I know that title is long. Try to shorten it–kind of impossible.
So I love when we get reader questions. They definitely help when I am lacking in ideas for posts.
Her question, “I want to hang an art wall but I’m fearful it may look chaotic. Any tips?”
We do find many of our clients fearful of the dreaded nail-hole-in-the-wall. We understand! Many times we get hired just to come over and hang art for the afternoon, and, if you are really unsure of what to do, call someone to come over. People do think getting help from a decorator is so expensive, but most are available to hire for an afternoon or two to help with direction. Just a thought…
So back to art walls. Really, there are no rules. It’s art.
Do you know that Woody Allen (I think) has only attended the Academy Awards once? (This was only after 9/11 and he did it for his beloved NYC.) I think I heard it on NPR….he boycots award ceremonies. He doesn’t believe in awards for art.
Art IS subjective. Truly. I love this about him and totally agree.
So, to quote another artist, Dorothy Draper said, “If it looks right, it is right.”
So true! However, what looks right to Anisa and me may not look right to you.
I gather since she wrote us for advice, I will assume that she does, in fact, like what we like.
We do have a few “rules” regarding hanging art and/or collages. Sometimes, though, we even throw out the rules if something “feels” better.
I do have to say that. Karen, who is a new member of our team and does our books (Thank God), kind of freaks out during our install process. It is 100% organic. We talk, even yell a lot. Laugh. We look all over the place even though we know what we’re doing. We are “feeling” how the room is coming together. It’s a gut thing. We can’t even take responsibility.
Boy, I’m talkative today.
Okay, for the rules….
To quote Annette Joseph, “like with like”…
vintage, western-themed art paired with vintage, western-themed art. Awesome. (I have to think a pinner I follow, Jennifer Booth, for a lot of these finds. She has a great eye!)
black frames, aged-patina-ish backgrounds. All similar.
You see where I’m going here. Old-timey ocean paintings only varying in size. Brilliant. (note, also, that rug, furniture and accessories are all colorless. This great designer (anyone know who?) limited his or her color to the art. Another “rule”. You must edit and use restraint.
For our new, dark dining room, I stuck with florals for the art (still not done, but liking it a lot so far)
The freakin’ master, Steven Gambrel. Do you know how much I love him? Do you have his new book? He just has “it.” Again, muted palette—color saved for art collage. Simple, elegant, warm, clean. He inspires me so much!!
One of Country Living’s best bedrooms ever! Anisa and I still die over this paint-by-number mass out in this rustic home.
Next rule—similar idea. You can go crazy inside the frames, just limit the color of the frame.
Here is a project from last year where we place the art randomly, yet kept a little order with the frame choices. (Jennifer Kesler Photography)
Again, color elsewhere in the room–so we limited the frames to white.
Another rule we employ: right angles.
I do love a straight line.
Worried about chaos? Just make your art orderly. Works everytime.
via Boston Globe
Sometimes, though, random just works. These are the ones you have to just “feel”.
Dwell Studio’s catalog. Random, yet still limited in size and color. Eight random objects, but similar in size. It works, right?
Peter Dunham (love!) He did limit his choices to rectangles. But that is about it. Sometimes, if you want a look like this, you got to just hire someone. (Mixing like this is really an art!)
There is a theory to this beautiful madness in Elle Decor. White mixed with wood mixed with a portrait. If you are doing a random collage like this, best to attempt with a great friend over and a glass of wine. It will relax your fear of making a mistake and you have someone who can hold it up for you while you go, “Hmmm, no, two hairs lower.”
More Peter Dunham.
I want to say this is Emily Henderson? Random placement, yet art is limited to white & antique paintings.
I know that this is her work. Random, but symmetrical in number & size. Color balances as well.
Last one I can think of for now….make the perimeter of the art a square or rectangular. Do this on the floor and transfer to the wall. Brings a little order to the chaos…
Above is a collage we did where we kept the outsides of all of the art inside a rectangle. Can you see the right angles?
I am sure there are many “rules”, but these are just a few we like to stick to.
And thinks for all the prayers and comments. I didn’t know my comment button wasn’t working–oh, I’m a dork.
I can’t even go into why we needed prayers. Have you ever just felt so fearful you’ve been paralyzed? Maybe one day I’ll feel safe to share, but your kind thoughts and prayers were felt.