With Art Basel in town, we’d like to offer some advice for newcomers and art connoisseurs on building and retrofitting your home to create the perfect environment that will bring your valuable artwork to life.
First, we believe that there is no better time to plan a ‘gallery wall’ than when your interior designer is designing your home. As a general contractor focused on high-end homes and condo build outs, we always advise our clients to incorporate their artwork into the interior design planning process. But that advice will not apply to those who may visit Art Basel in Miami Beach and Art Miami in Wynwood, fall in love with an original piece of art and walk away as the proud owner of an original painting. As a fledgling art collector, these are some of the things you need to know:
Hanging the work: Before hanging the painting, you will need to know if your wall is built of drywall, plaster, block or wood. Drywall is not a problem but plaster, block or wood will require screws and often anchors. In this case, we recommend hiring a professional to prevent damaging the artwork. Make sure the painting is properly framed before hanging and do not hang paintings near direct natural light – they can fade from the UV and infrared radiation.
Humidity: This is Florida after all and humidity is our biggest challenge. The humidity in your home should be kept within the 20% relative humidity (RH) range in a 24-hour period. You may want to install a dial on the wall for humidity control. Fluctuations in humidity, as well as in temperature, may cause paintings to deteriorate by expanding and contracting. Cooking and bathing produce areas of climate change in a house/condo so make sure to pick the correct wall.
Lighting: When we perform a home build out, we often start by lighting up the area where the artwork is located at the ceiling level. We might also retrofit the wall to install picture lights that bring out the colors in the painting/s. As mentioned before, continuous exposure to ultra violet rays can be damaging so minimize exposure to natural light.