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Interior decorating cliches – here’s how I avoid them (like the plague)

“The strongest card for the stylist is art. ‘Art is unique and looks beautiful against a brightly colored wall. Choose rental art. Just try it'”. With these final words I concluded my recent interview for the interior design section of the most important regional Dutch newspapers. And I firmly stand behind what I said. Renting art is the ultimate way to avoid all those boring interior decorating cliches. So, what are those cliches pray tell? I hear you ask. Let me go through five of the cliches that were mentioned in the interview – and show you the alternatives of my local rental art company.

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Interior decorating cliche #1 – canvas prints

A photo of your child or pet printed on canvas is not art. Equally bad: a canvas print in your backyard.

My solution: why not use a painting of somebody else’s children for a change? And combine it with a colorful photo of a woman you’ve never met before. You can make sure this combo will set you guests’ tongues wagging.

Katinka Lampe - Kijk naar je Eigen /// More on

Kijk naar je Eigen by Katinka Lampe (K5B004) – 12 euros’ per month

BKE001Irina Muraru (Boekarest 2006) by Peter van Beek (BKE001) – 6 euro’s per month.

Kunstuitleen Rotterdam wooncliche 03And this is what they look like next to each other. Need I say more?

Don’t like kids? Well, neither do I! I do like dogs, however, and bellieve me – Kunstuitleen Rotterdam has an amazing collection of animal art. Just go to the collection page and select Animals from the dropdown menu. Easypeasy, right?

Untitled by J. van 't Slot /// More on Interiorator.comUntitled by J. van ’t Slot (L55020) – 20 euro’s per month.

WET002Gismo by Maarten Wetsema (WET002) – 12 euro’s per month.

Interior decorating cliché #2: Windlights

Two identical lantern-shaped windlights, with a white wooden grid in front of the glass. On the windowsill. Or on a dresser.

My solution: put some art on your windowsill, silly! Marble is totally hot at the moment. Unfortunately, it’s also frightfully expensive – if you buy it, that is! I say: rent it! Prefer to keep your windowsills empty? Then why not put an art object next to your dresser or some place else in your living room. With its round shapes, the work you see below would work like a charm!

Kunstuitleen Rotterdam wooncliche 01

Left: Untitled by M.E. van Beek (OB5020) – 18 euro’s per month / Right: Untitled by J.A. van Vlijmen (1F8006) – 12 euro’s per month.

Interior decorating cliche #3: The wicker heart

Wicker hearts are totally lame. Some even feature the letters HOME. I’d say: torch ‘em! 

My solution: After you’ve ritually burned the wicker HOME heart (what a relief, right), I advise you to look for houses or cities on the Kunstuitleen collection page. The works you find there are definitely a lot more tasteful. And more affordable than you’d think!

Kunstuitleen Rotterdam wooncliche 05Left: Dacha by J.V. Bodewits (VUG007) – 12 euro’s a month / Rechts: Immaterial Change by D. Komen (KOM001) – 10 euro’s a month.

Interior decorating cliche #4: The Buddha statue

Not so long ago people used to tell each other that you could not buy a Buddha statue for yourself but that you could only receive it as a gift. It appears we’ve forgotten this rule.

My solution: Save your spirituality for the world outside your home. And then put something more controversial in your living room. Whenever I walk past Kunstuitleen Rotterdam and see Mariette van de Ven’s Hundchen in the window, I always have to laugh a little. Combine it with Rick Koren’s ceramic fruit and bing bang boom you have combined two works of art into an amazing story.

Hundchen by Mariette van de Ven /// More on Interiorator.comHundchen by Mariette van de Ven (VEM001) – 22 euro’s a month.

Fruit I by Rick Koren /// More on Interiorator.comFruit I by Rick Koren – 6 euro’s a month. 

Interior decorating cliche #5: Letters and quotes 

Chirpy quotes on posters like ‘Enjoy the little things’. Or anything with the word ‘home’ on it. Even worse: wooden wallboards with life’s golden rules. 

My solution: go for graphic! Every time I check the Kunstuitleen online collection, I’m amazed at how many new works I see – and that includes lithographs, computer-generated inkjet prints and graphic design.

Kunstuitleen Rotterdam wooncliche 04

Left: Lithograph by Willem Oorebeek (0X3096) – 4 euro’s a month /  Righs: Amut tuma 1 and 2 by G. Khouw (VUX002) – 4 euro’s a month.

All these works can be rented online RIGHT NOW. Just follow the link to the Kunstuitleen Rotterdam collection page and enter the code I’ve put behind every piece. Have fun and don’t be a bore! 


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