When you think about sculpture, Michelangelo and Auguste Rodin probably come to mind. In home decor, however, sculptures are a great way to express your style and to display forms that fit your personality. Sculpture is not limited to the classical styles. Options include modern, whimsical, realist and minimalist works that artists have created and that you can feature in your home as focal points and accents. Another important point is to not feel constrained by style labels. Blending modern with classical is common as in this dining room setting, which features a classic torso sculpture.
Another important point is to not feel constrained by style labels. Blending modern with classical is common as in this dining room, which features a classic torso sculpture. In this case, the piece serves as an accent, beautifully complementing the dining set and lighting.
A similar sculpture of a torso has an entirely different vibe, thanks to the nature of the stone and minimalist form that does not accent the muscles as a classical sculpture does. Another mixing of styles, the pairing of the torso with a rustic set of accessories demonstrates how you can make the piece work in a less formal space. It’s an unexpected and design-forward combination.
If an eastern flair or rustic chic style is what you’re looking for, Asian sculptures can work well. This white bust is an appropriate addition to a tableful of eclectic accessories, including cloches, candles and vessels. The rustic wall art also goes with the bust and would be equally nice with a more modern sculpture as well.
There’s a reason that classical forms have endured and still play a role in home decor. Their detail and drama make them the perfect piece to serve as a focal point, whether you choose a piece in stone, clay, metal or another material. When it comes to a classic bust, if you’re going to choose one for your home, go big in terms of making a statement. It’s an attention-getting piece and will be the star of the room or area where you place it. A very small bust will serve more as an accent and is a good way to try out the sculptural form in your interior decorating before making a bigger commitment.
Cherubs — called putti in Italian — have been depicted in art and sculpture for centuries. According to art history texts, the little chubby, naked male babies often have wings and in the bible are scared because they were thought to attend to God. The putti are secular, although they still became associated with God during the Baroque period. Sometimes the figures are also meant to represent cupid.
These celestial babies have waxed and waned in popularity throughout the eras of history and still have a place in today’s decor styles. As displayed here, they work well tropical and floral patterns and add a light feminine touch to a space. They are a classic form, but with a less solemn feel than a classical torso form
In contrast, a serious classical sculpture like these wrestlers in the Italian style is a sober and weighty sculpture that immediately draws attention. The rippling muscles on the figures and the feeling of strength that comes from the expert carving demand a central location to be appreciated.
More delicate and smooth, this bust may have a classic shape but the style is decidedly more modern. The Asian visage is paired with a traditional neckline. A sculpture like this adds a feminine touch to a space and is a softer addition than a classic bust done in a rougher finish. The luxe urn behind the bust is another example of a sculptural piece that adds interest to a room
In contrast to the stone and porcelain sculptures, pieces done in a metal have an entirely different feel. This all, commanding woman is done in bronze, the most popular metal for cast sculptures. The lines and details have a different feel from the ones that are carved from stone. Because of its size, a sculpture like this will need a proper space in the home to command attention.
Classic forms are not for everyone and pieces that are in the genre of realism appeal to a wide audience. According to Britannica, the definition of realism in art is “the accurate, detailed, unembellished depiction of nature or of contemporary life. Realism rejects imaginative idealization in favor of a close observation of outward appearances.” So, rather than focusing on an ideal form, sculptors try to depict what they really see as in the statue of this girl. Her features, clothing and the grapevines in her hair and in her hand are very realistic. While some of this can be found in ancient sculptures, the genre became much more popular in later centuries, particularly in painting. Now, there are many examples of sculpture you can incorporate in your home that are realistic, featuring people, animals and other objects.
Sculpture in your home is also a great way to introduce a little whimsy. Fun or fantastical, small or large, they make you look twice or smile every time you look at them. Pieces that are provocative can be a real conversation piece and a source of entertainment for guests. Sometimes, they simply reflect something from your childhood or life that is meaningful. Whatever the reason you choose it, a sculpture can do more than just enhance a room. It is a piece of art and should speak to you in some way, whether that is for happiness, nostalgia or a more intellectual reason.
These hippos by sculptor and illustrator Bjorn Skaarup are a collision of nature and culture — the concept that drives the artist’s creations. Skaarup’s statement says that his works meld “the gracious and exclusive with the communicative, distorted and humorous.” It’s a perfect example of how a piece can be refined and funny at the same time. Either standing guard in the entryway or keeping you company in the living room, these sculptures take center stage without overwhelming a space.
What used to be a symbol of schlocky backyard decor is now a hot image in home interiors. Flamingos have evolved from a plastic atrocity to a popular image now used for everything from understated neutral renderings in wallpaper to more vivid representations in accessories. A sculpture is another way to include this icon of camp in your home decor. The vivid color and recognizable silhouette are a great accent for any room, from a bathroom or dining room, to a bedroom or your living room.
Common barnyard animals gussied up in metallics or graphics immediately lend a bit of fun to an interior. This chubby little pig painted in silver may be a small sculpture but it adds a big punch of interest. There isn’t a person who could walk by this sculpture in your home without commenting — or at least noticing.
Definitely not whimsical, this panther sculpture is dramatic and commanding. Put this in your living room and
Minimalist versions of common animals are also popular subjects for sculptures and can even be used in groups for a statement-making arrangement. Mixing finishes creates more depth and interest than if all the owls in this grouping were the same.
Of course, minimalism is not for everyone and many people prefer to create an opulent home interior. A wide range of luxury sculptures with animals as subjects is available, which keeps the pieces from being too serious. Detailed elephant figures that are adorned with extravagant Indian hathi howdah — the carriage on top — and headdresses are a good example. These sculptures are gilded and opulent, adding a high-end touch to any space.
Of course, magnificent carving and exceptional detailing can make even plain porcelain far from boring. This elephant sculpture, without fancy carriages and accessories, is an elegant and sophisticated sculpture for any space and would work with several decor styles.
Fans of rococo styles can incorporate a variety of sculptural styles, including sculptural furniture. The decor of that design period features lots of flower and leaf motifs, and has a light and feminine feel, compared to the heavier looks of the baroque era that preceded it. Regardless, these pieces feature plenty of gold, flowers and figures that add sculptural style to any lavish space.
This setting combines a sculptural console base with smaller animal sculptures as accents on the lucite tables and the console. Small bird sculptures also adorn the wall sconces in this setting. It a colorful, print-happy and over-the-top combination of decor elements that come together in a grand space.
Sculptures of all styles can be mixed with current decor styles, as long as the result suits your personality. The old rules about being matchy-matchy in your interior decorating are passe and fortunately new, fresh ideas about styling a space are popular. Just remember, a sculpture is a piece of art that reflects your tastes and sensibilities. Upgrade your space — choose something fun and enjoy it in your home!