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When choosing where to place sculptures in your home interior, it’s wise to take a little inspiration from elsewhere. Museums and art galleries are great examples.

A sculpture or decorative ornament can bring a depth and dimension to a room that wall art simply can’t. They add a third dimension which can strongly influence the rest of the surrounding area and add emphasis to a particular décor theme.

However, knowing just how to make the best use of a sculptural piece can be tricky for many homeowners. Museums test and track the best locations and supporting structures for their exhibits to ensure the best use of space and visual display.

They know that too many sculptures placed in a room or area can overwhelm the space and detract from the individuality of the form. On the flip side, a single sculpture in a large empty space can be left isolated and unsupported by surrounding thematic elements.

Thankfully there are many locations in the home where sculptures can be placed to maximum effect. The trick is to think about the function of the interior space where the piece is to be placed. A sculpture could look beautiful on a small table but if the table is in a busy hallway it could be prone to damage.

The following are 5 considerations to make when placing a sculpture in the home.

1. Give it a plain background

When a sculpture is set against a busy background, it’s silhouette and shadow can be obscured. Try to avoid placing the piece next to patterned wallpaper or in front of colourful books. Make sure to check what the backdrop is from multiple angles depending on where you’re standing.

2. Reduce the number

Too many sculptures in one place or room can spoil the view and ambiance of the interior. With so many beautiful pieces available to us it’s tempting to squash them all in to a space, to be admired. But this just creates too much visual competition and decorative overwhelm. By allowing sculptural pieces to stand in relative isolation, you then get to appreciate them more.

3. Consider the surrounding space

Sculptures can often be squeezed into a too small an area. When not enough space is left between the piece and the surrounding area it can look out of place and be susceptible to damage. They need room to breathe and space in which to be properly viewed and admired.

4. Ensure there’s plenty of light

A sculptural piece placed in a dark room or alcove will never fulfil its decorative potential. A sculpture of any type, size or colour needs lots of light whether daylight during the day or well-placed art lighting for the evenings and winter months. Make sure the surrounding lighting supports the piece.

5. Think of proportions

When a sculpture is too big or too small for a space or setting, both it and the surrounding area will look off. A small sculptural piece on a wide table can look a little odd. A large bulky sculpture on a tall small surface can become overburdening. Trust your instinct as to whether it looks right, and adjust if not.

The great thing about adding a sculpture to your home is that you can always quickly move it if it seems out of place. This gives you a lot of freedom to test, match and explore various decorative possibilities.

Keep these points in mind when you bring a sculpture home and wonder where it could go.