Sunday 25 August 2019

Six ways pop art can improve your home


Defaced Duchess, €208,
Defaced Duchess, €208,
Pop art can add a modern touch to a traditional room, making it instantly contemporary and up to date – see ‘Soup Can’ by Chloe Cheese;
Beano Coasters, €15.95,
Blaam Sign, €820 (made to order),
Wizard of Oz Ketchup Bottle, €1,700,
Dragonfly Cushion, from €10.55,

Anna Shelswell-white

Bright block colours, popular icons and graphic patterns are the hallmarks of pop art culture, with Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein being the trailblazing artists of the 1950s and 1960s. Today, their work has been replicated and reprinted on numerous surfaces and not just canvas so that pop art needs little introduction.

It may seem cliched and overdone to some, but the good news is that there is a new wave of pop art on the scene that can sit harmoniously within your interior design scheme. Irish artist Orla Walsh has embraced the style full throttle and added a quintessentially Irish bent. Her favourite subjects? Tayto crisp packets, ketchup bottles and Guinness cans.

"It is very easy to incorporate a piece of pop art into any home," she says. "It's bold, quirky and cool but also very versatile. It lends itself to streamlined open-plan kitchen and living spaces - a flash of strong, bold colour can really add an interesting design element to the space."

For the art lover, a piece of pop art on the wall never goes out of style. Hang it right and you'll lift the space, hang it wrong and you run the risk of creating a space that feels awkward and uneasy. "I find an easy way to correct this is to browse interior design websites or look at magazines to see how the paintings are hung," adds Orla.

Framed prints and paintings are the easiest way to incorporate pop art to your home. For furnishings and furniture in the style, you have to dig a little deeper. If you want to add some comic relief and bold colour in the shape of cushions, ceramics or furniture, e-commerce websites like Etsy and should be your first ports of call.

Closer to home, Irish shop Find ( sells lettered lights that will add a graphic touch to a dull corner or brighten up your kid's room. Not only that but, because they are made to order, you can congratulate yourself on your bespoke look.

Painting the walls is another fun way to pay homage to pop art while putting your own stamp on a space. Interior designer Katharina Gummelt of Xiu Feng Shui has played with paint to create geometric shapes and angles in bold colours. She has a few tips for those who are contemplating a DIY pop art project.

"Give yourself plenty of time to do the job. You need to calculate drying time for each coat of paint - you'll need about 20 hours, in total, to finish one wall," she says of a wall that's 4x4 metres.

"Start with the brightest colour first. It's better to paint over a bright colour with a darker colour, if needs be," she adds, and equip yourself with Frog Tape, the essential DIY tool for achieving the clean straight lines essential for pop art-inspired spaces.

Every room in the house can benefit from the colour and fun that pop art brings - even the bathroom. "Most people neglect their bathrooms but there's no harm in adding an extra bit of style to a very functional space," says Orla.

Anna Shelswell-White is editor of House and Home magazine

Bright and beautiful

Beano coasters, €15.95

Add a hint of nostalgia - and some comic appeal - to a coffee table;

Defaced Duchess, €208

Mix classic art with contemporary ideas for an interesting spin on wall art; frenchbedroom

Blaam sign, €820 (made to order)

Liven up the hallway or add some personality to an empty space with pieces that are fun and functional;

Wizard of Oz ketchup bottle, €1,700

Images of food and well-known brands suit a kitchen perfectly;

Dragonfly cushion, from €10.55

Take inspiration from Warhol's screen printing series with repeated motifs in different colours;

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