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The art of decorating your home

There are many agonising hours spent choosing wall colours, deciding on which flooring would be best, where the furniture should go all to create the right look, feel, ambiance of a room. And all of this is important but there’s something that can really bring a room to life – art.

There are many agonising hours spent choosing wall colours, deciding on which flooring would be best, where the furniture should go all to create the right look, feel, ambiance of a room. And all of this is important but there’s something that can really bring a room to life – art.

Nothing can better demonstrate this than the property currently for sale on St Oswald’s Place in Vauxhall. Filled with beautiful, eclectic pieces throughout, the house is a treasure-trove of beautiful artwork that, were they in a gallery, you could spend hours admiring. And the beauty of having them within the home is that you get to enjoy them day-in-day-out – while you’re watching tv, carrying your washing upstairs, flicking through the papers on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

They complement the existing structure, colours and furnishings yet stand out to create a unique, warm and interesting space. And the beauty is that art can work in any space. From a giant tapestry to small framed sketch – find the right piece and it can transform the room.

We spoke to the owner of St Owald’s Place, Eamonn McMahon, about using art in a domestic setting, how he used art in his home and got his tips to help you if you are planning on doing the same.


What is your favourite room in the house and why?

The living room because it's vast, really quiet, and fills me with a sense of luxury and wellbeing… and the open fireplace is marvellous!


What inspired your choice of interiors? And have you done a lot of work on the house since you moved in?

Our background is in the arts, so years of collecting and curating objects and pictures have created a unique living space. Having been here almost 35 years, we have done a lot with the interior but slowly and carefully, always respecting the fabric of the building.


What is your favourite piece of art in the house? 

A small etching by David Hockney from 1961 called 'The Rakes Progress'. We have other 'grander' pieces but Hockney is a great hero and I love its simplicity and humour!


 Where do you shop for your art and furniture?

We have lots of artist friends so are lucky to go to studio sales and I love auctions at Christies and Sotheby's. Our furniture is very eclectic and we like to mix antique and modern. We have a lot of Mid-century-modern items and our friend Tom Dixon's pieces compliment the sofas by George Sherlock, a really great traditional English furniture maker. 

 How do you cater for a growing art collection?

We luckily have a place in the country so the overflow goes down there.


What tips would you give to someone else looking to feature art in their home?

Just do it… It's joy to behold and everyday it lifts the spirits and inspires!  Start small and work up to the bigger stuff. The essential thing is to be informed, so go to galleries and read the 'arts' section; the weekend Financial Times is always fantastically enlightening.


Do you think any art can work in any space?

It's all down to personal choice but yes art, by definition, will work in any space and the braver your choices the more exciting it is! 


Should you design your room around a piece of art or the art around the interiors of the room?

Art and design should sit together seamlessly and it's a BIG mistake to try and make one suit the other.


Is there any type of art / artists that works particularly well in a home setting?

All 'good' art sits well anywhere but paintings and prints are straightforward, sculpture needs a tad more thought. It's always a great juxtaposition to put a few 'modern' pieces in a traditional 'antique' setting and 'classic' pieces mixed in with modern interiors.

Who are your favourite artists?

This could be an incredibly long list but to name a few in no particular order…   David Hockney, Lucian Freud, Nan Golden, Sophie Calle, Edward Burra, and I'd kill to get my hands on a Beatrix Potter drawing!


What are your reasons for moving?


Down-sizing, retirement, and the lure of the English countryside...



To more information about the property for sale on St Oswald's Place click here or to book a viewing please contact the Winkworth Kennington office on 020 7587 0600 /

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