Art & Everything,  Home Tour,  The Home

Functional Art for The Home

Mmmm. Yes, please.

You know what functional art is?

It’s art that is not only lovely to behold, but it also serves a function; a utilitarian purpose. It’s useful. And I am all about functional art in my home.

I have a rule, it’s actually #129 on my list of 365 Ways to Be Awesome:


Put nothing in your home that isn’t useful to your life, or meaningful to you.

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I’m lucky, because wherever possible, I try to do both. At the same time.

And, why not?

Why not have a light fixture which adds beauty to a room? Or a bit of decorative storage that stores things you need regularly? Why not have a utensil holder in your kitchen that is a piece of art as well?

Why not indeed. Here are a few examples of the kinds of functional art I have in my home:

Correspondence and Greeting Card Keeper

I needed a place to keep all my greeting cards, stamps and notes. So, why not keep them in something lovely? I found this little decorative case, and it’s not only pretty, but it’s the perfect size. And as luck would have it, it complements my chairs too!

700-decorstive card suit case

Tea Storage Apothecary Style

We’re big tea drinkers in this house.

My husband is from South Africa, and I actually learned how to make tea properly like they do in Great Britain. We keep a lot of varieties on hand, and I wanted something to store them in that would add to the aesthetics of my kitchen.

I pictured the perfect apothecary type of chest: something small enough to fit on my counter. I was willing to consider wood, but I was looking for something that fit my kitchen’s style better.

Then I found this guy at Hobby Lobby:

My tea storage

It’s perfect!

I created the labels with a weathered type writer font printed on paper, so now we know exactly which tea bags are where. My kitchen isn’t done yet, but this really added to the flavor I am creating.

This apothecary style storage for teas.

Spiral Staircase Book Shelf and Curio

I was in need of a small something to store curios and books. I wanted something that added a touch of whimsy to my sitting nook that would fulfill that. This spiral staircase absolutely fit the bill. I was over the moon when I found it, and I still adore the character it brings to this space.

Spiral Staircase

This spiral stair case is a bookshelf and displays curios

Spiral stairs book shelf and curio

Folding Screen for Hanging Art

I have limited wall space in my home because of all the windows. I’m not complaining, but it is a problem if I want to hang art. Well, my husband had this made for me for my 40th birthday when he gave me those lovely prints.

The screen not only adds some interest to my sitting nook, but it covers a less than lovely wall as well.


By the way, those prints are from an artist I love. Her name is Leigh, and you can read more about her and Curly Girl Design here. And you can even buy some of her art.

I’m not an affiliate, just a fan.

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String Lights with Photos and Clothespins

This was where we had the Christmas tree last year, and I was sad when it was gone. I missed the soft lights, and the way it filled the empty space.

We don’t actually use these doors, so I came up with this string lights and photo contraption instead. I now have the soft lighting I longed for, and over a dozen photographs that bring me joy. Perfection.

Photos clipped with clothes pins on string lights

Armoire and Sitting Area in My Bedroom

That’s my wardrobe, my wire frame “dress form”, and a chair I salvaged from the side of the road.

I have a colorful wardrobe and I love the way the colors look together. I stumbled across a similar wardrobe on Pinterest, and decided that this is what I wanted: beautiful lines and glass windows so I could “display” my clothes. The dress form actually holds belts, scarves and accessories I use. The chair is insanely comfortable and just plain YUM.

It’s like a private retreat in my home and as a scene, it is art to me.

An armoire, wire dress frame and even this chair serve as functional art

Cozy Reading Nook

When I needed to repurpose this alcove (that used to be a closet), I decided that I wanted a yummy, deliciously lovely reading nook. It holds my books in a way that is beautiful, provides soft warm lighting, and is a perfect place to cozy up to a book, or take a nap.

My gorgeous cozy reading nook that used to be a coat closet. I love everything about this nook.

I could go on and on.

I have decorative suitcases that serve as storage. A standing coat rack. Even my key hooks are a framed picture with a mirror in the middle (to check your appearance before you leave the house), and a little shelf for some word art.

Lighting Options and Chandeliers

Nothing helps dress up a room as easily as lighting. Why put up any old light fixture, when you can add a bit of whimsy and character to a room with a single fixture. The quality of the light it provides can do as much to enhance a space as the aesthetics of the light fixture itself.

I love chandeliers. I have 4 of them in my downstairs living space alone. Each of them has a dimmer so I can control the volume of light illuminated. This makes it possible to easily create a variety of moods. 

Beautiful Breakfast Nook with a lovely chandelier

Plus, they are easy to decorate when various holidays come around. Bonus!

Christmas Chandelier

String Lights and decorative paper lanterns can make a space feel warm and add a touch of whimsy. Even fairy lights well-placed can add a touch of magic as well as light.

Night Sitting Nook with String Lights and a curtain of warm LED lights

These decorative festoon lights create a relaxing atmosphere outside, and bring the space together. These chairs were chosen because they also add to the scene, creating a cohesive feel.

Beautiful string lights, sunset and an outdoor dinner party. Perfection.

Decorative Charging Station

Decorative boxes or books, trunks and whatnot can all serve as useful storage that needs to be accessed regularly, like this charging station that lives in my reading nook:

Charging Station for cords in this decorative book.



Anyway, you get the idea.

I think this is a different way of looking at how to stock a home with necessities.

Just skip the ho-hum and go for something that is lovely and makes you smile. It not only makes for a happier home, but it also creates an endless array of beautiful back drops when you take pictures in your home.

I hope this gives you some insight and inspiration for your own home.

What do you think? Have you created spaces in your home that are works of art?

Share your thoughts below.


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