30 March 2012

Plate Walls

The appeal of a plate wall is obvious. It brings decorative dishes out of hiding while filling a large space that might be expensive to cover with actual art. For those who love a particular style of dish, such as the ironstone plates in the first image, a plate wall makes a feature out of a cherished collection. Even a narrow wall seems suddenly interesting when a cluster of plates is strategically arranged on it. In a room that already has a lot of interest, plates of a single color do the trick without overwhelming the senses. While in a paired-down space, a grouping of patterned plates contributes color. I especially love the plates that form the unorthodox canvas for an oil painting while framing the new work.

09 March 2012

Art Clusters

I've recently had several customers come into my shop asking for advice about adding interest to a blank wall. The possibilities are endless: a piece of architectural salvage like a window or vintage sign, a ladder turned on its side and used as a bookshelf, or a grouping of one item such as straw hats or wooden tools. And then there are art clusters -- a combo of art, framed or not, and unusual objects that is very often hung in a slightly random way. There are no real rules to these clusters other than that the whole should be visually appealing. With the above cluster currently in my shop, I began by grouping items together on a large surface to determine placement before I made holes in the wall. It doesn't matter if picture frames don't match, as long as there's something unifying about the pieces. In this case, the unifying factors are natural wood and hints of pink and pale gray/green. Because art clusters often include items that don't normally hang on a wall, they welcome a conversation about what really constitutes art -- one that has been debated for generations and will never be settled.

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