Essential to completing an Interior is hanging art, no question! Too often this is left unrealised and I want to share some suggestions on hanging art and photography, gallery style. What does that even mean..? In short it's hanging with purpose and intention, so the art itself has been woven into the Interior story. Rather than simply selecting a wall, finding the centre and hammering in a nail. No. It should be more mindful and it can be very easy
Placement is our starting point. Signature to our Interiors, we often hang pieces one above the other in pairs, not more. I prefer two large pieces rather than a string of small frames, which would look twee. Off the snug area of this ocean front villa, we wanted something to lead the eye into the corridor, but not be too bold so as to take away from the main room. An otherwise insignificant space, now continues the tropical flow with our Palm I and Palm II photographs, framed in weathered white wood frames. We kept the mount wide and the images small, to create subtle textural interest on the wall, rather than all photo
For a city beach retreat we used the same Palm prints and hang style, on the return of a wall leading into the master bed. The palm subject is larger to emphasize an atmosphere of calm on entry, simply framed in the Ikea RIBBA frame
Hang art lower than you naturally anticipate! There was a rule that your eyes should be in line with the centre of the piece, but rules, meh! In the image below, we placed the blown up Dhow Boat image low on the wall, which almost gives the sense of being able to walk straight onto the boat
To enhance the mystery prevailing in the gypsy painting below, we tucked her into the corner, floating gently over the side table and at night the lamp softly illuminates her features
Make use of all surfaces. Meaning, leaning art on surfaces other than your traditional console. Leaning art is an effortless way of display, but some thought does need to apply. It effectively becomes part of the decorative display and should be considered as such. We dressed this glass trestle table with shelf, with art both on top and below the surface. This drew immediate attention to the photo lying beneath the surface
Finding alternative ways of displaying art can be especially useful for rental properties, where you want to avoid drilling holes into walls. In the room below we simply placed a piece off-centre on the headboard. Do be sure the piece is secure or remove it before getting into bed. In this case, the headboard had a groove the frame could sit into and the frame used perspex instead of glass, so less chance for injury
As a collector of provocative postcards, I'm often trying to find alternative ways of displaying them. It feels far too fiddly to frame and hang them all. I also want them to feel more purposeful and therefore don't wish to just stick them on a pin-board. Below I grouped a few like-minded cards and white tacked them to the wall as a mini installation. These have appeared in many incarnations during my many house moves
However, I recently elevated this form of display with magnetic perspex frames and posted my favourites from Muji on Instagram. This option makes it super easy to change out the cards and if you have a special message on the back it can easily be seen. I also place these flat on surfaces, almost like a coaster!
Let's now consider the classic and currently very trendy, Gallery Wall. Procuring wall art has perhaps never been easier, with numerous online platforms offering print/frame/deliver services at really great prices. This makes one element of creating our own gallery wall, very easy, but what to actually hang? It must be personal and have meaning to you, whether that be family, a memorable occasion, travel photos, flea market art, heirlooms etc.
The next step is curating it into a harmonious collective. Choosing pieces that work tonally together so when amassed, the wall looks coherent and not cluttered. This may be having all black and white, all earth tones, all brights or all whites. If you can't quite group together a seamless tonal palette then the framing choice can help pull it all together. If the collection is widely different, framing them all the same will create a cohesive display. Do also feel free to mix in wall sculptures and mirrors to add texture to the collection
Once the pieces have been chosen, consider the framing. Mixing frame styles and colours is great, but I would recommend no more that 3 types, to keep some element of consistency. Or have nothing matching at all!
Finally hanging! I suggest two formats - Living or Fixed gallery walls. The Living format simply means the framed photos are displayed on picture shelves, which allows for ease in moving and changing. The Fixed format is the more traditional option of wall hung frames
Below are a few examples in both formats:
LIVING GALLERY WALL
Here we used 3 different style frames, all the same width but each row was a different height and colour
This format makes a contemporary statement in it's scale, by taking it wide and low, with only 2 styles of frame and size
The most relaxed of the 3 styles, in this format we have mixed up the heights and frames for a casual and eclectic display
FIXED GALLERY WALL
Perhaps the most challenging format as it requires some accurate hanging. But once up, the symmetry is very compelling and really focuses the eye to the images
Looks more complex but is actually formed of only 4 frame sizes laid out in 5 columns
A straightforward style using 3 frame sizes in 2 colours, placed in 3 casual columns
Below is an example of option 3 of the Fixed gallery wall style we installed in the hallway for a young finance professional
For more inspiration towards hanging art and creating a gallery wall do visit the website and peruse our projects. You can also shop ENVIE Photographie, our curated collection of unique photographs, taken in-house, which we use within our own projects