couple that with the room’s wooden laminate flooring, white painted walls, and our collection of white-veneered, white-washed oak and rattan furniture, and the whole look and feel is light and bright, reminiscent of Californian coastal decor. Or ‘Scandifornian’, if you will. The Beach Days canvas perfectly picks out the blue in the sofa it sits behind, and helps tie together the greenery we have gathered in an urban jungle in front of the window with the rest of the room.

2020 was meant to be the year we planned our California coastal roadtrip (although we would most likely have actually gone in 2021), but of course all that is on hold for now. These two beautiful pieces of art have been a great way to bring a little bit of that wanderlust into our home just now, and definitely have us dreaming of the day we’ll be able to embark on those adventures for real. I think that is one of the most important lessons I’ve learnt when it comes to choosing pieces of art for the home; make sure they have a personal connection for you. It could be as simple as the piece of art that jumps out to you and lodges itself in your heart and mind, for reasons unfathomable just now, or it could be a piece that reminds you of memories past or – as for us – dreams for the future.

There are two more key rooms in which we are in need of some statement artwork for the wall; our bedroom, and our kitchen. Ideally I’d like a large canvas to hang above our new bed (which is being made right now, can’t wait for it to arrive!), and probably a diptych or tripych of printed artwork above our dining table in the kitchen. I’ve already got my eye on a couple of potential options from Green Lili. I’ll likely be vetoed by my boyfriend when it comes to the Abstract Nude Art Print, which probably be my first choice for the bedroom (also available as a diptych), but I think the High Spirits Abstract Art might be a good compromise, and picks out the right neutral tones we have in the bedroom as a base, since I prefer to add differing colours into the room via bedlinen and textiles, rather than permanent pieces.

That said, the green and pink hues in the Stay Grounded Abstract Art Canvas (seen below in a dining room setting) would likely interplay nicely with all the muted bedlinen tones we currently have on rotation, as well as the tactile chenile texture of the upholstered bed we have on order. Food for thought, for sure, although it might not work quite as well hung as a landscape image.

Ditto the Red Moroccan Tiles Wall Art Set, which could also work beautifully and ties back to our only overseas holiday of 2020, when we both fell head over heels for Marrakech back in February. We already have a piece of art from a Marrakech-based photographer we met on the trip on display in the room, so it’s definitely another contender. Watch this space, I guess!

When it comes to diptychs for the kitchen, Green Lili excel in their options. It’s great to find a company offering prints in complementary pairings, as while it can be lots of fun to mix-and-match your own favourites, curated wall art sets can help ease the headache of excessive options, and make it far easier to visual designs working together in your home. I’m such a fan of Green Lili’s Sheffield Landmarks set, and only wish they had a Manchester collection. That would be an instant choice for us, for sure! Instead I’ve got a strong leaning towards the New York City Geometric Wall Art Set; another instance of my wanderlust influencing my wall art references, as my favourite – and most frequented – city outside of the UK.

Have you discovered Green Lili‘s fantastic artwork collections yet? Let me know your favourite pieces in the comments below!


This post is in collaboration with Green Lili, but as always all thoughts and opinions are my own. All imagery of my home © Kate Baxter; all other images © Green Lili, used with permission. 

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8 comments

  1. Your home is beautiful, Kate! I love the choices you’ve made, especially the beach scene above your sofa. I hope you’re well and having a lovely week.

    1. Thanks so much Natasha! It certainly is a wonderful sight to chase away any winter blues :)

  2. Wow Kate… love all this artwork. I totally know what you mean about adding Wanderlust to the walls. A good way to keep inspired. Lovely!

    1. They have such a fab selection, right? Always good to keep the dream of travel alive – hopefully next year!

  3. Oh wow how did you choose!? There are so many wonderful prints but love your choice. I would live by the beach if possible, but next best thing above my sofa!

  4. I know what you mean. We living in a rented appartment for a long time and for this reson you are not aloud to do any changes. It is so fustrating. I love what you did with the place looks great. The IKEA chair in you living room creates a boho and relaxed vibe.

  5. Wow, what gorgeous artwork! I’m off to Pin at Green lili now…

  6. Hi Kate.

    What a fantastic article, choosing art can be really tough, especially when there’s a lot of options out there. I actually run an art business http://www.hiddenprints.co.uk and would love to collaborate with you in some way. I couldn’t see any email address anywhere for you, but would love to hear from you if you have the time. You can drop me a quick message at hello@hiddenprints.co.uk

    Thanks,

    Callum.