Ok guys, I’m really excited about this one. We’ve been scheming for a while to pull together a series of posts that offer my ideas/experiences for creating style that’s your own at home. We’re calling it “Style Sessions” and in our first issue today we are focusing on Art Displays!
Earlier this year, Kevin, Maisy and I moved into a new to us, old home. I was instantly caught up in all the things that I wanted to do. Big projects that required big money… but we needed to breathe a bit and I’ve learned that if possible, it’s best to live with a space for a bit before going all in on renovations. Enter the second task at hand, making what we had work in the new space for the time being with the addition of only a few new items and a few small projects.
Through this process I found the beauty in working with the things you love and the space you have. We haven’t renovated and haven’t painted anything except one built in area and some bathrooms. So, below are a tips and tricks for displaying art in your house in creative ways without spending thousands on large pieces of art all the time or hundreds for framing. Cheers to making it work and adding style at the same time!
Artist: Marquin Campbell
This big abstract is the biggest piece of art that I own. When we moved in, I kept trying to hang it on large walls and it was just getting swallowed. We don’t have a large house, but at our former condo, this piece seemed GIANT. Here, it was getting lost on large walls and needed to find a space to maximize its size. I found it to be much more impactful framed out in this little nook.
Artists: Jean Wilson Freeman | Kim Hassold | Teresa Roche | Annie Koelle | Jeffrey Leder | Dorothy Shain
In this corner of our living room, there was a horizontal line that had been created by the built-in shelves and the table in the nook. I wanted to break that line up so I created a gallery on the adjacent wall that goes all the way to the floor with the help of a leaning mirror and pottery that works itself into the collection while pulling it’s color palette from the Kim Hassold citrus abstract. Keeping your eye from just moving horizontally through the space an instead allows you to see the whole space.
Artists: Glory Day Loflin | Diane Kilgore Condon | Cottage Grove Vintage | Kiah Ann Belows
POWER IN NUMBERS
I love to use smaller pieces such as these little birds to add movement to a grouping and to keep a wall hanging from looking too linear. This flock gives this set of bowl paintings that would be too small for the space on their own more mass on the wall and keeps things interesting.
Artists: Dorothy Shain | Annie Koelle
LIGHTING PACKS A PUNCH
Sconces on the wall add interest in many ways. Mostly because they create a 3D element. It’s always more interesting to mix mirrors and art with other elements, especially lighting, and I love making a piece fell extra special by hanging a spot light above. Confession… Neither of the sconces I have hanging on our walls, actually light up. I appreciate the impact and look they add even without the actual spotlight, but the main reason they aren’t functional is my lack of being able to keep anything in the same place for long. If you aren’t a commitment phob when it comes to your walls like I am, then call your electrician and make it happen but I think the look works regardless… and maybe (just maybe) I’ll commit one day.
Artists: Kent Ambler | Janet Hill | Liz Haywood
MIRRORS MAKE A STATEMENT
Mirrors make a necessary statement when filling your walls. Too much of one thing is never good (even with art) and therefore mirrors do a great job to break up the content of art and serve as a place where your eye can rest along with reflecting light in a space.
CURATE THE COMMON
Throughout the last ten years, I have acquired a TON of dog stuff. I love dogs. I love dog stuff and somehow when word gets around that you like a thing… everyone gets you a version of that thing. Which I LOVE, but to keep my collection of dog figurines and lots of dog art from translating more "crazy-dog-lady" than charming, I chose my faves and grouped them together creating a collection rather than spreading them all around the house and having dogs at every. single. turn. Curating the common element and keeping these pieces together give more impact than having them scattered.
Artists: Lizzy Sutton | Marianne Angeli Rodriguez | Anthropologie
GO BIG FOR BALANCE
There were a few big, blank walls that were adjacent to gallery walls or groupings and in order to keep the space from getting too busy, they needed to house one big item. Filling these walls needed to be done creatively and inexpensively because not only did we not have thousands to spend on giant artwork, we also didn’t know if layouts would always stay the same and didn’t want to commit. For one large wall, I ordered a wall mural from Anthropologie and then painted over it with colors that worked in my room, giving it a more original art feel. On another wall, I used a hand printed textile that I purchased from an art student hung as a wall tapestry, giving texture and filling the space. I then propped a print in a modern frame to add layers to the space and bring your eye towards you.
PATTERN STANDS ALONE
When we got around to adding some personality to the master bedroom, there wasn’t much art left to go around. Enter wallpaper that I tacked to the wall behind our bed adding interest to the space in one fail swoop especially in a space that is a bit off center.
THE SUM IS GREATER THAN THE PARTS
In our little home office, which is primarily used by Kevin, I decided to create a gallery wall with all of our leftovers from installing art around the house. I love some of these pieces, some not so much, but they mainly got put aside because they were darker in nature or “too vintage-y” to go into our vintage house. I know that sounds odd, but our house has a lot of 1970's vibes so throughout decorating, I’ve tried to balance that with more modern, colorful art. These dark pieces just fell flat in most of our spaces. But, when I grouped them together, the sum of these pieces in dark frames quickly became much greater than any of the individual parts adding impact to a space just by curating a collection.
Artist: Teresa Roche | Images by Cameron Reynolds
FRAME IT OUT
Coming from our condo, we had a lot of smaller art pieces. But with bigger walls and more rooms, came more wall space. I wanted this piece to hang in this spot in our master… but it was too small to stand alone. A frame hung on the wall around it was the perfect hack for making the piece take up more visual space without distracting from it.
Whew! So there they are... all my tips and tricks for Art Display. We really do hope that these 'lessons' help you get creative with your collected art and start putting holes in those empty walls of yours! Tag us when you start playing around using #ALstylesessions - we can't wait to see!