Home & Design

Barbara Hawthorn hung a diptych by Paul Reed on the upper landing in a grand Bethesda home.

Broad Brush

Barbara Hawthorn offers guidance on selecting art

As Barbara Hawthorn avers, “Art is a focal point, introducing color, form and visual excitement. Without it, a home will lack soul no matter how beautiful the furnishings.” Below, the designer reveals her carefully curated steps to finding and placing fine art.

STEP 1.
We provide resources for purchasing or commissioning art for clients who have already established their taste.

STEP 2.
For those who aren’t sure what they like, we visit galleries, auctions, museums, studios and vetted art fairs, in person and virtually, to identify genres that elicit a visual and emotional reaction and sense of connection.

STEP 3.
With taste and preferences established, we find the works that resonate most.

STEP 4.
We specify frames to best showcase art, weighing aesthetic, technical and preservation concerns. The right frame can make a modest piece look great.

STEP 5.
We recommend the best placement for each piece of art.

STEP 6.
We install the art so it will withstand an earthquake—or a room full of exuberant kids.

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