Colour meanings! How art influences the mood of your interior

Art brings soul to a space and individualises it. I believe in buying real art, not replica, mass-produced prints and posters. A successful piece of art connects with the audience. It moves and effects them on an emotional level. A room isn’t complete until the art is hung. Mia Oatley is an artist whose work I follow closely. I admire her creativity and how she embraces colours that evoke pure joy and freedom. She was also recently was a finalist in The Archibald Prize.

I was lucky enough to chat with Mia, to find out more about her vibrant style. I have selected great furniture pieces to complement my favorite artworks by Mia.

How would you describe your art, technique and style?

Vivid, free and constantly evolving. I believe in colour psychology. The power colour has to influence moods, emotions and behaviour.

You use a lot of colours, do you think this influences they way people view your art?

I’m an energetic and positive person and my colourful paintings are an extension of that. It makes me happy when people tell me that my work brings them joy!

How can art enhance an interior?

When I’m decorating at home I love making my huge paintings the main feature. The paintings create a lot of personality and mood within the space.

If you were commissioned to create an artwork for a bedroom, what subject matter and colours would you use?

To create a relaxed and calm, feel I’d use cool greys, deep blues and white, with some funky prints or collages of sea scenes or cloudscapes.

What art would work for a living room?

Larger portraits or figurative pieces work very well in living rooms. Colour wise I love teal green, vivid white, orange and splashes of soft violet.

What about an office or home study?

To encourage energy, inspiration and creativity, I think birds or animals would be great in an office environment. It’s fun and fresh. In terms of colours, I like magenta, yellow, turquoise and soft greys.

As you are a visual person, what’s your favourite colour to enhance your state of mind?

I love every colour! But my go-to happy colour is yellow.

You love to paint healthy women. Are you sending a message through your artwork about body image?

I am drawn to painting curvaceous women. Outside of painting, I believe very strongly that confidence and health are a woman’s best assets.

Who are some inspiring artists that you love to follow?

Miranda Skoczek, Rachel Castle, George Raftopoulos, Mark Whalen, Lionel Bawden and Kate Banazi.

What should someone look out for when purchasing a piece of art?

If the piece is relatively inexpensive, then connection and just loving the artwork is the main thing. If the piece is more expensive, do your research.

Want to see more of Mia Oatley’s work? If you’re based in Sydney check out her solo exhibition at NG Art Galleries from 29 July- 14 August. You can also view Mia’s work at Gallery One on the Gold Coast or on her website.

Mia 1

Mia 2

Mia’s Archibald Piece, Real Thing. Mia in front of ‘Real thing’

Mia 3

Mia’s Ordinary Eden. Kezu’s Calyx Chair

Mia 4

Arthur G’s Collette Sofa by Diane Bergeron. Mia’s Hello Budgie

Mia 5

Mia’s Lotus Pond. Euroluce’s Aim pendant

Mia 6

Zuster’s Echo Console. Mia’s Orange Sky


Mia 7

Mia’s Splash. MCM house’s Mr Wong Console
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Mia Lake
Mia Lake is the Interior Design Director at Vic Lake Architect (VLA). VLA is a family business specialising in high end residential homes and boutique multi residential developments. The collaboration between sophisticated architecture and considered interiors, VLA approaches their projects holistically and cohesively. Mia’s design journey began at Sydney’s The Whitehouse Institute of Design. She was awarded a yearlong scholarship to further her studies internationally at Accademia Italiana. That year in Florence, Italy was a major influence on her career and design style. Prior to VLA, Mia’s has been fortunate to work at two leading Sydney interior design practices, Arent&Pyke and Briony Fitzgerald Design, specialising in high end residential interior design and custom made furnture. A strong construction knowledge, understanding and love of craftsmanship, and sensitivity to the client’s practical needs are the key ingredients to a Mia’s successful design. Mia loves using luxurious natural materials, colour and layering textures. She believes injecting personality into spaces and surrounding yourself with objects that tell stories of your live, makes you happy and inspires. A well designed space can truly improve the way you live.