Decorating With Landscapes – The Most Popular Artwork on Earth

Landscapes are the most universal subject and the best selling genre for art around the world. The term landscape in Chinese comes from shan shui and consists of the characters for mountain and water. In the West, American landscapes have evolved significantly over the past few centuries.

The earliest landscapes in colonial America were either backgrounds in portraits or rural images painted for Europeans interested in the New World. By the 1820s, the vast landscape of America had come to represent the boundless promise of America, the opportunity for prosperity and the presence of God in nature. As America became more settled, artists also depicted homey scenes of farms and rolling hills.

More recently, images of landscapes have been the focus of a number of studies (Ulrich, Simons and Honeyman, 1979,1986, 1987) that have demonstrated that nature scenes reduce negative emotions such as fear, anger and sadness. Views of nature also produce positive physiological effects such as reducing muscle tension and blood pressure. Studies that track brain activity suggest that more alpha frequency brain activity (wakeful relaxation) occurs during nature exposures.

Research in hospitals has shown that landscape and nature images reduce the need for pain medication and increase recovery rates for patients. Other studies of individuals in confined settings such as students, prisoners and those in high stress work environments indicate the same positive effects from views of nature, whether these are actual views through windows or artistic images of nature.

The symbolic meaning of landscapes is related to the natural elements present in the scene depicted. The earth is symbolic of physical matter and the body. The earth is feminine, as in Mother Earth and Mother Nature. The colors associated with the earth are brown, green and other earth tones such as rust, sienna and umber.

The sun is the most basic symbol in landscape art and is the simplest-usually depicted as a circle. The sun is the source of warmth and represents the psyche. The sun is symbolic of spiritual illumination or wholeness. The colors associated with the sun are yellow and gold. The sun is the masculine principle and is related to time.

The moon is usually represented as less than full and is symbolic of the hidden aspects of life. The moon also has sinister connotations and is related to the unconscious dream world. The colors associated with the moon are yellow and silver.

Water is also a significant element in landscape art. Water has always been symbolic of the highest good in life and the source of life. Agricultural people have worshipped water in the form of rivers, clouds, mist and rain. In the West, water is symbolized by the colors blue, teal and aqua. In the East, the colors black and navy blue symbolize water.

Other specific elements associated with landscapes are mountains (symbols of strength and inspiration), rocks (symbols of safety, protection and refuge) and trees (symbols of strength and courage).

When it comes to decorating your home or office, the ongoing popularity and proliferation of landscape art gives you virtually unlimited choices for decorating your home with the most popular art on earth.

Top 5 Interior Decorating And Art Trends For 2008

Pamela Smith, one of the top experts in the quickly rising field of interior redesign, discusses having the proper perspective on trends:

“Are trends merely a designer’s opinion of what’s in fashion, or are they important style markers that add continuity to our lives? When asking for a definition of the word “trend,” my guess is most would say it means transitory – like lava lamps and shag carpeting. However, I imagine trends as sturdier stuff, based on finding beautiful and appropriate core-enhancers for a home. Your home shouldn’t be all about changing styles for change’s sake. Trends are about adding in fresh pieces that solidify the layers around the core.

“Updating your home with stylish, new furnishings has never been easier. There is such a wide array of styles available you’re sure to find several to suit your home’s décor. Whether you prefer ultra-sophisticated, nature-inspired, Zen influence, or country cozy, each of these styles shows up as a trend in 2008. It’s an effortless way to redesign.”

Top Five Interior Decorating and Art Trends for 2008 Decorating your home is easier once you have decided on your art decorating style. This year’s hot trends in interior decorating and design feature natural elegance coupled with striking statements. Art and wall décor are major factors in 2008 and their successful use really sets the tone and standard for the rest of a room. Follow these decorating tips to set your interior wall décor apart from the rest. You will notice trends that pair contrasting elements, colors and styles together in a way that creates a harmonious and peaceful experience.

With the Olympics being held in China this year, look for global inspirations to influence several decorating trends in 2008 including prevalent uses of Eastern, Asian and Moroccan styles. Zen inspired decoration is also prevalent in 2008 to help create a balanced and peaceful interior. Below are the top five interior decorating ideas for 2008 that are sure to help guide how you think and respond to art.

Natural Inspiration The natural look of wood, metal and other elements found throughout nature is a huge interior decorating trend for 2008. Look for gentle greens, earthy browns, rustic silvers, brushed coppers, sky blues, golden yellows and other nature-inspired colors that will add warmth to your interior décor. Look for artwork that pairs the earth-inspired colors with a darker natural touch; artwork that features soft subtle colors accented with dark, woodsy and metallic looking frames.

Contrasting Colors Look for colors that complement each other in a distinct way. Be careful though not to go overboard with too many colors that would distract more than attract. A delicate balance provides a striking appearance. Softer hues of white and ivory contrasted with rich tones and bright accents. Think soft colors with timely bursts of flare; Asian influences will permeate the color combinations throwing in bright reds, oranges and yellows amongst the darker, softer and muted colors. Look for art trends to find a successful balance of both worlds: soft with hints of bold.

Texture The ability to feel what you see is an important trend for interior décors in 2008. Mixing textures enhances the visual impact and adds a sense of completeness to other popular interior decorating trends for 2008. Think contrasting natural colors and textures in a way that adds luxury in a very dramatic way. Mixing traditional, ornate frames with contemporary and modern art trends is also an excellent way to enhance the harmonizing textured appearance. Look for wrapped or framed canvas artwork that enhances not only your walls but also your entire interior décor.

Simple and Sophisticated Veer away from gaudy and overdone. Luxury no longer means more but rather simple and concise. 2008 decorating styles feature simple statements that enhance the feeling of tranquility. Creating a harmonious atmosphere that inspires peace is also a very popular trend this year. Homes and the décor used are becoming so much more than just a dwelling but should inspire a sense of sanctuary. Keep in mind, simplicity is not minimalism. Think using one word where others would use three; a sophistication of style, simple and relaxing, not cluttered and chaotic. Look for artwork that calms but is not lifeless; everything from landscapes to abstracts should gently inspire rather than confusedly complicate.

Improving the Landscape of Your Outdoor Space With the Right Decoration and Furniture

Home furnishing no longer limits itself to making your indoor home area stylish. Most home owners nowadays try to beautify their outdoor spaces by placing the right decorations and furniture. If you thought that furnishing is only applicable for indoor spaces, you might get surprised with the wide array of furniture set that are designed to be placed outside your home.

Aside from furniture choices, other decorations can also improve your outdoor space at home. Some are designed for outdoor aesthetics at night, while others improve the view during the day.

So what are the different ways in which you can improve the outside view of your home?

Lighting

Although unappreciated during the day, having the right outdoor lighting can have many benefits. First is that it can beautify and give emphasis on some areas of your home at night, depending on where they are placed. You can place outdoor lights along your walk way, on your patio or even around your home.

Aside from aesthetic purposes, outdoor lighting can also improve safety and security for your home. By having ample lighting outside your house, you can easily spot if anyone suspicious is lurking around. This can alert you for possible intruders that seek to harm you and your family.

Outdoor furniture

When you talk about outdoor furniture, the most common image that may come into your mind would be purchasing plastic benches, chairs and tables to fill up the area around your home. However, you should ask yourself if plastic is really worth it?

Although most plastic outdoor furniture can be inexpensive, they can offer little comfort. It is important that you should be comfortable with your outdoor furniture, especially if you are the type who spends a lot of time lounging around outside. Getting wooden outdoor furniture may be a good choice to make. Not only do they offer a comfortable feel, they also add to the natural feeling when you stay outdoors.

However, you should not only limit your choices to wood. There are outdoor sofas that are made with from other materials, but can offer the same comfort and feel. One kind of sofa that can be a great addition to your outdoor furnishing would be an outdoor sectional sofa set. This can be a great choice if you often have friends come over. Because this kind of furniture set can be rearranged to different positions that can be accommodating, it can allow your outdoor area to be the perfect receiving place for your guests.

Other than sofas and chairs, you can also add a table to your outdoor home environment. This can be a great addition to any one’s patio deck. If you want to spend a lot of time relaxing outdoors, you need something that can offer you a chance to lay back and relax. Installing a hammock in your outdoor ground may be just what you need.

Whichever type of furniture you need, it is important that you keep in mind that apart from being stylish it is important to get one that is durable and can offer the utmost comfort.