Contemporary graffiti originated in the 1800's as a mode of self expression, protest, and a desire for social, political, and communal change. People wanted their voices heard during times of great upheaval. They used public backdrops as their canvases and often risked their lives to get their messages across. By authorities, this form of expression was considered vandalism. By gangs, it was looked to as a form of "turf" control. Flash forward to the twenty-first century where street-art and graffiti are being used by large companies as a form of commercial advertising. Oh, how the tides have turned.
On our travels, we have come across some of the coolest, dynamic, and thought-provoking pieces of street-art. This got us thinking. Can the home, too, be a place for graffiti? Simply put — why not?! Inspiration can be found anywhere. The real dilemma, here, is how not to make your home look tacky in the process. We've got some tips to get you started.
Tip 1: Say Something
The important thing to remember when introducing graffiti into your home is to keep the spirit of the art form in check. It may not be dangerous, public, or even political but it can still evoke meaning and speak to what you believe in. Put your heart in your home. Say something!
You can do that through the use of graffiti-like script, like the one above, or through an engaging piece of art that speaks to you. If you are artistic, DIY a funky wall mural or put together a hip gallery wall. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to provide you with a sense of purpose, drive, and/or reflection. Whatever pieces you choose to showcase, we highly recommend that they don't stir up anger or angst in you because you want your home to still feel relaxing and inviting.
Tip 2: Use Colours Purposefully
On the streets, an array of coloured spray paints and oil-based chalks are used to pack an urban impact. In the home, a level of cohesion is necessary in order to create a desirable and inviting look. Ask yourself, "What statement am I trying to make?" Choose colours with that statement in mind.
Don't forget to pull colours used in your graffiti piece throughout the space to create a look that fits together well. For instance, take a look at the room above. What stands out? The cohesion created from the yellow in the print, in the armchair and in the decorative pillow. How do you choose the perfect colour to fit the space? Refer to tip 3.
Tip 3: Choose Colours with Psychology in Mind
Colours and colour tones have a psychological effect on the brain and on mood, so be mindful of your intent before starting a project. Cool colours such as light purple, blue and green tend to create a calm and restful atmosphere, ideal for settings where peace and tranquility are the goal. Bathrooms and offices thrive in cooler tones. Richer purples tend to spark creativity.
On the other hand, warm colours such as red, orange, and yellow are great for creating a sense of well, warmth, in the home. They stimulate the senses and intensify happiness, excitement, and even feelings of hunger. Red is a definite power colour, orange elicits change, and yellow grabs your attention evoking a feeling of optimism around you. Warning: yellow also reflects light, so avoid painting your whole room yellow or you may experience some eye irritation.
Neutral colours like white, black, brown, and grey are all staple interior design colours due to their versatility. However, they all have a different effect on the brain. White is often associated with cleanliness and minimalism, that is why this colour is standard in hospitals and hotels. It also creates a sense of space and grandeur, making a room look more spacious.
Black symbolizes strength and authority. If you wish to say comment on the strength of your culture, black would be an ideal colour to incorporate into your graffiti inspired home. Brown is synonymous with organic, natural, and comfort. That is why, for many years, it became a staple for many homes. Grey has a timeless and practical quality, allowing homeowners to feel at ease with their choice for years to come.
Tip 4: Play Around With Geometrics
Due to the urban landscape in which graffiti lives, the pieces often incorporate rougher, more industrial elements and shapes. Geometrics are huge in the graffiti world. Take your cue from the streets and incorporate some geometric designs into your home. If you need help sourcing some great furniture pieces, contact us for assistance!
Contemporary graffiti was inspired by hip-hop culture, so in order to make your home feel authentic, use home accents and furnishings that create a sense of hip-hop nostalgia. Check out the retro rug, statement figurines, and magnificent geometric glass-top coffee table, above, for inspiration!
If you are struggling to find abstract art to your liking, message us and we can help! We collaborate with many great artists like the one showcased above. Her prints are dynamic, thought-provoking and definitely have that raw, graffiti-like feel.
Love the street art look but not quite sure how to make it work in your space without looking tacky? We have some tricks up our sleeves. Contact us at White Dahlia Design for all your interior design needs!