I have long been obsessed with art displays in the home, from wall galleries to shelf mini-collections. Incidentally, I’ve come across this little article from one my favourite contributors on Remodelista, Julie Carlson, the same week I’ve compiled my own favourite art displays and tips on how to do them well on IMAGE.ie.
The mantelpiece display (below) is a classic. Found in most period houses, it usually contains a mix of art and mementoes. TIP Create mini-galleries: use your available shelf space for little micro-collections of treasured knick-knacks. EDIT When putting together a display, go for similarity, find a theme, a motif, or for contrast, by pairing different textures, materials, colours, periods or styles.
The wall gallery is a must for family homes and can make a great feature wall in classic, contemporary spaces with light décor schemes. TIP Put your art in unexpected places: the bathroom, the kitchen, under the stairs. Why not?
Every house should have an art corner, a specially allocated and carefully arranged little collection of art treasures. TIP Sprinkle a little art all over your house. A treasured vintage brooch here, a surprising crystal skull there… Make your house tour a treasure hunt for the visitor!
Curated museum-style art collections tend to be for the rich and the artistic, but we can all learn from their endeavours. TIP Use unusual or everyday objects, nature’s bounty and quirky souvenirs to create out-of-the-ordinary little oases of individuality. Taxidermy, anyone?
The art gallery look is very popular with urban collectors who have limited space at their disposal, and works great with new and pop art as well as photo prints. TIP You can buy good-value prints and tastestful reproductions in bookstores, or you can print your own photos using high-quality paper, canvas (especially for large images) and simple Ikea frames.
Room centrepiece This is when the painting/picture/print is the focus of the room. TIPCo-ordinate – your art and your interiors scheme should complement each other in colour, size, theme.
Finally, another classic: build cosy and interesting corners around a worthy, oversized, striking painting or other piece of art. TIP Use good, interesting lighting appliances to show off your art and build a cosy reading nook.
Our final tip comes from the expert’s experts. Hang all art at eye-level height and on centre (approximately at 57in). Why? This is the average eye height (also called ‘pleasing height’), and it is the standard used by museums and galleries all over the world.
See the gallery below for even more visual inspiration.
For more tips on collecting and displaying art, see a selection of the best collectors’ homes from the Image Interiors & Living archives.