Alright, after all my posts on art walls over the past three years, I think it’s time for a how-to. And what better way to illustrate this than with an entire art gallery at my disposal? Yup, it’s an art-loving decorator’s dream come true! Let me tell you what went down.
By now you’ve heard about the party I co-hosted with Huff Harrington Home last Friday. For the party we decided to install an art wall in the kitchen area of the store, using art from Huff Harrington Fine Art Gallery.
They basically let me loose in the gallery and with the help of my fellow art fiend and very dear friend Kyle (publicist extraordinaire and owner of & She Told Two Friends Communications) we went from this:
Not bad for an afternoon’s work, right? So, on to the how-to part. Let me just preface this by saying this is just my personal approach developed over years of installing them; no hard and fast rules here.
Okay, so in choosing your art, try to find some common element whether it be medium, color palette, theme or even just the same frames. This is what will make an art wall cohesive and make everything hang together. (Ha, see what I did there?)
For instance in this case, my common element was the color palette. I first chose the sepia colored drawing in the middle, then layered in that ballet dancer at the bottom. Together, they gave me the basic palette – muted blues, pinks and gold. When we found the large painting of the exterior of the house, it pulled it all together. We then fleshed it out with smaller pieces with similar colors. A predominantly French theme also happened to emerge in the subject of the pieces. That was a bonus since it fit the French party we were throwing.
When it comes to hanging, I don’t have the patience for measuring, templates, etc. I eyeball and go with what looks good to me. I realize that’s not exactly helpful but there are some tips I can give you for guidance:
- If you have a key, large piece, place that in the middle and build out from there. Here it was the sepia drawing.
-Think in terms of an overall shape for the cluster of art such as a square or rectangle or in my case, it’s more or less a pyramid. Think also about how much of the wall you want to cover and whether you want symmetry or something more loose.
- Keep spacing between the pieces as even as possible.
-If you’re using a mix of frames like I did here, spread them out evenly so similar ones are not all grouped together. The same goes for colors in the art.
-Lay out all the pieces on the floor and move them around until it looks good to you. Snap a photo with your phone for reference as you start hanging.
-If you’re eyeballing it, here’s Kyle’s method: hold the piece of art where you want it by the wire/hook it will hang from. Wet your finger (yes, by “wet” I mean spit on it) and mark the wall. Nail your hook on the mark – before the spit dries(!) Nothing could be easier!
(We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do a little styling while we were at it!)
I’ve had a lot of conversations with readers and clients who are intimidated by art walls or don’t know where to begin so I hope this helps you get started. And if you have any tips of your own, please leave them in the comments.
(Photos: FROM THE RIGHT BANK)