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Design Inspiration: David Hockney

Updated: a day ago



On a rainy day in Seattle, who doesn’t do some California dreaming? Interior designers are often inspired by artists and translate that inspiration into real-life design. David Hockney’s cheerful paintings are the perfect inspiration to brighten up any living space. As a result, designers use his work to help bring the color, fresh air, and summer energy of Los Angeles high living to the Pacific Northwest.

Born in the late 1930s in England, David Hockney is mostly known as a painter, photographer, and stage designer. His paintings are incredibly unique, and some say he is one of the most famous British painters in the world. In the 1970’s Hockney moved to California searching for inspiration and immediately his art was transformed. Often depicted in his paintings are realistic and modern homes. Therefore, bright colors and bold patterns blend with a variety of plants and interesting depth-perception techniques throughout the space. 

According to Sotheby’s, color isn’t just a tool to capture attention for Hockney. It’s a mechanism for pulling the viewer into the frame and transporting them to the artist’s sun-drenched California mindset. His thoughtful use of colors and patterns alludes to the warm California sunshine and captures viewers in the sunbeams. 

“Whenever I left England, colors got stronger in the pictures. California always affected me with color. Because of the light you see more color, people wear more colorful clothes, you notice it, it doesn’t look garish: there is more color in life here.”- David Hockney, “That’s the way I see it”, London 1993, p.47

Key features of David Hockney’s Work

David Hockney’s paintings are cheerful, colorful, and full of life. Because of this, distinct key features are prominent throughout his paintings. This helps the observer immerse themselves in the scene, so they feel as if they are in his lively environment.

  • Bright and tropical colors: Through the use of pinks, teals, and primary colors Hockney’s paintings spring to life. His color palettes are exciting and lively. For instance, in his painting for Vogue’s landscape cover in August 2020, he brings the space to life with bright realistic colors that complement each other.

  • A celebration of the outdoors: David Hockney loves painting outdoor spaces and does it masterfully. In fact, his painting Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) became the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction by a living artist in 2018. His paintings often depict patios, swimming pools, and gardens that are the perfect inspiration for outdoor brunch parties.

  • Plants: In most of his paintings depicting interior and exterior living spaces, Hockney incorporates plants. He depicts plants in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors and mixes and matches them in an interesting, eye-catching way. It’s almost as if he feels a space can’t be whole without some natural aspect to it which breathes energy to the room.

How David Hockney’s Paintings Inspire Interior Design

Seattle winters can be gloomy with endless rain and chilly days. In conclusion, we often find that adding a splash of color and bold patterns inspired by David Hockney is an incredible way to liven any space. To truly bring his paintings to life, designers must carefully and creatively combine bright colors and patterns with a variety of plants. Succulents and houseplants live together harmoniously with bright statement pieces and uniquely patterned rugs for an exciting and visually appealing Hockney inspired space. 



If you are ready to speak to our experts about your David Hockney inspired Interior design project contact Interiors By Popov at 425-403-6060.




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