June 11, 2009

Hanging Art: 3 Approaches Prefered by Interior Designers

There are as many ways to hang and display art as there are artists and art lovers. But if we try, we can boil it down to 3 basic approaches, within which you can make your own rules.

1) NEAT and GEOMETRIC…the grid:

If you like your world visually neat and organized, this is your look.

In this case the vibrant energy of the strong color palette is kept in check by the geometric installation of the art.

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Neat, but far from dull! The geometry is further strengthened by the symmetrical portraits on each side.

I couldn't resist adding this similar image of Matisse's Red Studio

I couldn't resist adding this similar image of Matisse's Red Studio

Gilded botanicals

Gilded botanicals are installed with precision, and add just the right touch in this year round sun room. (Gaita Interiors)

A grouping of small framed art can take the place of a single larger piece, as in these examples, above and below.

These pretty framed tiles from Linda Paul could fill a whole wall in a kitchen or casual dining room.

lindapaul.com

Framed tiles from www.lindapaul.com

Life is messy! It’s nice to come home to a crisp, clean look in your personal sanctuary. The art installations below certainly add to a sense of calm and tranquility.

Neat and calming, but not dull.

A restful and elegant dining room.

White dining room

White dining room from Better Homes and Gardens

 a bedroom.

A pretty bedroom in neutral tones. Very tranquil.

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I love the calm, cool slate blue combined with a pop of bright red!

The key to this look is identical (or nearly so) frames. What’s inside the frames may be similar, related or vary wildly. It’s the frames that keep it together, and provide that clean, calm organized appearance. The only down side to this look is the installation. Precision is called for. If you’re going to do it yourself, here are some tips for getting it just right. You may consider hiring a pro for this. Many framers provide art hanging services. Or a good handy man/carpenter can do the job.

2) WILD ABANDON, or….more is more

It may be a lifetime’s collection of art and mementos, or just the result of a flea market spree… Or a little of both. There’s a fun free spirited trend toward wild, sprawling art installations for the home. Why interior designers love it? It gives the home instant and unique personality, the homeowner’s personality. You can finish a room in one big picture hanging marathon!

By Thomas Jayne

By Thomas Jayne via House Beautiful

Framed vintage wallpapers via Apartment Therapy

Framed vintage wallpapers via Apartment Therapy

Domino Magazine

Artistic collection via Domino Magazine

A sprawling collage made of art.

A sprawling collage made of art. Very Bohemian.

Tiffany Blue walls make a great backdrop for black and white photos in a variety of black frames.

Tiffany Blue walls make a great backdrop for black and white photos in a variety of black frames. (via Domino)

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I like the way the art picks up the black and white checkerboard floor.

Thomas Jayne

By Thomas Jayne via House Beautiful

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A comfy living room is personalized by

A comfy living room is personalized by a lifetime collection of art and mementos

I wouldn't call this sprawling. It's neatly organized, filling the space like wallpaper.

I wouldn't call this sprawling. It's neatly organized, filling every inch like wallpaper.

They could have just hung the orange painting over the sofa, but that wouldn't have been half as interesting.

They could have just hung the orange painting over the sofa, but that wouldn't have been half as interesting.

3) ONE IMPORTANT STATEMENT PIECE

If you’re lucky enough to own art that’s big and “important”, you can use the time honored approach of letting that piece stand alone, or even lead the design decisions for a whole space. Interior designers LOVE IT when a home owner has big art! It makes the rest of our job so easy!

The rooms below all appear to have been inspired by the one major art piece present.

Looks like this beautiful painting was the inspiration for the rest of the room, with excellent results.

Looks like this beautiful painting was the inspiration for the rest of the room, with excellent results.

green painting

Every detail falls in line behind the stunning contemporary painting.

Black and white

Here, even the almost-black wood floor follows suit.

Nice horsey

The oversized art photography sets not only the color scheme but the entire theme of the room.

Expertly modulated greys pick up the shades in the art, without overpowering it.

Expertly modulated grays pick up the shades in the art, without overpowering it.

A pinch of white in teh bold painting is picked up in the chair's slipcovers.

A pinch of white in the bold painting is picked up in the chair's slipcovers.

SOME PEOPLE JUST REFUSE TO FIT IN!…the hybrids

Here are some beautiful examples of art installations that combine some or all of the above methods…or just do their own thing:

A statement piece, surrounded by small satelights, on a neutral backdrop.

A statement piece, surrounded by small satelites, on a neutral backdrop.

Soothing classic color scheme is enlivened

The color scheme in the furnishings and paint is laid back, the art pops, all to great effect.

Wall art isn’t necessarily flat! This traditional living room by Mary Anne Smiley Interiors with stunning multi dimensional glass art, combined with contemporary painting, defies categorization. I love that!!

My favorite room at the Kip's Bay Showhouse by Bunny Williams.

Grid Interrupted: My favorite room at the Kip's Bay Showhouse by Bunny Williams.

Oops I forgot my art...very pretty!

Oops I forgot my art...very pretty!

Martha Stewart

A collection of various sizes is carefully arranged inside an imaginary box to create, in effect, a single piece. From Martha Stewart

This is known as The Paris Hang.

This is known as The Paris Hang; almost sculptural.

Got art, but now walls?  Here's a solution.

Got art, but no walls? Here's a solution.

Another one

Another one

Symetrical, but complex installation complimented by subtle paint and fabric selections.

Symmetrical, but complex installation, complimented by subtle paint and fabric selections.

Remember the most important things when you’re thinking about how to hang your art:

HAVE FUN and EXPRESS YOURSELF!

My friend Kelly from DesignTies suggested a style I missed: Art leaning on shelves. As she suggests, this gives you lots of flexibility. If you get bored, you can change things around, and never put a nail in the wall! I found this pretty image from DesignHoleOnLine.

A cozy niche with artistic flair.

A cozy niche with artistic flair.

From ED Custom Designs

From E Designs Custom Interiors

And this combo, hanging and leaning from E Designs Custom Interiors

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