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Some Tastes are More Equal Than Others: What A New Survey Tells Us About the Gender Politics Of Art In The Home


“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls” – Pablo Picasso

Your home a gallery. You the curator. What you display on the walls of your home, from photos to posters or original art, is often a very public representation of your tastes, talents, feelings and ambitions. Your life stories and the way you choose to tell them.


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Credit: Max Braun via Flickr [cc]


But how, and why, do we choose our art in all its various forms, and where to display it? Within any household are these decisions typically agreed, made in unison, or is there normally an ‘art driver’? When it comes to men and women, are there any appreciable differences in preference? Preference between original art and prints, for example, and where different types of art should be displayed around the home?

We talked with 873 people - 462 women and 411 men - from across Great Britain, to find out what makes them tick when they pick what to put on their walls.

We asked them about the type of art they display in their homes, where it’s displayed, and how satisfied they are with the results. The answers they provided show some intriguing differences between the way the men and women choose to decorate the walls of their home.

Here’s what they told us.


Some Tastes are More Equal Than Others


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Credit: Unsplash via Pixabay [cc]


Our research suggests that women tend to back their own tastes more than men. Though personal preference dictates the art, photography or other items that most of our respondents choose to display, our research suggests that women are less likely than men to consider the tastes of their co-habitees before making a decision.


Q: How much do your own tastes affect your decisions when selecting what to hang in your home?

Title: Chart

Q: How much do the tastes of those you share your home with effect your decisions when deciding what to hang in your home?

Title: Chart

Originality is Overrated


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Credit: Abi Porter via Flickr [cc]


Original art can be expensive. After all, any artist worth their salt should expect to be well compensated for the time, effort and skill that goes into their creations. Art prints, however, can allow us to display and enjoy the work of our favourite artists at a fraction of the cost. Which probably goes to explain why the men and women we questioned were much more likely to have art prints on display than original art.


Q: Do you have any art or art prints hung in your home?

Title: Chart

We did note, however, that when asked what they would hang in a given room, given the choice, women were more likely to want to display original art in prominent areas of the house, such as living rooms and dining rooms. Men, on the other hand, would be more likely than women to choose to display original art in more private areas such as staircases and bedrooms.


Q: Where would you choose to hang original art in your home?

Title: Chart


25% of men even think that their children’s bedrooms make the perfect place to display original, one of a kind works of art. We can only hope that they mean the kind of art was made earlier that day at school!


Say Cheese!


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Credit: Travis Isaacs via Flickr [cc]


Our research revealed that women are most likely have family photography on the walls of their home. However, further research revealed that men are more likely than women to actually want family photography in most rooms, but for some reason or another their walls are more likely to be family-photo-free!


Q: Do you have any family photography hung in your home?

Title: Chart


Q: Where would you like to hang family photography in your home?

Title: Chart


Meaning?

Perhaps more women feel that they *should* display pictures of their family, and although some would rather reduce the amount family photography on their walls, they feel that they can’t, or shouldn’t? Or that some men would like more family photography on their walls, but just don’t get round to it, or are concerned about allowing their bachelor pads to look a little too homely? We suspect the latter. Come on guys, don’t be afraid to show off those family moments.

Who is the Fairest Bloke of All?


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Credit: Rafiq Sarlie via Flickr [cc]

While we like to consider ourselves to be progressive sorts here at Best4Frames, we were admittedly surprised to find that men are more likely than women to have, and want, mirrors hung in most rooms of their home.


Q: Do you have mirrors hung in your home?

Title: Chart

Q: Where would you hang mirrors in your home?

Title: Chart


As a team of chaps, we can only speculate, but perhaps women have more standing mirrors or wardrobe mirrors, or are morely likely to carry a mirror with them? Or perhaps they’re more averse to suspicions of vanity, and opt against mirrors hung in conspicuous places? Either way, it seems the lads of our study are more likely than the ladies to consider their own reflection a work of art worthy of a wall display.

Posters and Stickers - Leave Them to the Kids


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Credit: dudecor via Flickr [cc]


Our research suggests that posters are a particularly unpopular wall adornment, especially amongst women. You’ll find them most often in kid’s bedrooms, and occasionally in guest bedrooms and home offices and studies (where men also have a soft spot for family photographs), but never in the downstairs common areas!


Q: Which of the following do you have hung in your home?

Title: Chart


Even less popular than posters are vinyl stickers: our research suggests that less than 15% of us would like to see these in any room outside of their children’s bedroom, making them the most consistently disliked item in our survey. So unless you’re unconcerned about the silent (or maybe not-so-silent) judgement of 85% of your friends, we recommend forgoing the wall stickers in favour of something tastefully framed.


It’s Nothing to Get Hung Up On


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Credit: Donald Lee Pardue via Flickr [cc]


So,  there’s more to the process of selecting what and where to hang on the walls of your home than you might think, and though tastes of course differ between individuals it would seem as well that there’s a subtle but appreciable difference between the way men and women approach the matter.

Nothing too serious, though. Nothing to fall out over, surely?

Here’s one final quote to finish up on, after all...


“There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

-Vincent van Gogh.

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