Totems were traditionally used by indigenous cultures for generations to signify different values and beliefs. Typically they were made of natural materials and featured intricate patterns and carvings loaded with symbols. Totems can be used in interior design to create interesting focal points and add a layer of texture. Join us as we explore how to use totem sculptures in design…
To create a bold statement in a room, consider placing a totem sculpture in a prominent location, such as a living room or entryway. We’ve done just that at The Whitby Hotel, where three stunning marble sculptures by Stephen Cox welcome guests in the lobby.
Style & Material
Totems come in a wide range of styles and materials, so consider what would fit with surrounding pieces. Whether you prefer traditional or modern designs, wood, stone or metal, there are many options to choose from. We love these striking floating towers by Cristián Mohaded. The Argentinian artist has used hand-woven simbol, a plant fibre from his rural home province of Catamarca in the north west of the country to create these suspended, elliptical three-metre-high towers.
We love the organic materials and sensual shapes of these geometrical concrete totems by Birgit Piskor. Her works are all about transformation and the choice of material is not accidental. Birgit believes the very nature of concrete embodies the transformative experience – muddy consistency becomes solid, cool and unwavering as stone.
Size & Scale
Consider the size and scale of your sculpture to determine the best placement. Large pieces should go on the floor and smaller pieces can be placed on raised surfaces such as shelves or tabletops. Available from Artists Corner at Shop Kit Kemp, are totems by Celia. Around 30-40 cm in height, they make a perfect addition to a console table or a shelf.
Lighting can be used to highlight and enhance the beauty of a sculpture totem. Consider using spotlights or accent lighting to draw attention to the piece and create a dramatic effect. In the Conservatory at Haymarket Hotel, two vertical ceramic sculptures interact with natural light from above and create a layer of texture as their shadows are cast.
Mix & Match
Don’t be afraid to mix and match different styles of sculpture totems in your space. Combining different textures, materials and designs can create a visually interesting and dynamic environment. At The Whitby Hotel, our three marble sculptures are complemented by a ceramic totem wall sculpture by Austin Wright.
Sculpture totems can be a beautiful and meaningful addition to any interior design. By carefully selecting the right pieces and incorporating them thoughtfully into your space, you can create a unique and captivating environment that reflects your personal style and interests. Share your favourite totem sculptures with us on Instagram @KitKempDesignThread.