, , ,

A poppy red trench coat on a white coat stand set against a white wall.  This is the description of one of my favorite pieces of functional art in my home.   

Functionally speaking, I wear the red trench coat and the coat stand often houses other essential items such as a scarf, purse or a guest’s jacket.

What makes it art (though this is simply opinion as I have no formal training), is the composition of three main elements.  The wall as the backdrop, the coat stand as the frame and the coat itself as the medium which together draw the eye as if to a painting framed on a wall.   The wall creates a backdrop of simplicity where the red coat, a highly functional piece, creates a visual stimulus in the room.  While someone else designed both the coat and the coat stand, it was up to me to bring them together with the appropriate backdrop to create a work of art.

In small spaces especially, it is essential that everything brought into it has a purpose.  Owning things that have multiple purposes is ideal and often essential.  Art can be considered this way as well.  The objects in your home, even storage items such as the vintage suitcase I referenced in my previous post Small Space Storage Solutions, could be considered art when you appreciate and choose to accentuate its form.

In order to showcase these functional objects you consider to be an artistic expressions, the backdrop (essentially everything else in your home) must be simple enough that those items can be clearly seen and appreciated.  If you think of an art gallery, often the walls and spaces themselves are simple and uncluttered so as not to draw attention away from the particular piece(s) being showcased.  If this principle is applied to your home as well, it provides the opportunity to display those items you perceive to be beautiful even though they are often used objects.  The beauty of it is that you get to use your creativity to “make art” in your own space, large or small, when you simplify and appreciate form and function in the same object.


“Space is the breath of art.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed – it is a process of elimination.”  – Elbert Hubbard

“I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.” – Carrie Fisher