Let’s first second guess those here to suggest that all art is, essentially, functional and that all pieces of furniture, equipment and the rest could also qualify as art. We get it. And that’s a debate for another time; there’s an article to be written here.

Today, we’re thinking about objects which fulfill both aesthetic value and utilitarian objectives. Indeed, it can be a true master stroke of interior design (and a little luck!) to find pieces for your house which operate in the spaces of fine art and the everyday seamlessly. When you do, the personality and performance of your domestic space wins out. With that in mind, here are 5 IDEAL pieces of functional art to bring style into your home.

COOKING TOOL CURIOSITIES 

Functionality, fun, nourishment and aesthetics, it’s all there in the kitchen space, the heart of the home. Or should that be the ‘art’ of the home? Since it’s a place where the family’s cooking and conversation gets done, the interior design here should support both, as well as looking great in the process. Cooking tools sourced from far flung places certainly straddle the two concerns of art and function perfectly. A tastefully displayed tagine from Morocco, a granite pestle and mortar from Thailand sitting proudly on a work surface, even some bespoke Japanese knives framed by a magnetic knife block, catching the light just so…if that’s not art, we don’t know what is.

CERAMIC BASIN BOWL

A highlight of holidays far flung are often the basin bowls found in hotels and villas the world over. Yep, we hear ya, it doesn’t take much to get us excited indeed, right? But compared to the perennially dull and unimaginative sinks found in British homes, a basin bowl can look classy – exotic, even. To make one a proper focal point, and a piece of art in the process, consider installing a ceramic, tiled version, seen across Greece, Turkey and the Middle East, as well as East Asia. Just gorgeous.

CLOCKS

With watches even rendered pretty much obsolete and ornamental by the time telling capacity of phones, it’s safe to say that clocks now fill an artistic space as much as a functional one. That’s not to say they have no place in the house right now. Quite the opposite, in fact; a tastefully chosen, carefully positioned grandfather, pendulum, tabletop or mantel clock can have a striking overall effect on a room, bringing a graceful, antique air to the domestic space and adding a touch of artistic flair where perhaps a painting wouldn’t have filled the space so succinctly. 

COLOUR IT CARPET 

The floor should be viewed as a blank canvas for art enthusiasts to express themselves, we think. And with so much bare real estate begging to be filled, a carpet which offers visual intrigue and stakes a claim as a piece of functional art is a great way to add aesthetic appeal to a room.

Though Persian rugs are the most popular item within this field – and understandably so, they’re just beautiful – you don’t have to stop there when looking for inspiration for your next floor dressing. We just love the work of Faig Ahmed, who takes the traditional Arab carpet aesthetics and turns it on its head, creating disruptive versions which make a massive statement. Equally eye catching are Frank Lloyd Wright’s art deco inspired rugs, which bring huge vibrancy to a room. Channel this energy to showcase your artistic side in new and imaginative ways.

A PICTURE FRAME TV

Infinitely practical, this, and a real space saver, picture frame TVs have been gaining serious traction in the interior design market this year. This is due to their versatility and adaptability, equally. 

Samsung lead the way with their Frame TV, which has changeable frame settings, over a billion shades of colour, amazing clarity and most importantly, access to a huge digital library of artworks. Yours for just £3.99 a month – plus more than a grand for the actual TV, of course. Perhaps this marks the point where ‘art’ truly does become functional, but for those who like their wall candy to change regularly, and enjoy watching TV but find the actual device a little unsightly. Oh, and it also triples up as a mirror.

 

 

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.