August 2015 Designer's Quill
*as reprinted from the August edition of Plumage-TX Magazine
BY: Betty Houston
Framing and Art Consultant
Designing a gallery wall within a home is especially creative when one arranges collections using salon- style as a guide. Frequently art lovers enter the gallery and express appreciation for art and the desire for additions to their collection. However, there is concern for displaying any new work to their space. This is a nice problem to have as many fond memories are often linked to images of special parts of the world, happy childhood activities, or times gone by.
Change is sometimes required to add freshness and renewed interest to art, as well as make room for new acquisitions. There are some who resist change; others are ready to start anew. This is understandable, however changing the location maybe all that is required to serve a variety of needs.
Thinking vertically when hanging artwork can maximize space. A simple example is a stacked group of a trio of framed paintings. It has the added benefit of drawing the eye up and enhances the room’s height. An added bonus is enjoying the art with renewed interest.
Salon-style encourages more room for display and at its ultimate the display of works from floor to ceiling. This might be too radical for some; however, a modified method involves building display around furniture - a sofa, desk or credenza - and limiting the work to several stacks around the furniture and leaving room at the ceiling and floor, if the number of art works is less or the preferred way of display.
This method has been around for centuries and has European influence. Essentially it is displaying in groupings. Be bold and fill a whole wall with a composition of framed art! Mismatched frames in unusual dimensions add interest. The variety in size and shape adds freedom to the collection and might even benefit from dimensional display using a sconce for visual interest, lettering or objects of interest.
Salon-style ultimately liberates and one can make additions as time goes by if one chooses. This method is favored by art lovers and collectors, and looks very stylish. Not only is salon-style a look I love, but one I’ve relied on for years, even as I’ve down sized. It is less formal, you don’t have to be perfect and is a look that is confidant and the results can be amazing.
Before hammering any nails into the walls, design your area by tracing around each framed picture and cutting out the shape. Place the largest in the center and at eye level. Arrange the other outlines around the central focal point. Use painters tape to secure the outlines to the wall adjusting as necessary. This method allows corrections and the finished wall to be previewed before any nail has been hammered.
This method brings the sum of its parts into a whole that is expressive of its owner and additions and deletions can be enjoyed. It is worth exploring and modifying to one’s unique needs.