Frame and fortune: the right environment for your wall displays

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Where some people have stacks of magazines flanking sofas and coffee tables, i have photo frames. My purchases are compulsive, spontaneous and often unconscious. It is by default that I take a few, sleepwalker at the cash register with them under my arm, and rediscover them in my bag at home.

Varieties in wood carved with Indian elephants or flowers in Arts and Crafts style; shiny and golden Art Deco frames in all their glamorous angularity; and parading, ornate Victorian models are all welcome to my growing collection.

Furniture fairs, thrift stores and charity shops are full of things, the guilt-free gilding they contain, cheap enough to be forgotten and small enough to fit into the growing collection, waiting for a print. , a cut of fabric or a sketch from a friend. Once they’re full and ready for the wall, the last hurdle is where and how to hang them.

Hanging art is so much more about the context of the work in the room that we even begin to consider it as laypersons. For interior designers, of course, it’s important to consider height, technical hanging techniques, and layouts, but providing an intuitive and thoughtful environment for a work of art or collection of pieces takes priority.



Art has the power to connect the viewer to place and culture in a very explicit way, so it is important to consider how the artwork interacts with its surroundings.

“The best interior designers will take a unique approach to every property they work with,” says Jo Littlefair, co-founder and director of Goddard Littlefair design studio.

“Art has the power to connect the viewer to place and culture in a very explicit way, so it’s important to consider how the artwork interacts with its environment,” she adds. . “Each property, just like each client, will have their own requirements that will dictate the type of artwork we buy. “

For a recent project in Scotland, the Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel, artwork can be found in abundance in every room of the seven interconnected Georgian townhouses that make up the property.

A neat layout displayed above a sideboard at the Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel, by Goddard Littlefair

(Provided)

“For the hotel, we wanted the artwork to add personality, character, nostalgia and humanity,” and Littlefair and his team did just that with a unique layering effect throughout. long.

For the designer, Georgian architecture required a couple of works of art reflecting its heritage with an additional nod to contemporaneity, achieved through this hanging technique.

“Since there is an added complexity with this technique,” ​​says Littlefair, “you can create a stronger effect by sticking to frames of similar style and size or by choosing two sizes to layer on top of each other. Always remember that odd numbers look better than equal! ”

Frames perfectly framed by a door at 80 Holland Park, by Albion North

(Provided)

Architectural considerations are also paramount for Camilla Clarke, who is Creative Director at Albion Nord, the design studio behind the projects of Chelsea Barracks and various country and townhouses.

“We look at views and perspectives when it comes to hanging works of art, working with architecture to determine which walls are most in need of a beautiful piece of art,” she says. “For example, if you have a long hallway that opens onto a large expanse of wall, this might be the perfect place for a piece of art that sits perfectly within the doorway from the viewer’s point of view. . “

The context of the artwork among the colored medium of a room is also a deciding factor when it comes to decorating a room in mind. And according to Clarke, the apocryphal adage that picking the colors of a favorite room to inform the color of your upholstery can result in an overly “matchy-matchy” scheme.

Instead, she advocates a “more holistic approach to contextualizing your artwork in a space, with colors that complement and enhance the pieces on display.”

Crop and regroup old works of art for a new life, by VSP Interiors

(Provided)

When it comes to finding art to display at home, Henriette von Stockhausen, co-founder of interior design studio, VSP Interiors, thinks that sometimes you have everything you need under the roof. nose.

“Don’t feel pressured into buying new pieces or finding more work every time you want to add art to your home,” she says. “The reframing and grouping of old pieces gives them new life. It’s about finding new contexts for your established art collection, telling new stories with them in new ways.


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